Monday, December 31, 2012

More Cow Bell

The buzzer at the village post office does not work.

Here is the appropriate replacement:

Happy Moooo Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Egg-citing Sunday

I went to a wonderful get together last night and one of my favorite farmers gifted me with an emu egg.

I did the line up this morning:

Can you name those eggs?
Left to right
Chicken, duck, goose, EMU!!
I might put the emu egg in the hen's nest box to inspire them....
Did you know it takes an HOUR to hard boil an emu egg ?
Hope you are having an egg-citing holiday weekend!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Fences

Please do not think that every day is a foggy fency day here in Vermont.

I just happen to drive around a lot on foggy days and take photos of fences and farms.

 On days like this, all photos appear just black and white.

I often hope a red cardinal will enter and fly by or sit on a fence as I am looking at scenery, but so far it has not happened.

My favorite trees are birches.  I have a genetic disposition to love them and they have a very important meaning to my family.
I am also a big Bev Doolittle fan so whenever I see a birch tree group I think of her and try to "see" other things in the woods.
Fortunately, I was an early fan of hers and have a few small pieces of art.

Do you have any Bev Doolittle art?
Or are you making your own ?
Take a look at her website and tell me what you think.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

6 pm DUCK Report

Rudy & Agnew here, your official Vermont Weather Ducks reporting!

The snow is coming down hard again with some slight wind.

There is 7.4 inches of snow here and it is 30 degrees at the coop with 77% humidity.

It has been a long, exhausting day here.   Quack.

The snow has again buried all the grass so we are considering going to nest very shortly.

Its time to eat and rest up for tomorrows weather reporting.  There is another storm coming.

 We hope you haven't been caught in a blizzard where you are.

Both my brother and I are surprised we only got 7 inches of snow as "other" weathermen were predicting 12- 14 inches for our area.        They are real quacks if they were that far off in their predictions!

 We like the snow.  Especially if we can find some grass and get treats along our special pathways.
Our natural "snowshoes" allow us to walk comfortably on the snow if it is not too deep.

 Glad we do not have chicken feet.....

The only thing good about chicken feet is that they can perch... and that's it.

 The snow was coming down so hard a few minutes ago that we could barely see across the field.

The deer are napping in the woods.

We are going to be napping soon too.

Hope you have enjoyed the DUCK Report.

Good Night.


2 pm DUCK Report

Rudy and Agnew, the Vermont Weather Ducks, are back now reporting the 2 pm update.

Much has happened since the 9 am Duck Report!  Quack.

As the wild birds and the brave red hen, Meverette, enjoyed snacks on the porch, Agnew and I, Rudy, went up to the garden for lunch. For a Quack snack.    Quack.

We love snacking on the Brussel sprout trees that grew in the garden.
They are still green and delicious.   Quack.

There is 6.5 inches of snow.  Quack.
It is now 32 degrees and 79% humidity.

Just as we were about to split a brussel sprout we heard the red hen in distress. Quack!

She had tried to follow us and the snow was too deep and her feet got cold and she was clucking loudly.

My brother and I quickly switched from Weather Ducks to Rescue Ducks and raced to her assistance.

We went to her and guided her all the way back to the porch.

 Its easier to navigate through the snow if someone waddles with you.

 We brought her right to the porch steps, which had been covered in snow within minutes of Janis shoveling them for the 3rd time today.

 When the hen ran up onto the porch is when we noticed that the snow was even with the first step and we could walk right up the steps and onto the porch too !! Quack quack quack!!!

We waddled back and forth across the porch and ate the spilled birdseed from the bird feeder.
Those chickadees are messy birds.  Quack.

Janis does not like us on the porch.  She says we make a mess.
We tried to be quiet on the porch but Agnew waddles really loud and just as we were about to lay down under the chair we heard this big noise......

....and saw this big silver monster come into the yard.  Quack Quack!
We jumped off the porch and stood silently by the porch until the long scarey hose and the big truck left.

Just as we jumped back on the porch, another big scarey green truck arrived.  We dived off the porch and waddled fast over to the bushes.  Quack Quack!

It looked like it was going to attack the chicken coop so we waddled over there and stood our ground!!


It got too close so we jumped back into the coop. Quack Quack!

 When the green monster left we came out of the coop and found much of the snow gone and the grass had come back!
Quack Quack!!
Lots of cold green grass to graze on.

Then we heard a bad noise in the sky. 
Us Weather Ducks have to be aware of predators in the sky while we are out observing the weather conditions and snacking on grass..  Hawks fly around this area. Eagles are here too. They eat ducks.
This time it was just a loud crow telling us he had found some good seeds to eat.

The red hen was grazing and the other blonde hens were standing in the coop doorway watching .

 The three of us enjoyed the good greens as it continued to snow.

 We waddled all the way to the road and looked down it to see if there was more grass down there.  There was not.   Quack.

We waddled behind the coop to see if there were any good snacks in the compost pile.
I guess we ate all those yesterday.  Quack.

Only thing back here are lonely tomato cages.

As we came by the coop again, two more blonde hens joined us to graze on the green grass.

 The brunette hens won't leave the coop.  And they aren't laying eggs either.  I do not know what they do.


The snow is piling up again.

7 inches now of snow and the wind has subsided.

The side field is beautiful.

 The sumac berries on the trees are almost ready to eat.

There is a beach tree by the coop that has not dropped its leaves yet.

Janis says that beach trees are the most romantic trees in the woods because they "never let go, they never give up."         If they had berries for us to eat we would like them too.   Quack.  But they only have leaves.

Rudy & Agnew, your Vermont Weather Ducks, signing off for a few hours.

We will be back to report again at 6 pm.

the 9 am DUCK Report

Good Morning!

We are Rudy and Agnew, the Vermont Weather Ducks. Since we seem to be in the midst of a big winter storm, we feel it appropriate to tell you all exactly whats going on here, since no one else seems to be getting it correct.

Since I am the Alpha duck, I will be narrating the full weather report.  My name is Rudy. I am a Silver Appleyard drake.

Presently it is 31 degrees.   Quack.

The snow is coming down hard.  Quack.

There are big snowplows coming up and down this old rural road. Quack.

This morning when Janis opened the coop door we zoomed out and headed for our favorite place, next to the big bush by the side porch.  We found hidden treats and a nice tub of water for us to drink and splash in.

There was about 3 inches of snow at that time on the ground.  Quack Quack.

There are icicles on all the buildings and sometimes the wind blows them down and we nibble on them and throw them around. Quack Quack.

We have a great view of the fields across the street.  The deer run across the fields early in the morning and just before sunset. Sometimes the coyotes are right behind them.  This is when we run back to the coop...quack quack quack quack. Its scarey.

The dead elm tree, long ago killed by Dutch Elm disease, is holding up well under the wind and heavy snow.
Quack.  Hawks sometimes perch on this tree and stare at us. We run back to the coop. quack quack quack.

 One way to tell the severity of the weather up here in the North Country is to see what the hens are doing.

When the coop doors opened this morning, the hens would not go out. Quack.  The wind was blowing snow into the coop and the girls do not like that.

They preferred to eat, drink, scratch in the fresh hay and cluck about the bad weather. Quack.

I sent Agnew to go tell them to come out and get some good healthy exercise and treats on the porch.

They refused..    Quack Quack Hiss Quack.

I had to use some duck discipline and the both of us jumped back into the coop and herded the hens toward the door.  Quack Quack Quack.

 Cowdog Mavis came out and was on standby to help get the hens out, if needed. Quack Quack.

Mavis had a spinal injury last week so this is her first day outside without a leash.


 Janis had to shovel a special path from the coop, along the width of the garage all the way to the side porch so the hens would even consider coming out of the coop.  Quack.

Agnew calls this the "Hens Highway."

Several of the hens came out of the coop and hustled over to the porch. Agnew and I did some traffic control so the hens would not venture off their highway.   Quack Quack.

 Then we waddled back to the coop to try to convince the rest of the flock to come out.  Quack.

 As we got to the coop, the 3 hens that had run to the porch had now run back to the coop and jumped back in.      They said it was too cold, snowy and windy for them and they were content to stay in their hen house and watch "winters ermine blanket" cover the landscape.  Quack Quack.

 Now the snow was coming down faster.  Quack.

Us weather ducks headed back to our preferred observatory area.

The lone brave red hen, Meverette, trotted down the Hens Highway to the porch.  Quack Quack.

I often think that she acts more like a duck than a hen. She enjoys splashing in the water and always follows us drakes on our (mis)adventures up into the woods.  Quack Quack Quack.

 As the snow falls, my brother and I enjoy taking full advantage of nibbling all the decorative pine boroughs and branches around the side porch.  Quack.

 We both anticipate that the snow will be almost level with the porch by 4 pm and we will be able to actually get up on the porch and eat all the treats that fall from the bird feeders.  Those sparrows and chickadees are a messy bunch.  Quack Quack.

 Back in the coop there is all kinds of chicken chatter and gossip.  The girls are on their perches and looking out the front window.  Probably keeping an eye on us handsome weather ducks.  Quack Quack.

 Meverette is on the porch enjoying a few treats left by Janis and of course eating all the seeds the winter birds are dropping from the bird feeders.   There are good rewards for a hen willing to leave the coop!  Quack!

 The snow makes everything look so good.   Quack.

We nibble on everything.

Mavis asked us if there was anything she could do for us before she went inside to rest.  She is so polite.  Quack.

She has to sleep on a cushion that has special magnets in it to help heal her back and hips.

Janis said that she is looking for a doggy chiropractor for Mavis. I wonder if there is a chiropractor for ducks too. Quack Quack.

There is now 4 inches of snow and it is 30 degrees F
 We will report back this afternoon on the status of the storm.

This is the Vermont Weather Ducks, Rudy and Agnew signing off til then.   Quack.