Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big machines

Well! look who's coming up our laneway.

They are finally starting work on the duck pairing pond in our back pasture. This is a joint project by Ducks Unlimited and the Raisin River Conservation Authority. Basically they are building a watery love shack for ducks who want to get it on. They are also putting in nest boxes for ducks and basking platforms for turtles.

The pasture is close to the river and gets very wet in spring and even summer, so they have to dig in winter so that the machinery doesn't sink into the ground.

The high hoe took a careful route between the barn and the granary (pic taken through filthy bathroom window!)

And down through the fields! Later on a bulldozer joined him.

As you can see, they cleared an impressive path through our woodlot.

As it turned out, the ground under all the snow was still too wet for the high hoe, so the bulldozer pushed back a ton of snow. They are going to wait a week and hope the ground freezes so they can come back and dig the pond.

It looks like we're building a new subdivision back here!

I am guessing that the huge layer of snow acted as an insulator on the ground, keeping it from freezing hard? Once we get over the current warm spell, I think the ground will harden up sufficiently for the project. Let's hope so, because otherwise I don't know what they'll do.

Tristan was tired yesterday and had to stop for a few breaks on our walk, but he was very happy to be out and about. He has gained a bit of weight this winter which I am working to get off him. He was less active and we didn't adjust his food accordingly.

Here's the start of the pond, which will be up to an acre in size:

I had to keep the dogs well back from it. It's full of muddy water. We got permits to take water from the Beaudette River. I don't entirely understand how it works, but the professionals do! :)

Tristan taking another break!

Sophie enjoying all the good smells stirred up by the bulldozer.

And then we walked back through the woodlot...

The iPhone takes surprisingly good panoramic photos!

I had to break through snow to retrieve my wildlife camera, which contained all of ONE PHOTO of me, because the damn batteries died. Augh!

The dogs soldiered on!

Sophie of the aerodynamic ears.

The snow is very deep here. The dogs are not sinking through to the bottom of it by any means!

Tristan needed another rest! And he decided to snack on some snow.

They do love it, though.

Little tracks! Looking through my Animal Tracks of Ontario book, I think maybe they belong to a Woodland Jumping Mouse but if anyone knows, please tell me! There were no tail drag marks and they were very small. Front feet ahead of back feet.

And another rest for Tristan on the way back!

The workers have parked their giant machines here until they return!

I'm guessing that shovel is NOT for digging the bulldozer out if it gets stuck! :)

You can see how huge the shovel is next to Tristan.

"Can we please go inside now?"

And my new snowshoes, which got me there and back. I am very pleased with them!

Construction started on the pig pen yesterday and I think it will be finished today or tomorrow, so we are hoping to move Ophelia in this weekend.

And now, we have a heavy rainfall warning to contend with before the temperatures drop again. It will be delightful dealing with 30 mm of rain on all this snow!


  1. Wow!
    I've never seen so much ice!!!

  2. Boy, there is so much excitement happening at your place. I can't wait to see Ophelia settled in in her new digs. It will be interesting to follow along and learn of the care of a pot-belly pig. Is she old, Natalie? I guess I didn't notice if you put an age on her. I can just imagine how beautiful it will be to go back to that pond and see what life holds there. So interesting. That dear old Tristan. Love his face. Deb

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing the pond all finished!
    Jane x

  4. Anonymous6:39 pm

    Reading about all your snow and rainfall makes me want to weep! As they say here in Texas, we are "drah, drah, drah." Forget oil pipelines---how about a water pipeline? :)

  5. How exciting. It's supposed to freeze over the weekend; home it's enough.

  6. Aren't you glad you don't have to complete this project by hand with a shovel and wheelbarrow? Ducks Unlimited helped with the ponds and duck houses on their property near Gelert. They do tally counts for them.

  7. A mating pond! You really are going to be an Amorous Duck Farm! Dirty ducks everywhere!

  8. So you will have your own personal duck pond! More people need to set up wetlands instead of building subdivisions over wetlands.

  9. I was wondering if your own ducks would be interested in joining the wild ones, or if they will be allowed to?

  10. This is exciting. But I can't stop singing "High Hoe, High Hoe..."

  11. Anonymous10:52 pm

    Sounds like a very worthwhile project. Hope the weather/ freezing cooperates. I agree with Red!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!