sun out and breeze up now. finally decided where to plant a tree and move a fern
old growth redwood post and rails cross over swamp drainage swale and to higher grade in the dessicated south.finally built gate this year. mostly birch leaves, and poplar are starting too. i sit in the deep shaded blue just past noon looking up at the birch seeds and leaves coming down in the sun. duck boys still mostly napping. ducklings are getting their feathers and walking about the better fenced south with momma chicken. soon they’ll be sensible enough for the unprotected north. and then the rains will come and perhaps they will decide to stay
some pokers at the edge of the swamp zone. poplar stump where i sometimes place foxy. foxy started moulting first and seemed extra miserable, now tunie’s got it and foxy seems to have a bit more confidence. over all, the sad eyed look foxy got after his youth has begun to acquire a tint of wisdom. almost a gleam of a sort again, but his motions are very measured. we’ll see what comes with the rains
must be some sort of cultivated escalonia. much smaller and even shinier leaves than the common escalonia hereabouts. last to bloom in summer.
pennyroyal is not quite dead! gopher activity all around and smack in the middle of patch
shade from western poplars reaching clear across easternmost pond. that’s the intake pipe to the next pond in foreground. at very extreme right is a california redbud replanted at edge of swamp from a position at the same grade, but nearer other pond. because of its location in the swamp it doesn’t come out of dormancy until ~3 weeks after its twin species redbud 1 to 2 feet further up grade.
first camera shot in previous post taken from under compost compound roof in upper right
first shot is taken from near the new gate between towering fuchsia and compost compound (an arms raised, camera angled down and hope for the best shot). formerly an impenetrable swamp thicket, enjoyable only during the wet season, the swamp is becoming much better proportioned. my usual swamp photos are taken this way from across the swamp: the last bit of yard (neighbours) in the upper left corner would frame me. i would be seen crouching recently at the thin swoop of cement boundary to the left of the poplar stump crowned by a twinberry.
but the main sight line here is the circular end of pipe connecting wet season ponds. one can not really get good view of the pond in the foreground. if one looks carefully, one can see some planters up front then then the tub for the ducks. the ground on which these rest will be under at least 2.5 feet of water during the wetseason. further back perhaps three feet. then a quick taper to just under the intake pipe leading to the second pond.
both excavations have turned up mostly car parts, some interesting tools, a basketball hoop, asbestos, rusty nails, wiring and plumbing parts (only one useful)! in the second shot one can see a latch operated fully intact car window and some flooring i have yet to pull free just where the pipe feeds the next pond.
i am debating just how to manage the outflow from the second pond somewhere very near the poker rhizome just in foreground to the cement swoop. swamp drains naturally just to the left of cement swoop where i have built a bridge of first generation redwood (old fence post and rails i found at the feed store). the bamboo even further left of the poker i will move to just below left foreground (the top of brushpileat bottom left will be for bamboo and even further forward a wisteria.
at the extreme left in second pic is the young curly willow. she had a great year this year! i will train her out over the pond.
a quick picture of mallard ducks. i removed momma chicken (an australorpe) so i could see status of food and water (on opposite wall. tight quarters!) momma chicken and ducklings were very upset with me for removing her. i am taking that to be a good sign. net generally suggests this arrangement might work.
unable to find box for the group, so i dragged in the old rickety brooder section that was poorly built into the east wall of the coop (hence letting in rats). brooder just fit under roost and some scrap plywood made a good roof. digs are now about 2.5 x 3.5 feet with lots more straw for momma hen and duck eggs, plus bigger feed and water bowls on a more stable surface.
net says chicken temps may not be as compatible for ducks. momma chicken does seem to be keeping her wings up over the ducklings, not smothering them. and the ducklings are obviously drawn to her if only for warmth …. for now.
never did get to feed store or town. figure crushed chicken feed is fine and chicken warmth better than a grow lamp.
experiment has been interesting in lots of ways already. next time we order chicks i’m very inclined to get a rooster.
the duck eggs are the white ones. momma didn’t lay the brown one. other birds jumped in there to lay. don’t know if i’m projecting, but every body is a bit more excited than usual. glad ducklings are in a more spacious setting and hope all goes well.
i’ll get around to telling the mallards story in a couple months hopefully
This is the state, the balanced account, of our relations with the
world, at the beginning of a time when the old social contract
ought to be joined by a natural contract. In a situation of objective violence, there is no way out but to sign it.
At the very least, war; ideally, peace."
— the last sentences before another extended selection from Michel Serres The Natural Contract posted below
took a month for this red potato to sprout. still have not got it in the garden. it is not an experiment. i am an experiment
even after fencing in this area around the compost bins spot managed to hop and fly over a section of fence and dig up a freshly planted flowerbed. i finally clipped her wing. been split emotionally for weeks and busy too. finally sat down on monday. she jumped up on my lap. just like old times
for five years this section of rebar was threaded through some chicken wire and swung shut and planted where the white back stop now is set. a piece of scrap plywood i found cut into a sort of right angle (not pictured here) was used as a latch of sorts in combination with the end of the shelf above the duck.
even the end of the rebar grasped by the hands those five years shows characteristic wear, but what struck me was the wear of the section below, the end that went into the ground past a few stones at the base of the sidewalk and the catch post as it were.
i always expected to use this wood for something else, some thing more elegant. i probably will use this every day until i no longer pass thru this world.
i told a dear friend once, five years can seem like an eternity
o, that cord coming from the swing post midway to the lower diagonal is an old bungie cord i found. pulls the gate shut nicely