Thursday, November 22, 2018

Muscovy Update & Pond Issues Again

The original brood, Broke Wing's siblings, have all disappeared. I see Muscovy in the area that resemble Mama and believe some are living in the area but no longer in our neighborhood. The second brood, which I call Broke Wing's half siblings (because it's likely they had different daddies) are mostly gone with a handful returning at night to roost by the pond. There is one mysterious Muscovy female around but more on that in a bit.

Mama Muscovy is also gone but that's a sad story. A female was drowned in the pond during breeding with a male. Their intercourse is rather violent. Some folks thought it was a sister of Broke Wing but I trust the neighbor who said it was their Mama. That would also make more sense based on all I have observed the last 9 months and Broke Wing's siblings aren't reproductive age yet.

Back to the mysterious female. She could be a half sibling but I believe she is a different family. You'll think I am crazy when I say she looks different but she does. All the other look a lot like Mama and this one does not. She also seems to be younger than Broke Wing's brood and older than his half siblings. While all the other ducks fly off and leave him behind she is devoted to him. She stay even though she can fly.

The pond is again disappearing due to the time of year. The neighbor who invited them into his pool earlier in the year says he will take Broke Wing but catching him is a concern. I worry that he will be separated from his woman, which may sound silly, but when the other ducks would fly off and leave him for the day, he kinda goes into a trance-like state. When he's alone he barely trusts me and I am a food source to him. He seems to need his kind around him.

The neighbor had a difficult time catching one of the other Muscovy that needed help. I call her Mossy Mouth because she had something like web/net lodged in her throat that collected the Spanish moss that falls off the oak trees. They did finally catch her and it took a while but they removed the obstruction saying it was the netting that encase a bag of onions. I notice she often lands on their fence so she's in the area too.

I'll end with the cutest update. Since Broke Wing can't fly, the others will often walk with him from one pond to the other (there are 2 in our neighborhood). While Broke Wing is staying put at "my" pond, earlier in the season they would spend the day at the other pond and return to my pond at night. It was so heartwarming to see some or all of them walk with hi even though they could fly.

In this video he is trying so hard to fly!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Tea Party

So friends and family gathered in Gulfport to celebrate the 13th birthday of my first cousin twice removed. We had tea and finger foods at this cute tea house. They had outside seating area under the large oaks which would have been beautiful except for the intermittent Florida rain. We sat indoors at one of the four areas for groups. That's my mom on the far left and i'm second from the right (navy hat & floral dress).

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Neighborhood Muscovy

Broke Wing

So, back in March a mama Muscovy showed up with 14 ducklings in the pond across the street. These ponds are retention ponds so they are not dependable in terms of water level. The worst case scenario happened and it dried up. Many of us in the neighborhood were concerned and began supplementing their diet. One neighborhood even walked them down the street and allowed them in his pool.

Eventually the rainy season came and they returned to the pond sometime in May. They had grown quite a lot but were still pretty dependent on their mom for guidance. We don't know what happened but she left. The ducklings were not sure what to do! They would walk up to people seemingly hungry so we, including me, fed them. We worried about them each time the pond dried up but luckily if will rain again. They were probably a month behind in flying at this time.

The neighbor who allowed them in his pool informed me that mama had been back in his yard for a bit and had come with a male. She also stopped by the pond daily for a few minutes but did not interact with her brood. Not sure they even recognized her any more.

Now she's back but with 8 - 12 teeny babies. The pond has water but the sun has created a bloom on it which looks like slime. The older ducks are not swimming in but the openings seem to be plenty big for the new babies to swim. Sometimes there are large openings in the slime and Thursday a couple of the ducks did fly (yes, most have been flying about a month but they stay in the neighborhood and live at the pond still) into the pond and it looked like they were giving the new chicks a hard time. Mama moved the ducklings to the pond at the front of our neighborhood. Sadly, that one goes dry even quicker but it's shaded so it doesn't have the slimy growth on top.

All this to say I am concerned. They depended on human intervention and they appear to be making out neighborhood ponds a permanent home..The ponds are not dependable, 14 residents seems a bit crowded, and now there are 12 more that may choose to stay here as well. The saddest part of this story is that is one with a broken wing. It's been that way since they were pretty young. He has the most personality and is the friendliest. I call him "Broke Wing" but the neighbor who let him in the pool calls him "Handsome".

Lessons learned by all of us is not to feed wild animals but it is hard to ignore animals in distress and allow nature to take it's course. Muscovy are considered a nuisance and are not Native so there's no help from state/county/city. They are not protected and it's not illegal to kill them. In fact, some folks raise them for food. In a restaurant they are called "Barbary Duck".

I really thought they were all going ot fly off and we would be left with Broke Wing; however, that did not happen. They have stayed in their pack of 14 and really don't seem to know what to do. From what I have read, their parents weren't there at the time they needed them to teach them to forage and fly off. Although they don't migrate, they should have dispersed a bit.

 I believe this was late March

I believe late May
Last Week

The "new" brood

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Snapper In the Hood

We ran an errand early this morning and saw this guy leaving the pond and making his way somewhere else. The Muscovy ducks, more about them in another future post, watched him carefully.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Back To The Blog's Gardening Roots

I started this blog with the intent of it being a backyard gardening blog. That is evidenced by a number of other gardening blogs I had linked to 'share". But, because family member far away were reading it and hadn't yet found FaceBook, it turned out to be a life activities blog. I would like to change that now and get back to my gardening roots with sprinkles of foster dogs and life events. So, here's my backyard walk though this morning.

My giant dendrobium? (tags been gone for years) has a  - 6 bloom spike although it's bent from touching ceiling of screen porch 

This one is called the upside down orchid

Bromeliads galore at my house. This one was part of a living bouquet received when Jerry's mother passed in 2014.

Phalaenopsis from the live bouquet when Marge passed.

Peace lily - a potted plant from my step mother's funeral (2006)

I've never figured out what this plant is. tiny blooms directly on the leaves.

This is my deciduous dendrobium that everyone thinks is dead. Even I have thought it was dead a few times but, as you can see, here it comes for 2018!

We haven't done any maintenance on the planters yet and they were looking pretty sad until the rains. Now if it would only stop raining long enough to fresh them up for the season.

I thought the elephant ear were dead this winter but with the rains they have returned!

We used to have grass on this small strip of yard. Then we planted a tree, cut down the tree, planted it (no sprinklers here due to walkway installation), unplanted it and now it remains I dunno what. Usually the ladder is not there. Jerry was using it to trim the palm. So, I went thrifting and painted picture frames to give the area some color at least until we decide what to do with it.

Broom border

Bleeding heart vine on the fence. The gate really - not a great spot.

The weird from cousin Erica. Shocking how heavy that thing is. I think it is made of concrete.

This area of pots held much more delicate plants. Can't wait to get into refreshing them. 

Hopefully someday I will have the whole patio bordered in liriope and oyster plant. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Post Hurricane Irma Photos From last Fall

Boy, were we lucky. This is what we came home to - not much damage or debris. So Lucky.

House all boarded up as we left

Poor shrub but the sandbags are still in place

Neighbors started cleaning up right away

Fence down between our house and neighbors

Saturday, March 17, 2018

New Foster Keeps Us Busy!

Meet Bolton Blue! He's our new foster and available through Ratbone Rescues. He's keeping us VERY busy because he's young and very energetic. Wow, we're old.

This photo is a rare one of the three of them sitting together. It's a miracle really.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Tree Is Up

and it went a little something like this........

Rolls of deco mesh (a.k.a. geo mesh). I usually use them straight off the spool without cutting them but out tree is hard to attach them to so I used strips ranging from 3 ft to 6 ft.

The tree with the mesh only

Next was the wired ribbon which looks a bit like web (a.k.a. fish net)

Close up of the tree with the mesh and ribbon

Mesh & ribbon on the tree with white lights

Mesh and ribbon with the tree in colored lights (you can switch between white and color with the touch of a button on our tree)

Next are ball type ornaments then followed by individual ornaments

It's up! Because it's a beach theme I used a straw beach hat instead of a star and a beach towel instead of a tree skirt - I later rethink them.

Close up showing my Margaret Furlong bisque seashell angels and Swarovski snow flakes. I have a collection of each. 

Close up of some of the beachier ornaments.  

I found, on sale, a star made of driftwood so I replaced the hat. I think when the season is over I will white wash it a bit to look more like that grey faded driftwood and I will add some sparkle to it. It's a bit dark for my taste.

I also changed out the beach towel to a lighter colored one but am still going to look through my fabric stash for something that will pass as sand.

So, that's Christmas tree 2017 for home! Next post I will share the office tree that I decorated.