Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring's Sweet Surprise

The day is hot with the high being 85-9o degrees. It was time for turnout but I had to administer Jessie's Tri-Hist since the pollen is up. So far, she is doing well. The borer bees continue to guard their mates while darting within inches of my head. I cannot stand them! One came into the barn and somehow I got it with the broom, making the total kill to five this year. Daddy Cat was not in my sight but meowed and came running upon hearing his name. He was in the wash rack looking at something. There are no mice in the barn so I dismissed it thinking he was lounging in a cool corner.

On the way to the cemetery paddock with Blue on my left and Jessie on my right, I spotted something large and wide and black floating in the pond. Blue being 16.1 is a better 'wall' than 'window' and each time I tried to see what it was, he would prance and act up. It was windy and that never helps. It looked too small for a goose but too big for the wood ducks that have been hanging around. Whatever it was, it hid. On my walk back all I saw was an empty brown pond.

The ponies needed water so I filled several five gallon water bottles with cool clean well water. When I moved the hose a black slithery thing about three inches long wiggled back under to hide. Initially I thought it might be something gross like a large 'thousand legger'. We hated those 'centipedes' when we were kids. Instead it was a beautiful blue tailed skink. I dropped a few kibbles in Daddy Cat's dish to divert his attention and by the time I began using the hose, it was gone.

On the drive back out to the paddock, I saw them. In the back of my head I wondered if that was it, but since we never had those before I shrugged it off. My jaw dropped with total surprise as the farm has not been blessed with this gift until now. Thankfully I had the camera!
The Spring surprise are darling little wood ducks learning to navigate water probably for the first time. Watching the sweet little dark yellow and brown fuzzy bodies carefully following their mama gave me a warm and wonderful feeling that our little pond was finally chosen to raise wild baby ducks. For years I wondered why the ducks refused to use our pond. Was it the aerator? The Great Blue Heron? The snapping turtle? The muskrats or the red or gray foxes? Well, the aerator is turned off, the Heron hasn't shown up for awhile probably having its own babies, there are no more muskrats, a huge snapping turtle died last summer but I am sure the foxes are still around. Maybe the fallen trees make a better haven for wood duck babies. Either way, I am so thankful that I have discovered these little jewels. What an awesome Spring surprise!


Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

What a beautiful group of spring pictures.

Well except for that.... blue tailed skink! Never heard of it, but just seeing the picture gave me the shivvvvers!

Spring surprises indeed. Thanks for sharing them with us!

Paint Girl said...

The baby ducks are so cute! We have ducks that used our pond also. Every now and than we get the blue herons and sometimes the bald eagles hang out there. They are all so fun to watch!

Ali said...

Oh yay! My mom loved wood ducks, she would have been so excited for you! They are just so cute! I am glad that snapper died, eeesh gives me shivers. And to think I had a baby one as a pet once! *Shivers again* That blue tailed skink is pretty too, very neat!

Wish on a Whisker said...

The mama duck with her babies is the sweetest picture! I love it! ~Mandy

Totally Timmy said...

Does the tri-hist work well? My pony has heaves but I'm wondering if it could be allergies too. Great pics!

JAN'S PLACE said...

good thing you had your camera. . great shot of the ducks..your doing something right, or they wouldn't be there!

Enjoy the warm weather.. the horses look so nice and slicked out..all shed.. mind are still letting go of some winter hair.