What the Duck?

Okay, somebody needs to stop us. We can’t seem to stop adding animals to our petting zoo. Let me introduce you to our ducks:

Okay, so here’s the real story. It turns out that the chickens are not going to work out with the petting zoo. Despite the fact that we have been handling them on a daily basis to try and keep them tame, they still freak out every time they are touched. That doesn’t work so good when you are having small children try to pet them. It just so happens that these adorable ducks absolutely love attention and cuddling. They are a much better fit.

Not to worry about the chickens. We are keeping them around for the eggs.

 

Farmer Brown, at Your Service

As you may know, we have approximately 5 billion animals. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. I believe the Older Daughter took the time to count and found that the number was 26.

Anyway, since we have so much free time on our hands, we decided to start a small garden this year. A few weeks ago, I planted a couple of tomato starts courtesy of a friend who had way too many. Funny thing is, The Wife is the only one in the household that likes tomatoes. She even asked why I was planting them. My reply was, “can’t we do something nice just for you?”

The Younger Daughter and I went out this evening and planted a hill of cucumbers and 3 hills of pumpkins. So the tomatoes and cucumbers will be for our use and any we’ll give any extras to friends. With the pumpkins, we’ll keep a couple but hope to sell the rest. You know, another attempt to make this ranch pay its own way. It won’t be any sort of huge windfall, but every little bit helps.

We have talked about having a garden for years, but this is the first time we actually followed through. So I have no idea if this thing will actually work. I mean, I took a look at my thumb and it is not the least bit green. Good or bad, you’ll see and here the results right here. Stay tuned…

A Beautiful Day on the Ranch

As if having a birth wasn’t enough, it was also just an all-around beautiful day. The temperature was perfect and we got lots of work done. Of course, I’d rather just sit on my butt, but it was a satisfyingly productive day. The bonus was the skies. The clouds were amazing. They almost appeared to be too crisp and perfect–like they were animated.

In the evening, we were treated to a great sunset:

Awesome day!

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It’s a Boy!

You may recall from a previous post that we acquired a very pregnant miniature donkey a couple of weeks ago. We had anticipated her giving birth any day, but it had drug on almost 2 weeks. Well, The Wife and I went out to feed the animals this morning and she remarked that it would be funny if we walked around the corner and saw a new baby. I poo-pooed that thought and I questioned if the donkey was really pregnant rather than just very fat–maybe we were duped by the people we bought her from.

Well, sure enough, Cleo had given birth to a bouncing baby boy overnight. Judging from the birthing scene and the fact that he was still a little wet, we think that we only missed it by a few hours. We were bummed because we really wanted to capture the birth on video. Anyway, behold the cuteness:

As you can see, he is quite healthy and already on his feet–though he is understandably unsteady on them. The kids have anointed him Eeyore. Here he is grabbing a quick snack from mom:

Our Newest Family Member

Okay, we couldn’t resist adding just one more member to our growing petting zoo family. I would like to introduce you to Cleo, a miniature donkey:

In case you couldn’t tell, she is very pregnant. She should be giving birth anytime now. I’ll post (excruciatingly) cute pictures when the time comes.

Killdeer Time

 

It’s time once again for the killdeer to lay their eggs. These are some pretty cool birds. They lay their eggs on the ground–creating a slight depression to hold the eggs. They often lay the eggs in gravel or near a dirt road. The eggs almost look like rocks and can be difficult to spot. Here is the nest I ran onto this evening:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously having a nest on the ground can be dangerous and very susceptible to predators. However, the killdeer have an answer for this. As you (or a predator) approaches, mom will run from the nest. Then she will suddenly fake a broken wing (to entice the predator). As you follow her, she always stays just a step ahead, though it appears that she can barely walk, let alone fly. When she feels that you are far enough away from the nest, she will fly off.

Ah, but behold the cuteness of a baby killdeer:

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Culture Shock

We kept very busy this weekend. We started off by providing (in conjunction with another 4-H club) the petting zoo at the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Caldwell on Saturday. This was an all-day event. It was a lot of work and very little money (provided as a donation to our 4-H clubs). However, it was a huge success. I can also see that with the petting zoo business we are starting up that the pay is not going to be only in money, but in smiles. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a little kid be excited and smile ear-to-ear as they hug a cuddly critter.

We also got to enjoy a lot of Mexican culture. The band stage was directly across from us. This allowed us to enjoy some great music–even if it was a little too loud at times with the speakers pointed directly at us. I also learned that there is more than one way to enjoy corn on the cob. I went up to a food stand to order corn in the cob on a stick–just like at the fair. The conversation went something like this:

Other guy: What would you like?

Me: I’d like corn on the cob please.

Other guy: Would you like that with mayo, parmesean cheese, and chili powder?

Me: (scratching my head) On my corn on the cob?

Other guy: Yes.

Me: Okay, what the heck. Give me the works.

I felt bad that I had no clue that this is Mexican-style corn on the cob. But I tried something new and loved it! It was great. Don’t get me wrong. You’ll pry my butter-dripping corn cob out of my cold, dead hands. However, I tried something new, loved it, and would definitely have it again.