So a friend lent me a really fancypants Canon camera and I was going to take some superdooper pics of the babies and do an individual profile on each of them now that they’re teenagers with proper lil personalities… but then yesterday happened.
A MFKN WEDGE TAILED EAGLE GRABBED ONE OF MY BABIES!!! Yes!! AN EAGLE!
(not the actual eagle… photo from broomebirdobservatory.com)
This thing was HUGE! It had a wingspan of at least 6 or 7 foot! Here I was thinking that foxes were going to be the problem with the babies but nuuuuuu goannas and eagles. Who woulda thunk it…
The babies have worked out what those feathery things attached to their bodies are and spend a lot of time jogging and flapping around the yard which is just insanely cute. Some of them can get off the ground and fly a little ways (not the boys cuz they’re too big and goofy). So when I was getting dressed yesterday morning and heard them flapping around outside I didn’t really think much of it until I heard one of them quack. Now my ducks, being Muscovies, don’t quack at all so I had a look outside to see what was going on. I saw three of them flap flying down to the coop and bonk into the fence that separates the yard from the coop! I just thought to myself “silly duckies watch out for the fence ya doofuses!” thinking it was flight lesson time. I watched them a little longer to make sure they were OK and saw them continue down towards the coop so I continued getting dressed and out the door for work.
Just before I hopped in my truck I noticed that they were nowhere to be seen so must have been in their coop house (which is inside the fenced part of the coop) which struck me as a little odd as their usual morning routine after being fed breakie is to forage in the grass inside the yard. Just before I drove through the gate I caught a glimpse of a bunch of feathers out the corner of my eye so I stopped and got out to investigate only to see this GIANT eagle with massive wings take off over the fence, wind whoooshing as it flapped away.
My brain stopped working because I wasn’t sure what I’d just seen. A mfkn EAGLE!!! Almost pinched myself to check… I went over to where it had been on the ground and just found a lot of plucked feathers and realised it must have nabbed one of the babies so I went down to the coop and found them all scared shitless hiding out in the coop house. I cracked the door open just a little and counted them… 6 not 7 😦 I had a quick look at them all and worked out that it was lil Mabel. She was one of my favourites as she was the “guy’s gal”. The other two girls (apart from Mama) are dainty princess scaredy cats where as Mabel was a little bigger and always used to chum around with her three brothers and was a bit bolder than the rest. She was the first to really get off the ground and fly too.
I let them all be and continued on to work with my mind completely blown that a) I had just seen a giant wedge tailed eagle and 2) that it had taken one of my ducks. All day I was just in amazement at what I’d seen. Until I got home and the babies were still traumatised. Usually when I go down to give them dinner and lock them up they’ll meet me half way or up in the house yard but this time they didn’t really set foot out of the coop and seemed happy to be locked up. I gave them some peas (their fave) as a lil soothing treat. I went back to the pile of feathers and actually found the half eaten carcass so I’m not sure if she was there and I overlooked her or whether the eagle came back with her and ate her there.
This morning they were fairly happy in the coop when I let them out and fed them breakie but when I left for work a little while later they were all back in the coop house again so they’re not happy lil ducks. I’m heading home in a bit so I hope they’ve been out of the coop (and the coop house) so I’ll have to wait and see how they cope with this. Poor lil bubbys.
I really hope that this eagle doesn’t come back and pick them off one by one as the goanna did with the last batch. It nabbed her in my yard close to my house so it’s bold. I had a chat to a friend who lives rurally and she mentioned that “wedgies” are known to take little lambs, small dogs and chickens too! I’m thankful I got to know lil Mabel and happy that I gave her a good life while she was with me. I’ll still take pics of the feathered family and give you a proper introduction to them… just minus one 😦
Dun dun duuuuunnnnnn!!
I found these things on my pillow this morning, I think they may have come out of my ears!! I’m feeling a bit dizzy and scared out of my mind!
I joke I joke!
They really came out of my nose…
OK fine, I found my first mealworm pupa. But you gotta admit they do look alien freaky. Even managed to get one half way through shedding it’s last skin. They twitch and move around too which adds to the freakyness. Now I’ve just gotta wait til they hatch into beetles which are awesomely called darkling beetles. Then they can make lil darkling babies and we start the life cycle again. Ooh creepy alien goodness 🙂
Update 23 May 2015 – so umm I realised last night that the previous post about me buying 500 mealworms to start breeding them as tasty treats for the duckies back in May is still in DRAFT and not posted and as such unless you have x-ray vision or something you can’t actually read that so the above post might make no sense at all… far out blondie… Here’s a pic of them settling into their new digs, complete with executive cardboard residence (only the best for my wrigglers).
Hmmm so it seems another month has gone by…. how is that actually possible?? Damn you WP for not posting all those kickass mental posts that I’ve thought up in this past month. Geeeez.
I’ve had the last two weeks off work to sort out some shit and during this time I’ve come to a very regretable/sad/kickingmyselfinthebutt/dumb realisation. This place is not “The One”. I’ve almost been here a year and it’s taken me all of that time to work it out. Dumbass.
The fact that I still haven’t fully unpacked and have only just recently unpacked my ‘study’ should have been a clue. The fact that I was so fkn impatient and just wanted to get out of my Mum’s house should have been a clue. The fact that the tidy sum of money that I had saved from the sale of my last place and which I’d intended on using for the renos etc to make this place what I wanted it to be but was wiped out because I had to use it as part of a 20% deposit due to the size of the land should have been a clue. The fact that there is no area for grazing animals should have been a clue. The fact that I should NOT have trusted the agent when he said that the council had been out inspecting weeds and found nothing should have been a clue. I should have tested the soil depth and quality so that I didn’t discover that I’m basically sitting on shale rock with 5 cm of soil on top so I can’t really plant or grow anything unless it’s in a raised bed. The house is functional but needs updating and now that we’re back to winter again it’s really cold and I wryly find myself thinking… wouldn’t be cold if it was a fkn strawbale house dumbass.
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE this place, the seclusion and serenity, it’s just not the right land for what I now know what I want to do. And I’m never going to be able to save up enough money to do the house improvements that I want to do or install solar, or improve the soil or plant an orchard etc etc etc ad infinitum ad nauseum. When I had to give up my little pot of money for the deposit I thought “oh it’ll be fiiiine, I’m not in a rush, it’ll work out when I need to find money to do things”. That day won’t come. There’ll always be something cropping up (like the weedspraying which I still haven’t done and have to get cracking on this winter). So many things I need like a ride on lawnmower/slasher to keep this place under control but that’s not gonna happen either. I should have fkn clued on and said impatience begone! and walked away from it. I do remember having second thoughts about it but just brushed them aside because of the strong strong feeling of just wanting to get on with it and have my own space again. Maybe this is also a lesson in second thoughts and gut feelings for me.
And despite finding this place and loving it, I have to acknowledge that I still have in my heart that need to build my strawbale house that I’d planned before. I should have stuck to my dream and just given myself an uppercut and waited til the right bit of land came along. Instead I compromised. Bzzzt, wrong, thanks for playing.
So I’m going to sell. But of course, in this Part 2 of LESSON IN PATIENCE I can’t do anything for another year because part of my mortgage is fixed (also a mistake) and reading the fine print says that it’s going to be super expensive to break that fixed portion early. AND I’ve still got to find the right land AGAIN. Last time it took me one and a half fucking YEARS to find this place… I just need to have faith and hope that because this time I am doing what I set out to do in the first place that it won’t take as long. I have already started to have a look around and found a nice parcel of land that meets those previous criteria (except there’s no real water on the land except a couple of dams but with all I’ve been reading on permaculture and dam building that shouldn’t really be an issue, just on the wishlist) but I can’t do anything yet.
I don’t want to torture myself too much with looking because financially I can’t do anything til that fixed portion can be changed back to variable but it’s so hard not to. I just feel so dumb about all of this. To be back at the start again. I’m trying to just concentrate on the fact that it’s just a giant lesson in patience and sticking to your dreams and not compromising on what you want.
Soooo I think I shot myself in the foot from the start with this Friday photo thing a) because with winter daylight savings going on, by the time I get home from work it’s just light enough to feed the babies and tuck them into bed and 2) there’s only so many misty morning sunrise (or my ducky babies) pics I can show you before you want to poke your eyes out with a toothpick and eat them. Which only leaves me the weekends to take pics at the moment.
SO for the wintertime I’m going to make it a monthly thing and endeavour to take pics on the weekends for you. Hope you don’t mind too much, a thousand pardons if you do!
I did manage to capture this amazing sunrise this morning. I actually saw it through the crack of the bedroom curtains when I woke up and thought there was a bushfire!
Hopefully that’ll tide you over til next month 🙂 Have a great week!
I just realised that it’s the blog’s second birthday! Bit weird to think it’s been so long as it doesn’t feel like it at all. And kinda appropriately I’m uploading a pic of two duck eggs that I meant to do as a PS last Friday:
I found these two in one of the wood sheds when I was carting wood in the house. They must be really old eggs as Mummy hasn’t laid any since the ducklings have hatched so they must be ones from the old flock. Just thought they were so gorgeous sitting there (haven’t removed them yet heehee). Silly ducks, told you they didn’t like laying them in the coop! Mummy has probably stopped laying for the winter as they weren’t laying when I moved in last winter. Probably a good thing as it was -1 last night – first minus temp of the year brrrrrrrr!
Check check it ouuuut! Fiddy cent in da house!
Huh?? Well… More like on the house – my door and window to be specific ;). This lil guy comes every night to feast on the moth and bug buffet that I so generously provide by keeping my curtains open at night when the lights are on. I call him Fiddy because he’s only about the size of a 50 cent coin so he’s only little (about 3cm or 1.18 inches for those non 50cent havin folks). And that’s me assuming it’s a he… um… no idea how to detect the difference if you get me. All pics can be clicked upon to make them bigger if you want to see him in his full glory.
(flippin a peace sign, so gangsta)
So last night he decided to drop by with his girl du jour (some hussy from the pond no doubt).
(Do you feel like you’re being watched??)
(tappin on the window – check out my biatch yo)
I had to close the curtains because it was freezing last night but next to the window is my front back door which has glass inserts and they adjourned there for some alfresco fine dining. You can kinda get a bit more of a better feel for how big they are in the pic below too.
I got up the nerve to slowly and carefully open the door to see if I could get a pic of their backs (I was having visions of them jumping off into the house or in my face! Thankfully they restrained themselves from doing that to me) and eh voila below is what they look like:
No idea what kind of frog they are apart from cute. And I had no idea that frog’s eyes glowed in a flash until now. I can add him to the Spot the Wildlife list. I’m trying to get some pics of the Black Cockatoos (aka Pterodactyls) that have taken up residence in the pine trees nearby. They have the strangest bird call I’ve ever heard (hence the Pterodactyl) and a really beautiful shape when they’re flying as they have really long tail feathers. I think they’re yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos based on the sounds I’ve googled https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_Cr8uzwMPI as the red-tailed sounds a bit more shrieky than dinosaury hehe.
Weirdly enough I’ve had ‘Scribe – Not Many’ going round in my head writing this… wrong rapper (and probably better *gasp*, Youtube it 🙂 )
Hmm so I guess you’re here to look at some more fantastic farm pics eh… Well looks like I’ve already failed at following through on this BUT I have a very good reason, it’s been bloody well raining all week! So much so that I’ve been flooded in for most of the week and only managed to get across to work today. I’m keeping an eye on the rain radar as it’s only about 10cm from the top of the crossing so I don’t want to get caught on the wrong side. There’s only so many pics of grey clouds and misty pics I can post before your eyes drop out of your skull in boredom. And of course the only awesome pic I did manage to take is on my other computer so I can’t post that either but I’ll make sure I upload it as a PS tonight.
This week I cranked up the fireplace for the first time this winter as it was freezing earlier in the week. I’m going to have a go at firing up the Rayburn cooker on the weekend too. I was too scared to last winter (no idea why, just a dork) but I’ve youtubed a bunch of videos on how to light it, maintain it and put it to bed overnight so we’ll see how it goes. What I do need to work out is a more efficient way of storing my wood indoors. Will have to percolate on that over the weekend.
One of the jobs I was going to do over the summer, and completely forgot about, is to build a better wood shed. The ones that I have are basically 3 half moons made out of a water tank which was cut in half covering the woodpiles (one of which blew over in a storm and I can’t get it back on so the wood is open to the rain!). It’s not very easy to get wood out of (or in I imagine) as it’s about waist height so you’ve gotta crawl in there. As I was typing all that I was thinking about how I could cobble one together for not a lot of money and just had an idea on how I could make one out of free pallets! Would just need a couple of tall star pickets and hey presto! I already have some corrugated iron I could use for the roofing. I wanted to make a concrete floor for it but I’m not sure if the concrete would set in winter (I know bugger all about concreting btw) so I might just have to use the existing bits of corrugated iron that lines the other ‘sheds’. I have termite issues which is why I need a better flooring for the wood shed btw.
Oh Google you wonderful thing you! Just googled pallet wood shed and this is sort of what I’m looking to make (only taller) AND it solves the flooring issue. AND it could be expandable to make it bigger/longer when needed.
Only thing I’d be worried about with raising it up like that is snakes hiding under there. Maybe I can make a little corrugated skirt for it or something. I do have blocks I can prop it up on and I do need to shuffle wood around this weekend…. sounds like a project! Have a great weekend!