Sunday, August 14, 2005

another Sunday night

Whoa there, what happened to the weekend? Been busy I guess. I think I finished the Spangled Cornish drawings today. I say "I think" because the committee could tell me otherwise, but in my mind they are done. If you felt a strong breeze this evening that could have been my sigh of relief. That has been a VERY tough color to draw, it's soooo intricate. I am looking forward to something solid-colored for the next pair of drawings. :-) Anyway hopefully these will be accepted, I think they are pretty cool. I am almost a third done with the project now (that's actually rather depressing...)

The ducks are flying now, and will soon be gone. I guess I should explain that, for anyone who doesn't know the duck story. Almost every year for the least 15 years, probably more (?) we have raised wild Mallards. The eggs come from hay fields that are being cut. Once the nest has been mowed over, the hen won't come back to incubate the eggs. So we know a couple of hay guys, and they bring the eggs to me. Used to be that I would raise them in a brooder like I do with the chicks, but ducks are really rather disgusting creatures that delight in taking water out of the waterer. Not that they drink it all, they just sort of fling it around until everything is soggy and smells awful. And of course being wild ducks they are insane. So several years ago I realized if I gave the newly hatched ducklings to a broody (sitting on a nest) chicken, they ducklings will bond with the mother chicken (and vice versa, to an extent) and that works out just beautifully. Then they can be raised outdoors in the garden and I don't have to deal with them turning everything they touch into mud (they still do, but if it's not in a small enclosed space it's not nearly as offensive). So anyway, they grow up and then when they are about 2 months old they are able to fly. It starts with just short flights out into the yard, and then they go a little farther out into the pasture (cracks me up that they FLY away, and WALK back home...). Then they start circling the property, going farther away for longer periods of time. And then one day they don't come back. And so ends my time with the ducks. I love it. Everyone thinks that must be so sad to see them leave, but it's really a beautiful thing. I love to see them fly away. And that's not to say I don't enjoy having them here. They are cute and amusing, but they are wild birds and it's a really cool thing to see them return to the wild. So this years ducks will be gone within a few days. In fact I'm not sure they are here now, but they may be back in the morning. Or they might not be. :-)

In other news, I am finally going to have a round pen soon! Boy has this been a saga. I had to save up for ages to afford one, they aren't cheap! But I have found that I really need one, considering I have a two-year-old filly who I plan to start riding within the next year...and therefore I have LOTS of training to do. So I have had the panels themselves since April. They are just sitting by the barn. A friend came over with his tractor today and scraped the area of the pasture where the pen will be set up (just to make it flatter and get rid of the weeds). The sand will be delivered (and spread, yay!) on Thursday, and then I'm not sure yet when we'll get the panels up. Possibly over the weekend, though it just depends when various people are available to help. I can't wait to finally have use of a round pen!!

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