Wednesday, July 7, 2010

That's Twice

Trouble is, if it happens a third time, I don't know if I should shoot the goats or myself. Both times they've escaped have been my fault... a gate open the first time and a gate unlatched the second. The second time they finished off the roses and blueberries they only started on the first time, plus completely broke off my lovely Japanese maple.

The baby turkeys have squeezed out of their pen more than twice in spite of the chicken wire Johnny strung over the chain link. They are escape artists. The peacock has gone way past his three strikes and you're out but he's still in... the garden eating my veggies that are just poking up out of the ground. I have netting ordered to cover the entire garden. Until a few years ago, we had the garden covered with fish netting we picked up on the dock in Newport... old tangled stuff that was being discarded. It took me a month of unraveling to get it ready to hang over the 35 x 70 foot garden. It lasted for years and years but finally rotted and broke and sagged enough that we took it down.

The peacock hangs out in the garden to be near the baby turkeys, which he seems intrigued by. In fact, he guards them when they manage to ooze into the garden by him. The day the wild turkey visited, the babies were where they belonged, but the four turkey hens that are guarding the three little poults (it's been a lousy hatch year) thought she was a threat. Three of them sheltered the babies while one tried to chase off the wild hen, who was just curious, I think. The peacock paced along the garden side of the fence. Perhaps you can see him in the background of this photo. The wild hen is on the right.
In other farm news, two young does have kidded this week. Ian's doe Omelet kidded on the Fourth of July with a buckling and a doeling. I'll get better photos when they're older. I took these to send to Ian on the day they were born.

Today another young doe, Sweetheart, kidded with a buckling and a doeling. No photos yet.

Johnny and I took a break from the farm and heat and animals to go to the coast and look for Black Oystercatchers yesterday. We found a pair with two or three chicks (Johnny claims he saw three chicks. I only saw two.) You can see from the photo on the left how far away the rock they nested on was from the park where we were standing. It is the offshore rock in the center. The photo on the right shows it zoomed in closer. Even with our scope, the chicks were little gray rocks with legs. They don't have long red bills like their parents have so are impossible to see until you notice little gray rocks moving about with two light colored legs under them. Can you find the adults and chicks in the photo below? From left to right it is chick, adult, chick, adult. Look for the legs!

It was while we were off staring at a distant rock, arguing over whether there were two or three Black Oystercatcher chicks, that the gate I'd left unlatched back home swung open with a hot east wind and the goats raced out for the second time to devour my plants.

Here's hoping I'm more careful in the future. And here's hoping the netting I ordered to cover the vegetable garden arrives soon. My plants can't take any more marauding animals.

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