Perfect Weather for Ducks
Yesterday morning as I was feeding the Boys, I heard a strange bird squawk outside. It was loud enough to send the Boys scurrying from the barn, despite the fact that their feed tubs will full, to see what was going on. I too hurried out to see two fair sized birds fly by and realized they were ducks. Fine, we have water nearby, so nothing too strange there, except that they were flying only about 10-15 feet off the ground.
The, a minute or so later, the noise started up again. I stepped out to see the pair of ducks walking out in the riding arena. The sqawk was now more of a kind of hoarse, "Quack" I suppose. Tucker and Toby were very interested and headed out to confront the birds. The ducks seemed not at all afraid and just kept waddling along. These were white and gray looking ducks, with a brown band around the larger one's neck. Most of our wild duck population are brown mallards, so this pair was a bit unusual, but I was convinced at the time they were some wild breed.
But once I got into the house and began researching on the Internet, I could not find a matching wild duck anywhere. However, there were a number of illustrations of possible domestic/wild crosses that might match. Trouble is, I thought they were a pair--male/female--which would mean two nearly identical crosses had mated. It's also possible that they were domestic ducks escaped from somewhere into the wild. I think I heard the same sound another morning, so chances are fair that I will see these two again. Wish once more I'd had my camera in hand, but it was in the house.
Still, it is a bit unusual to have ducks actually land and visit my little farm. Wild turkeys, yes, and even Canada geese, but this is the first duck visit. Guess they were anticipating the rain. *G*
The snow is melting slowing in the rain, but it's not really very warm today--in the mid 30'sF. Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to rise, so I have some hope we'll get rid of more of the white stuff. But, as I've said before, that means mud.
Mud means I have to manage Tucker's turnout again, which is a bit of an annoyance. I prefer having my whole little herd together, but I must admit he seems to be pretty good about being separate from his buddies. Then again, I can't say the arena fence fares quite as well. (Note the picture at the top of my blog. *vbwg*)
Claire noted that our blogs lately seem more like weather reports than horse blogs. But that just proves how closely both are related. Unless you have excellent and easy access to indoor facilities, you are at the mercy of the weather.
The perfect situation would be: the barn, attached by a walkway to an indoor. But the indoor, for me, would need the potential to have the sides open in the nice weather. That way, in the summer, you could take advantage of the shade inside without being totally confined. I'd still have an outdoor arena as, given the option, I always prefer riding outside. But an indoor is a wonderful option for bad weather.
Dream on. I do not have enough land here to build an indoor, and I definitely do not have the money. There is a woman I know who has a gorgeous barn and a gorgeous indoor big enough for carriage driving--horses not ponies. Between the barn an indoor is a large garage area with a horse walkway where they store the carriages. It's a place to dream about.
But, if I had a place like that, I could not care for it myself. It's the kind of farm that needs workers to keep it well maintained. In some ways, that takes some of the pleasure out of owning horses for me. Small works for me.
Yet I can still dream.
After all, there's not much else to do when the weather's like this.
Weather addendum: From Accuweather.com. Paralyzing blizzard nor'easter coming up the coast for Thursday and Friday. You've got to be kidding!!!! Not. It does not look good for New Jersey. Hope this rain washes away what we have on the ground already. This is depressing.