Sunday, June 24, 2012

Compare 5 week old Alfalfa and Monkey to their first days

Above, Alfalfa is 2 days old next to his monkey. Below, he is one day from  being 5 weeks old, next to the same monkey

Above, 3 days old & resting on monkey.  And, below, again, one day from being 5 weeks old (on 6/24/12)

Above, 5 days old with his monkey protecting him and below just shy of 5 weeks old and we're not sure who does the protecting.  Probably... A Duck And His Best Friend.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alfalfa in his pseudo-pond

Alfalfa finding lettuce in his pseudo-pond.  We are trying to get him used to looking for food in water.  The ducks in Lake Afton eat vegetation below the surface of the water.

We had put some corn kernels and lettuce pieces in the water.  Alfalfa preferred the corn - kind of like M&M's - easy to eat.  He likes lettuce but has to work harder to eat it, breaking off pieces a little at a time.


Alfalfa with some of that green stuff.

Amazing that he knows instinctively how to flap his wings and raise himself above the water, making it look like he's standing on the water.  Just like all the other ducks.  So cute!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good news and good/bad news

Good News!  Alfalfa has figured out on his own how to get in and out of the kiddie pool we have for him - at the lowest part of the pool.  

Not so good news.  Good for Alfalfa and not so good for us.  Alfalfa has gotten so good at running and dodging that he's VERY hard to catch to bring him inside.  Maybe we should be looking for a VERY solid chicken coop or some other strong self contained area so that he's safe from racoons, foxes, etc.  Orrrrrrrrrrr we could leave a trail of corn to the area where we could safely pick him up?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Alfalfa on the patio.

Can ducks be pigeon toed? Alfalfa very often stands with one foot on top of the other... and then he trips over his feet when he starts to walk.  We wonder if he's still growing but his feet are full grown so his body will eventually be able to handle those feet?

Getting used to his surroundings while not in one of his pools.

Once again, standing on one foot with the other.  Something he'll outgrow?

Stepping on his foot again.  Not a candidate for the AFLAC duck.

I was sitting in the black mesh chair when Alfalfa came and laid down near my seat.  How adorable is that?

Too cute!

Here he is looking for a snack to walk by.

First Mallard family on Lake Afton this year sighted

I forgot how tiny they are!

So cute and sooo small!  But they swim REALLY fast when they need to!  It was hard to get them in a picture!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Walk This Way

After a dip in his pool, we decided to let Alfalfa walk around on the grass, get some exercise.  We hoped that he didn't run off to a place we couldn't reach.  


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Alfalfa - Splendor In The Grass

Alfalfa and his monkey taking in the sea of grass

Alfalfa doesn't know what to make of grass.  Doesn't think it's worth eating and repeatedly tries to eat teeny, tiny pine cones.

Can't decide whether the green socks my niece is wearing or the green grass is more interesting.  If I spoke Duck I'd tell Alfalfa that not all things green are good for you.

I wonder if Alfalfa is a girl..... because Alfalfa really seemed to like the nifty flip flops my niece was wearing.  Particularly the flowers!

I was amazed at how quickly Alfalfa took to my niece!  Not surprisingly, I found out that most animals like my niece.  Who knew that Alfalfa is a good people reader?  But otherwise I told Alfalfa to be careful when quacking to strangers.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

First Pool Experience for Alfalfa

I was getting a little worried that I'd have a duck who didn't like to get wet.

Alfalfa is standing perfectly still, mouth moving up and down as if to tell me he's not sure he likes this.

Oh, boy!!

Jeez, "Am I supposed to look like I'm all wet?"

Standing perfectly still, beak moving.  Can only imagine the thoughts being processed.

Splish, Splash!!

Getting into it!


Looks like fun!

So cute!

Alfalfa decided he was done, came to me and tried to jump out of the pool which is a little too high for him.  Lesson over.  Positive experience.  Yeah!

Update on Lake Afton's large family of geese - as of 6/1/12

There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe... verse comes to mind

I count 11 of the original 12 that were hatched.  A miracle that so many have survived till now. 

I credit the parents for being able to keep their young in tight formation while traveling.  That's probably what's kept them from losing more offspring.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Water, water everywhere --- Pool experience and laundry

Alfalfa had his first swimming/pool experience today.  I got some great pics.  Will go through them and post some soon.  After the swimming adventure, Alfalfa's stuffed monkey was washed and is in the dryer now.  I'm sitting near his tub keeping him company.  He peeps  in a state of panic unless monkey is with him.  Otherwise he just enjoys having someone near him.  Initially when monkey was removed, Alfalfa was so frantic that I picked him up and held him.  Amazingly, he fell soundly asleep on my shoulder for probably more than 15 minutes.  A LONG time for a duck!  And so sweet!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Plans for getting used to water

Yesterday I purchased a  kiddie pool with a slide for Alfalfa.  Of course, our duckling will not be sliding into the pool, but I thought the slide would make a substitute ramp so he can come out of the water if he gets too tired.  Yes, we found out that ducklings can drown if they become exhausted and have no means of getting out of the water.  It takes time to build up strength and also the waterproofing that comes with acquiring feathers and the oil gland to oil the feathers for waterproofing.

A simple mirror

A suggestion was made to put a mirror in the tub with Alfalfa.  I guess to let him see "another" duck.  The first time we tried to put the mirror in his tub Alfalfa was so scared that he practicaly leaped up into my arms.  Although it's possible that he was just scared because we were putting  something, anything really, into his tub.  So, late last night aka early this morning I tried again when everything was quiet........

Looking kind of shy.

Kind of curious.

Hmmm.  He's kind of handsome.

Look, Monkey, there's a friend for you too!

What if I sneak up on my new friend....

I wanted to get some pics when I first hung the mirror.  I'm afraid that after a while this could become boring.  Glad I did.  These pics make me smile.