Thursday, May 31, 2012


There seems to be a demand for duckling photos, so here are some more from yesterday!

Little Twitchy taking an afternoon nap. I think she's a girl, but that's based on gut instinct, not scientific evidence. Time will tell!

Mama Ronna giving her babies an impromptu shower.

Mama gets out, a little one gets in!

An afternoon swim in the sun with friends. What more could you ask for?

Instinct is amazing. They just know how to stay afloat.

Mama Ronna got good and soaked yesterday and seemed very pleased about it all!


"Now children, this is fresh grass and it's very yummy! Eat up!"

"Hey! What are you doing up there?!"

Mama Ronna shows the little one who to have a proper bath.

I really enjoy watching these guys interact. Mama Ronna has a very strong, protective mothering instinct and I love watching her teach the babies and herd them around, then tuck them up under her wings and belly when they're all tuckered out and need a nap.

Had enough ducklings yet? :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Twitchy and friends

How are your insulin levels?

Here's little Twitchy the seizure duckling. She (he?) seems to be doing fine since her episode on the weekend!

I wonder what these two were talking about?

Ducklings LOVE shiny things, like wedding bands!

So I've been feeling sorry for poor Ronna duck, who hasn't been able to have a proper bath in ages. I've read all sorts of opinions on how soon ducklings should swim: if they swim before two weeks, they'll catch a chill and die. If the swim after two weeks, they'll catch a cold and die. If they see water, they'll have a seizure and die. You get the picture.

Last year we were all paranoid about the babies and water. They had their first swim in a paint tray, which gave them a built-in ramp to get out of the bath. (Yes, ducklings can drown.) 

Today I decided Mama Ronna needed a bath, and that I'd just sit there and watch her to make sure no ducklings succumbed. They were all very interested in what Mama was doing, except, yes, Twitchy, who's behind Mama at the left.

"Wow, Mama! That looks like a ton of fun!"

Mama Ronna was thrilled to be in the water and had a great time splashing and dunking. The babies were fascinated, as was one of the other girl-ducks who can be seen, below, peeking in at the action. 

I think you can see what's going to happen next:

Baby in the pool! Baby in the pool!
Oh wait. It floats.

And snorkels!

Naturally some of the others had to give it a try too. Note the gleeful splashing:

A good time was had by all, and I made sure nobody was drenched and cold at the end. It was a beautiful day today, so they dried out quickly, then had a nap under Mama.

Here's firstborn! I need to name the other four ducklings. They really do have to be some of the cutest little things on the planet. So endearing!

And there's more photos coming. Stay tuned for further darling delightful duck dailies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cuteness on video

Today has been frustrating, with thunderstorms and a power failure that has already last several hours and is supposed to go on until the wee hours of tomorrow. Being on a well, we don't have water when we don't have power, so it's frustrating. We really need a back-up generator.

I am still trying to get my new computer set up, and pictures uploaded. For now, here is a little duckling video to keep you going!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cuteness fix

By popular request, I offer you DUCKLINGS.

I am in the middle of transferring files from my old iMac to my new iMac. A few minutes ago, the computer was claiming this process would take 94 hours over the ethernet cable. Now, yes, my old harddrive is completely full, but still.

Okay, wait, I just checked. Now we're down to eight hours.

Anyway, back to ducklings. Yesterday I went out and found one baby sitting by herself under the upturned milkcrate I keep in their little run (so I can sit on it to watch them!) Mama and the siblings were inside the duckhouse. When I went to retrieve the loner, I realized she was having seizures! Her head kept twitching to one side, and when I put her on the ground she could only propel herself backwards in circles. She was clearly upset and peeping in an anxious way. I took her in the house while Gordon Googled "duckling seizures."

Well, apparently waterfowl just love having seizures for all sorts of reasons. Our duckling didn't have any visible injuries, so I wondered if she was dehydrated and/or overheated from being outside alone. It was quite hot yesterday, although baby was in a shady spot two feet from a waterer! 

So we tried giving her sugar water as per internet suggestions and voilà, the duckling quickly returned to her normal. I took her back to Mama and she had along nap. Later that day she was getting around fine, and today she seems back to normal. Meanwhile, Gordon and I were both about to have heart attacks thinking the duckling was going to die.

We've named her Twitchy, sort of in honour of our recently-departed duck Squishy (so named after Gordon stepped on him as a duckling.)

I'm hoping Twitchy is done with the seizures, because this stuff just kills me!

More ducklings soon.

Dusted with gold

Here's the honeybee I mentioned in my last post. Bees have pollen "baskets" on their rear legs. These ones were stuffed to bursting...

She was taking nectar from the dandelion too.

Look how the yellow pollen is sticking to her hairy little body!

And here's another honeybee dusted with gold: 

Off she goes to find another flower!

Bumblebees love dandelions too.

As does this stripey little fly guy!

More duckling photos and videos coming soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's not all bees..

Okay, first off it has been a busy few days and I am behind on blogging. But I did find this bone in the woods...

Yes, I collect the bones I find in our woodlot. I find them fascinating! This looked like a legbone. I wonder what animal it belonged to?

Yesterday was the Ontario SPCA Friends for Life Walkathon. Although we didn't take our dogs, we had a great time and I will post some more pics later. Here's a nice pic of us that our friend and OSPCA volunteer Christina took:

Gordon raised $1,000 and I raised $1,010 and we were really pleased! Our shelter is very deserving of donations. They work hard down there on a shoestring budget in an economically-depressed area.  They do so much for needy animals in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

Back on the farm... a Red Admiral butterfly!

I went for a walk the other day and took pictures of pollinators on dandelions. I took so many that I'm going to break this up into two posts.

With bonus spider!

Look at this little green guy!

Isn't he gorgeous?

And how about this little guy?

Funny how dandelions have come to be so reviled. People want to pull them up, douse them in chemical poisons, and rid their lawns of them. And yet...

...they are really just a pretty yellow flower, and so important to pollinators, particularly in early spring when dandelions are one of the few things blooming. My honeybees feed heavily on dandelions at the start of the season.

Another Red Amiral, somewhat tattered and torn.

And look at this gorgeous bee with her pollen baskets full to almost bursting!  She has a little ant friend following her.

I have more shots of this girl coming in my next post. I had never before since a bee so laden with pollen. She could barely fly, she was so heavy with it!

 Please think twice before spraying your lawn dandelions. They are so important to so many little creatures!

Hope you all had a happy weekend. If you want to see any of the photos at a larger size, just click on them!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

BEEEEEEEEES! And two cuties to help the bee-phobic soothe their palpitations.

Last week I had a peek in my two hives, which were one hive until I made a split about two weeks ago. The original hive is doing great with a beautiful, full brood pattern (i.e. lots of eggs, larvae and capped brood.) The orangey-brown stuff on the cells below is the caps over developing larvae. Baby bees develop and chew their way out of the cell when they're ready.

What made me laugh was that I didn't notice the queen bee on this frame until I got inside and saw my photos! Can you see her? (Hint: she is longer than the other bees with a darker spot on her thorax.)

Maybe this will help. She's the big girl in the photo above!

Can you see her? Hint #2: She's hanging out near the frame edge in both photos.

If you give up, scroll down ....

I've circled her for you!

Alas, she doesn't wear a crown. But she does have royal attendants who follow her around, grooming and feeding her. Those the worker bees circling around her, above.

And now, to resuscitate Owl Wood, who is not a fan of bees (but I keep trying to convert him!), we have some kitty cuteness...

Butter wouldn't melt!

Julius' new favourite haunt. Makes it hard to print things!

And I am off to videotape some ducklings. Stay tuned! Unfortunately the last three eggs turned out to be duds, but we do have five adorable ducklings now.