"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring In The City


I was sitting on my bench next to the bottle tree, when what swam up to me?  I was shocked - didn't expect it.  Cutest ever.  I tossed them some bread and pellets and Mom and Dad showed the goslings how to eat it.  I always feed the water fowl, turtles and fish when I am here at the city house 
and they all come for the feast.


Mom and Dad both cared for the littles and one scolded the weenies barking at them.  My grandkids will be by soon and I can't wait to let the geese swim up and surprise them. They'll be tickled.  But, oh no!  Here comes trouble. A loud splash. A huge fish.  Now what am I going to do?  Jump in and wrestle the disgusting leviathan???



Couldn't get this little whale to pose so I did what I could.  A huge catfish showed up, mouth gaping, skimming the water for pellets.  If you've never seen one, they are ugly with large whiskers/feelers - look like an alien and can grow to more than 100 lbs.




Here is a rear shot of the head and barbed whiskers of this submariner.  It made a large splash and wake and my heart stopped as I thought it grabbed a gosling.  I quickly did a head count and Mom and Dad were keeping the babies between them pretty close.  I even saw one of the parents peck at the catfish which quickly disappeared under the water.  It wasn't going to miss out on its feeding though and after the geese swam off, the turtles and catfish cleaned up the rest of the meal.
Oh nature, do I now have to worry about the turtles and catfish eating the babies while they feed?


Now what?  Oh no.  Miss Runner Duck has come ashore in the bottom yard with her new mate.  The weenies won't allow it and thankfully didn't notice.  


She is looking for a place to nest while her drake waits in the foreground beside the tulips. 
The little mallard nest full of blue eggs has disappeared.  I can only surmise that a snake ate the eggs. 

 Wish Miss Runner would find another plot to build her nest.  She has nested here previously; this was her home before it was mine.  I just don't want the drama of duck versus weenies, turtles, snakes and catfish.


28 comments:

  1. How different your wild life is very the wild life round here Donna. Fascinating.

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    1. I am mother earth Pat. Always the animals and outdoors.

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  2. Wow, living in the city is definitely busy when you're on the water! The goslings are very young but will grow fast and hopefully be safe from predators. Catfish, ugh! I so dislike them, too creepy looking. Guess water brings all kinds of wildlife no matter whether a large lake or just a birdbath!

    Happy weekend with the grandchildren. Hope you get a pic of them with the geese.

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    1. The goslings were yellow the first day Mary and the next they had darkened to gray/green and yellow. I could hardly get the grands to sit still on the bench for the geese to approach, but they came. And so did the turtles and catfish. They even pulled weeds at the edge of the water for me so the day has started out good. Yes, the catfish are so ugly I'm surprised anyone ever thought to eat them.

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  3. So cute those little goslings, and Runner Ducks always make me smile, they are the 'chicken -little's' of the duck world :)
    Beautiful views of the pond and all who live there, looks like a page out of The Wind in the Willows ....
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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    1. I do love it here. The lake was like glass this morning - all calm and quiet. Can't wait to start planting annuals, but afraid it might freeze.

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  4. Sure enough, it's nature tooth and claw! Now I'm going to need a regular report on the progress of those lovely little goslings. (We kept Khaki Campbell ducks until the fox took them!)

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    1. Rosemary, I've had every fowl known, but not Khaki Campbell's. The lone fowl at the farm is now a turkey. Coyotes always got our waterfowl and we finally got rid of the last flock of chickens. Still looking for a forever home for Gracie the horse. Do you think it would cost much to ship her there?

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  5. That would be me as well to worry about the babies, catfish will eat anything.

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    1. I wondered Doc, with such a big mouth. They call them bottom feeders, but this one has learned to come to the top to feed. I was so happy to see that goose peck it. It pecked a turtle head too and I've seen some turtles the size of a basketball here.

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  6. Oh what a spot Donna..the Littles must love visiting both places..Town &Country;)
    I spy a Japanese Maple? Lovely there w/ the tulips!
    Anything cuter than goslings?

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    1. It was a nice surprise, especially since I found the remains of the last blue mallard egg. Yes, there are a few Japanese maples and I'd like to plant more. Problem is most are in large containers and I don't know where the water/sprinkler system lines are and I'm afraid to dig too large a hole. The parrot tulips were blown away when I got back but all the others waited for me.

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  7. I would have been counting goslings, too. Glad they survived their adventure.
    There was a place along the Lake Erie Shore, just inside Pennsylvania, billed as the place the birds walk on fish. It was a cove with a boardwalk and folks would toss bread to the fish. Of course, years later, the carp were as big as your catfish, and just tread water with their mouths open, and sure, enough, the fowl all landed on their backs and ate bread, too. It was the most revolting sight, though my husband thought it great fun. I went back to the car.

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    1. Well, those fowl were pretty smart. I found a large catfish once, dead at the shore of our farm pond with a fish wedged so tightly in its mouth I could not even pull it out. Bit off more than he could chew. That's why I worried he could swallow one of the teeny goslings. Their mouths are huge.

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  8. how nice to have all that in your backyard. doesn't look like you left the country after all.

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    1. I knew it was the one when I spied the lake out back. Like being in the country, but close to the kids and grandkids and restaurants and shopping too. I spend a lot of time out on the back porch just watching it all. My favorite spot.

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  9. And so the Battle of Spring begins !
    The catfish scare me with the babies around.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Me too. I'd hate to jump in and choke that gosling out of its mouth.

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  10. Hello Donna,
    There is never a dull moment for you as so many interesting creatures live in your garden. It must be so exciting. Like you I do worry about bullying in the animal world. Life is not fair amongst the small creatures.
    Have a great weekend
    Helen xx

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    1. Always a treat to hear from you Helen. I do love mother nature though she can be cruel. I used to wouldn't kill a bug, but old age has changed me.

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  11. Feathered enchantment.
    Love your garden too.
    And yes, my heart aches for the dangers for so many birds and small animals. Natural yes, kind? No.

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    1. It will be even prettier when I can plant the annuals in a week or two. It is why I bought the house. That and the little lake.

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  12. You are so right, catfish are ugly creatures! Hopefully, it will leave the goslings alone.

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    1. If I lived out in the country, I would shoot the darned thing. My daughter told me to go out and go noodling. I said, not going to happen. If you've never heard of noodling, google it. Unbelievable.

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  13. Donna, so many dramas are already taking place at the shore line of your city house. You will now be a life guard, or perhaps a wise referee as nature plays out the next acts of the play.

    The surroundings are beautiful...except for that catfish. Operatic villain, that one.

    There is an interesting article about the Dalai Lama in today's NYTimes. He recently spent over an hour visiting with a class of young children, and admitted that he did allow mosquitoes to bite him and even drink his blood, but thought they might have shown more appreciation.

    xo

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    1. Yes Frances, a soap opera hereabouts. Like the Dalai Lama (I love him), I used to not kill a bug. But now, I've turned into a killing machine, if in mind only. Cottonmouth Water moccasins and venomous spiders beware and gosling eating catfish are lucky they aren't at my farm ponds. I have learned shooting in the city is not allowed. May have to spear it, that is, if I don't toddle over the edge into the lake.

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  14. Looks like you are in for it! Worry worry worry. There will be no rest whilst the ducklings are youngsters, ah such is nature!

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  15. Two more days and there are still seven. The parents are doing a good job.

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