Great news today! While I was doing dishes this morning, I swear I heard the baby duck crying in the yard. When I went outside I found Peg-leg Sue making the same noise, but in a different part of the yard. I figured maybe I was losing my mind and being overly hopeful. I went back to work. While out doing barn chores a while later, I heard it again, this time from the garage. I walked over and sure enough, there's the lost duckling, standing beside the garage. Alive and well! I think the little one spent the night outside (through a pretty bad storm) but she seems unscathed. I caught her, gave her a quick look over, and returned her to the barn, showing her the freshly filled food bin in case she was hungry. As of bedtime tonight she's in the barn with the big ducks and Josh, so all is well again!
Yesterday I got the screen porch garden fenced in. I wish there was more in there, but it only gets partial sunlight. The two columbine plants might be salvaged, but the bleeding hearts died right away. I'll be looking for another to replace it. I added a couple cucumber and bean seeds in there just to see if I could use the space better. One bean and two cucumbers have come up so far, but the birds found the cucumbers before I did. I'm hoping it's not too late in the season and we can get some food out of this space.
Today I got the west border garden replanted and fenced. This space used to hold the Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage... until the deer came along and ate it all. I put in Connecticut Field Pumpkin, White Pumpkin, Canoe Creek Colossal Melon, and Spaghetti Squash, which are joining the Japanese Black Pumpkin and the Old German tomato plants that survived the deer. It's all fenced in now. Hopefully that deters the deer. It's pretty late in the season, so I don't know if we'll get much from this space, but it's worth a shot.
Peg-leg Sue finally decided to leave the barn today. She did her best to try to keep up with the other ducklings, but she's markedly slower. I posted a video of her into a local pets group and someone is interested in adopting her. I've been trying actively to find her a new home since she was three weeks old. She's seven weeks old now. I hope I can find someone willing to pamper her and give her a good life. Hobbling along chasing her flock doesn't seem fair. She is getting dirty now that she's out and about. This is probably partially my fault, as I regularly flood the space outside the barn door. Some of the shy birds don't like to leave the barn to go to the pool or one of the several water spots around the yard. I've found they seem happier if I hose down that space so they don't have to leave the barn much (and it provides more water than setting a bucket there). I think poor Peg-leg Sue fell in today. She's got mud all down her front. I made sure to keep the lower bowls full in case she wants to attempt a bath, but she doesn't seem interested. I have no idea if she'd float if she got into the water, but the last time I tried to give her a bath she absorbed all the water. If she's still dirty tomorrow or the next day if I have time I'll have to give her a bath. I've never bathed a duck, but the Dawn dish soap commercials make it look easy. I guess just hold them in a shallow tub of water and soap them up. Except I don't want to strip the oils from her feathers, so I have to just wash her in water? I hope she learns to bathe herself in the next day or two... I can only imagine what Tony will say if he comes home to me giving a duck a bath in the kitchen sink. Come to think of it, I have no blow dryer to dry her off, which means putting her, sopping wet, back outside to fall in mud again. Not sure what I'll so with Peg-leg Sue, but I'll be keeping an eye on her.
Amanda's blog about everything, important and trivial.