Here we are heading into the half-way point of our the last full fall month of 2018. R.E.D. has been fully winterized and sits within view from our back door. There have already been a couple of frisky rain/wind storms pass through and her ingloo structure has held fast.
We are now focusing on chores around the yard, clearing out the garden and putting things away for the months to come. If this year’s Farmers Almanac is correct it should be another mild winter for us on the east coast but Mother Nature could have a few surprises for us up her unpredictable sleeves.
Francois has been busy clearing out ‘the wild’ that grows up during the summer and Duck Pond now looks much cleaner and fully replenished after the rains. We are seeing our little bird friends return so he has stepped-up feeding too, taking care of his ever-growing family.
Each season seems to bring more varieties. To date we’ve identified over a dozen species, two different types of ducks, three sorts of woodpeckers.
The crows are now a morning fixture, usually three on the ground and one keeping watch in the nearby tree.
Furry friends like chipmunks are less common now, but the red squirrels have become much bolder house guests.
Duck Pond saw three different families of ducks come and go this summer. Our favourite, Maude and Harold produced seven duckings and we watched them grow and depart. For some reason, word has spread and we can’t be in the yard without a grand parade.
The other day I sat on the deck step and these ‘quackers’ came waddling up within a foot of where I sat. They seem to recognize our voices now and when we return home in the car they wander up the hill to greet us.
The new couple on the block is this Mallard pair. We’re calling them Méli and Mélo….our ‘miscellany’ couple.
To make winter feeding easier Francois made these toppers for my two plant boxes making the feeding frenzy each morning so entertaining.
Even though we aren’t really supposed to feed the ducks it’s impossible to keep them away. Our winters are usually mild and as we noticed last year they stayed all season so maybe including them isn’t such a bad thing.
They now have their own feeding trough down by Duck Pond…because my dear ‘birdman’ loves the company when he’s out clearing the yard.
But when the trough is empty they have no problem finding more options.
Discipling a duck isn’t an easy task we’ve found.
What have we done? Fortunately they are learning to share and within a short period of adjustment our backyard menagery was back in balance.
Post Script: since I started writing this post we’ve had to remove the toppers for the planters after the smaller birds have finished dining because our duck friends have become too bold…and abundant…at times almost two dozen. They will have to make do with plant life from the pond and garden slugs and from time to time a sprinkling of cracked corn.
Thanks for stopping by. There will be more news to come from our home by the sea as we head farther into fall and the blustery winter months to come.
For those reading our story in a language other than English, please forgive the auto-translate.