It was a beautiful October day.
This is how I found Piglet and Lexi. Tough life.
A few weeks ago their dear female duck was killed. We had all heard coyotes that night, so maybe it was them, or maybe a fox. The kids went on Craigslist and found some Rouens in the next state so they took a field trip and came home with three - a drake and two ducks. The males had a tiny bit of competition, but they've settled into a happy routine now.
Matt and a friend have been busy building winter quarters for all of them. On the left is their summer house, while the new log home is on the right.
The interior view.
Piglet accompanied me. (That's the shadow of my hand and camera on her back)
Walking back up the hill.
Our old Duchess apple tree blew over this summer. This tree was here when the owners before us bought the place in 1919. When you talk to old-timers they get a special look in their eyes when you mention a Duchess apple. We have eaten our fair share over the years and they are special. I wrote about this tree last year, including photos of it during apple blossom time. I don't know if it is true, but someone told Matt if we cut it off at six feet above the ground it will grow back. It's sure worth a try.
The other week, for the first time in all my years on earth, I saved a life! I heard the bleating of a goat. In the best of times, the sound is pleading, but this day it was really different. There was agony in it. I raced outdoors and found Bracelet caught in the mesh fence. The only reason there was mesh and not just our regular five-strand 'predator proof' electric fence is that this summer the goats have been particularly assertive in getting out of the pasture. Tom put the mesh up in front of the electric fence hoping that would keep them in. We should have known better. Nothing stops a goat from going where she wants to go. The fencing was caught on her horns and went around her face and across her throat. I pulled and got some of it away but realized I needed scissors. I ran madly back to the house, scaring Sadie with my cries of worry, and grabbed my trusty Fiskars. It wasn't easy cutting plastic strands away from a writhing goat. She was having trouble breathing and had begun to foam from her mouth. She was in dire distress. I cut as fast as I could, finally freeing her. It was very frightening for both Bracelet and Nan. There's a poem, a photo of Bracelet, and a little piece about our goats here.
After quite a spell of not getting much exercise other than daily yoga, I've started walking outside. And my Sadie is joining me. Pretty much since Ben died, she hasn't cared much about going outdoors. They used to go out in their big enclosed field for long periods of time, but she hasn't shown any interest in going alone. Well, now we two are heading out every day and enjoying the cool fall air. Then when Tom comes home we take a different walk, going up the hill into the woods. And here's what is different. We have Sadie on a leash. Whenever we used to walk in the woods, she'd take off for half an hour at a time. Thus we stopped those walks, and she only went out in the safe field. We decided that we missed taking her up the hill so I got her one of those cool Ruffwear leashes. We have the 'Roamer' variety. And she loves it! I tell her she's a city dog living on 200 acres of country.
A well-deserved rest after our walk this morning.