Below is a photo of after the pool was dumped and refilled (again). Two of the embden goslings have decided it's funner to actually climb in and play. They were dipping their heads and blowing bubbles and splashing around.
The brown and silver duck there with them is the rouen cross we picked up with the goslings around Easter. They were eventually separated when we got smaller ducklings and wanted them in with the duck, but not the geese. Now she seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. Since I released them the other day from the barn brooder, she spends most of her time with Nicey and Charlie - the two Indian Runner ducklings she's been with for weeks now. But when the goslings walk by, she quickly abandons Nicey and Charlie to follow the geese. The geese neither accept her, nor chase her away. She's just kind of like a groupie.
She is also the only one of the ducks to brave playing in the kiddie pool so far this summer.
By the time I got up, put the clothes out on the laundry line, and hauled the wheelbarrow full of compost and manure, a bag of soil, a bag of mulch, and a shovel out to the orchard, it was too hot. I shoveled some compost/manure mix into two holes and decided to go back to the house.
I refilled all the animal waters - because it's important they have constant water when it's this hot. Then I did some house chores. But really I felt like I was missing out on valuable garden time. I decided to brave the heat a little closer to the house, and build up the garden I started last year.
Last year I threw down some cardboard, added some soil, and attempted to plant a small variety of plants. We got a handful of peas from that garden before the cold took it.
Today I saw some weeds that had managed to come up through the cardboard. Rather than trying to add more cardboard, I just laid down a layer of the landscape fabric that we had left over from the strawberry bed project. We'll have to buy more now for the raspberry beds, but I think this is a good use. Then #1 and I hauled buckets full of manure and compost from the bunny barn to the garden bed. It took a lot of buckets, but the wheelbarrow was out in the field for the orchard project. Once I had the landscape fabric covered with a couple inches of compost and manure, I hosed it down until it was thoroughly wet. Then I added five bags of mulch over the top, to cover all of the manure with at least a few inches. Then I hosed it all down again. At this point I took a break because the kids wanted to play with the hose (and it was 88 degrees, so why not?).
An hour or so later, when I got the hose back, I started transplanting some of the cold weather crops. Now, I have never had any luck growing any of these before, despite trying both from seed and from nursery stock in the past. And now with chickens, I'm not even sure these plants will survive the potential for the chickens to come along and eat them all... So this is experimental.
All in all, I transplanted in 11 Red Rubine Brussels Sprouts, 3 All-Year Cauliflower, 2 Romanesco Broccoli, four clumps of Calabrese Broccoli (it wasn't looking good and I doubt it will make it), and the one All-Season Cabbage plant that survived the container getting tipped multiple times. These are all winter sown seedlings.
The puppy remains nameless tonight. She was hot all day, spending most of her time laying on the floor in the girls' room until #1 decided to kick her out and block her from coming back in. I brought her out several times, but couldn't get her to go potty. I kept bringing her to her food and water dishes, but she wouldn't eat or drink. I offered her several toys, but she just wasn't interested. The photo below was taken while she was laying against the barrier, with a toy she didn't want to play with. She's pretty photogenic.
After work Tony brought home a collar and a plush squeaky toy - which of course she instantly loved. Go figure - a toy type we don't offer to Moose.
Several times throughout the day, Josh was left hollering and wandering through the yard, alone, bereft, friendless. His three remaining ducks (Dashi and Quiche are sitting on eggs, leaving Omelet, Matt, and Helvegan to follow Josh around) kept wandering down to the reeds to munch on duckweed in the lake. At one point Josh took to following the three embden goslings and the rouen cross around, but they largely ignored him or tried to stay well away from him. I'm not sure why Josh won't go into the lake to eat duckweed too. I think he's too predator wary and doesn't want to be stuck in the reeds, unable to see something sneaking up.
We're supposed to be getting lots of rain in the next two days. Maybe it will keep the temperature a little lower. If we get some nice breaks in the rain and it's not too hot, maybe I can get some of the trees planted. It's a bit trickier to do them alone, but they've got to get planted. The hazelnuts are sitting in a bucket of water in the kitchen, bare root, and ready to go. The weeping willow needs to be planted too - it will go out on the peninsula so it can soak up water from the lake and hopefully lean it's branches over the water once it's mature.