Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Week Off

Last week I was home on vacation and I spent many hours in the garden. We now have our tomatoes in the ground and some peppers, spinach, garlic, sugar snaps, lettuce, jalapeƱos, asparagus, collard greens, beets, and fava beans. We plant the favas in winter to add nitrogen back into the soil. I found out a trick that I will implement next year. Just cut the tops off of the plants, leaving the roots in tact. Chop up the greens and flowers and mix them into the soil. Then as you plant your vegetable starts, their roots will follow the same path as the fava roots and the nitrogen release will be slower. We kept some favas alive for eating too. They take a little bit of work but are so good for you.

Naturally, while out in the garden, it is a good time to bring DeDe out to play. I had made her a cardboard clubhouse for indoors but she would have nothing to do with it in the house. After sticking it outside in one of her favorite spots, she started going into it. There is a bed of hay and openings on two sides. She also likes to use the ducks' nest box as a observation station. One day, my son, Brenden took a piece of wood and carved a little sign for the side of the nest box. It reads, 'Quiet, BUN AT WORK' It's quite cute and I could not resist taking my video camera with me to film her 'at work'. The ducks were curious too and the above video is the result of 10 minutes of filming. While getting the shot of her nose twitching, she charged me and bit my arm! Me thinks she is getting rather familiar with her territory and would like to defend it. Now I know that she disapproves of me and has always been plotting an attack. She did not break skin but there were little red marks for at least 48 hours. I made sure to point this out to the guys. I've always thought she was planning something. They think I am silly. What do you think?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Miserable Ducks

Since we lost Tippy to a red tailed hawk, we have been keeping our ducks in their run unless we venture out to the garden. Then they get to go out and forage. The hawk comes back every now an then to see if we still offer free meals. Poor ducks can hear us when we go out on our deck or open the front door and the hens shout at us "Quack Quack Quack" It's sad and we wish we had a larger pen for them to roam. Another set back is that they mess up their house and run which need to be cleaned more often. Since they don't get to forage as much, I have been getting scraps from Shorty over at Tomales Bay Foods for them. They love the outer leaves of cauliflower and cabbage. I also dig worms from the compost for them. One positive result of having them penned is that we don't have to look for their eggs. They are laying in the nest box and or dropping their load in the run. We are having French toast tomorrow! Duck eggs make great batter. Below is a photo of Loopy after her mud bath. She was preening for such a long time. The perfect white duck.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My home is Der Zoo

When we settled in our house 10 years ago we started to acquire pets. We had a cat named Kika and a leopard gecko named Lizzy and a cockatiel named Rooster. We soon added ducks to our flock a mini holland lop and a parrotlet. We have regular visitors of deer and skunks and the occasional fox and bobcat. There are many wild birds who visit as well. Hummers are a favorite and chickadees are friendly. I will tell more about them in the days ahead as time allows. We started to call our little property "der zoo" because we thought of it as a little zoo. After Kika died, we had nothing but non-cat or dog pets and it seemed even more exotic. That is why I called this blog 'derzoo' At least it will help me to remember where to find it on the net.

I have never kept a journal and I am a little wary of the typing..I have a pretty bad case of tendinitis so my posts will be brief. Hopefully my pictures will provide more entertainment than my prose.

I have been under the weather so I'll stop for now and go to bed. Good night and dream sweet dreams.