Friday, April 19, 2013
It is mid-April 2013 at Roverdale and while the temperatures are fluctuating wildly, one things is constant - mud! I am not a great fan of the season of snow and ice, but one thing I do like about Winter weather, and I mean REAL Winter weather, is hard, frozen ground. Summer is fine, as rain sinks into the earth sooner or later, the sun reappears, and with it warmth. But Spring is still cold, the earth is not yet so thirsty, and muddy puddles are everywhere. Times like this I feel that I should call the place Camp-Mop-A-Lot. People look at me askance at the supermarket checkout aisle at I purchase multiple large packages of jumbo paper towels and stock up on Sunlight laundry soap. The resident ducks however, are in heaven. They are showing their appreciation by laying lots of eggs. The Soup Sisters are just a prolific, and I am collecting on average five eggs a day, both green (duck) and brown (hen). That adds up over a week! So if I ask you if you would like some eggs to take home with you, I am not just being nice, you are doing me a big favor! I have a cool Rooster. Banty is a pretty even-tempered sort of guy, who watches over his girls. But he shows his true worth when a threat presents itself! Three time now he has risked his life to keep his girls safe from predators, and once got his butt chewed off (literally) by the neighbour's adolescent Saint Bernard when his girls led him astray through the fence. City Raccoons are fat and move fairly slowly, and their hunting is generally limited to working the lids off garbage cans. Rural Raccoons are a completely different species. Lean and predatory, they can run like greyhounds when the need arises. They kill poultry. Also in the neighborhood are Weasels, Fox, Coyote, even Cougar, Wolves and Black Bear. They are all hungry! Now that the weather is improving I let the poultry out for a day of wandering the front of the property, foraging, sunning themselves, enjoying nature and a natural life. But the natural life also includes being seen as a snack, and they all know enough to troop back into the poultry pen when the sun sets, and await my arrival to close the gate. It's a busy upcoming week at Roverdale - visitors include 2 Great Danes, Two Mastiffs, Two Golden Retrievers, a Collie, an English Bulldog, a Newfoundland mix, and Tim, a former foster dog returning for a few days boarding. Next weekend includes a trip to Toronto on Saturday for the Nicole Wild Seminar on fearful and fear-aggressive dogs. For more information on Nicole and the topics being addressed on both Saturday and Sunday, visit the website at www.speakingofdogs.com and click on Seminars. There are still a few seats available!