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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer and wind and dry

Summer is basically upon us, though the weather gets warm, then hot, then windy, then cooler.  It's a roller coaster.

This year we have six ducks for insect control.  It was much warmer this spring and the ducklings could go outside at four weeks.  We kept them in the garage until they were old enough to go outside.  The pen we made was easier to clean and deal with than last year's was.  The pen consisted of two pallets covered in plastic, then a fiberglass and wood framework for the sides.  The sides moved from one pallet to the other to allow for easy cleaning and transfer of the ducks.  Instead of the usual rodeo trying to snag ducklings that do not want to be snagged, we just lifted the sides and slowing moved the whole thing to the clean side.  It was super easy.  We also put chicken wire over the duck pen due to the dog problem last year that claimed 50% of our ducks.  So far, the dogs have remained at their homes and the ducks are out eating bugs and swimming in their little pools in our windbreak.
Inside pen
Outside pen

Ducks in the pond they are now banned from!

I am putting in pictures of five goldfinches at my pond (which is now fenced because six duck swimming in it requires daily cleaning and I don't have 35 gallons of water to use daily to keep the pond clean), deer flaked out in my yard, a swift fox we caught in a live trap (and released) and photos of the dust storms.  It's shades of the dust bowl returning and now there are fires burning in the mountains.  We are definitely back in a drought.


Deer relaxing under my bedroom window!

Dust storm

Wind and dust

The garden is doing well.  I put Miracle Grow garden soil in my rows and my greenhouse, which seems to help.  Watering is a challenge--winds of 35 mph just suck all the moisture out of the ground.  This year I am using a hoe and scissors (you may laugh, it's okay!  I just cannot pull weeds due to hand damage and scissors work well!) with no powered cultivator other than a Black and Decker 18 volt cultivator.  This works somewhat, but the tines are like egg beaters and really don't kill weeds very well.  It does fluff soil so the water sinks in better, which is good.

That's it for now--the wind has come back up to 25 mph and I have to move the water in the garden.  The wind has been brutal and continues to be so.

Swift fox in a trap

Nighthawk on my driveway fence