My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What Do You Get When You Have...
Two camels, 3 javelinas, 23 Chinese crested dogs, 27 horses, a few full sized and minature Zebu cattle, a zebra, and various other strange animals? A couple of interesting humans. We went to a farm, near Mollala, a while back to look at a potential new addition to the menagerie and this farm had lots of exotic animals. They had minature horses, big horn sheep, Macaw parrots, a golden pheasant, and who knows what else. Oh, I almost forgot the Emus.
The camels were the most intesting to me. They are not mature until they are five years old. One was 4 and a female and real friendly. Their feet are something! The sand floatation on those hooves. They like to talk to you with the voice of a really fat guy's indigestion sounds. Their top lip is split in the middle and long.
You have to watch the javalinas cause they bite. The mini horses and donkeys were pretty fun but pretty useless. You can't ride 'em. You can train them to pull a cart. They had a Boer goat that was nice but it wanted to play, in the ram you with its horn sort of way. The Zebu bottle calf was something, following you around and trying to suck your finger...

I know you are dying to know. His name is Harvey. He is about 14 inches tall and about 20 inches long. He has straight black sparse hair and a cute face. His belly sags already. He wags his tail when you talk to him. The mystery new farm animal is a pot belly pig. I'll show him off next time. DMP

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Saga of the Blind Duck
This past Spring my wife got her a batch of chicks for the second generation on the egg laying crew. The two or three visits to the farm store in the spring involved a session of looking at the baby chicks of various breeds. There are pheasants, chukkars, geese, and ducks. The ducklings are pretty dang cute. So at some point she mentions how it would be fun to get a pair of ducklings. I said, "Next year would be good." We already had chicks and a pair of pigs that require twice a day feeding. So I figure spring 2007 we will get a pair of ducks for the experience.
So a few days later I come home from work and follow the sound of little quackers to the laundry room. We now have two ducklings to add to the menagerie. The cutest thing ducklings do is take baths. The boys would fill the wash tub sink and plop the little ducks in. Talk about duck paradise, they would paddle around in circles, diving under water, and flapping their miniscule wings.
Eventaully they get moved outside and they get feathers. When they are big enough to handle the pecking order we give them run of the chicken coop inside and out. Around this time we started to notice one of the pair acting a little odd. One day my wife says, "That hen is either blind or really stupid."

Each evening we close the flock in so the local vermin don't have roasted chicken or Peking duck. The silly duck hen is always outside acting goofy. I caught her a couple times and put her in the coop. While I was holding her I would mess with her by swinging my hand at her eye really fast. No flinch! Ahah, this duck it blind. The curious observer in me has taken to watching this blind duck navigate through life. As you can see in the picture she is healthy. (the hen is the brown one)

The drake walks along quacking softly and she follows along, everywhere. Just recently she is even making it back into the coop at night. It is a bit of a maze to get back inside. They get out in the pasture by either squeezing under the gate or sneaking under the edge of the barn wall. So that is the first obstacle to getting inside. Then there is the tunnel along the back of the barn and the step up to get through the "doggie door" (actually ducky door) to get inside. For awhile she didn't even make it back in the tunnel. Eventually she would get in the tunnel but wouldn't make the step up through the ducky door. Now it is all the way...

If someone told you they had a blind duck on the farm, you would picture a rough looking fowl crashing into anything and everything. If I didn't tell people she was blind you'd never know it. Pretty cool stuff in the animal world. DMP

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Universal Language of...

There are somethings around the world that people relate to. Someplaces it might be a type of food. Most people in other countries know California. To the working man the Toyota Landcruiser is a known entity. In Africa if it isn't a Land Rover the vehicle of choice is a Landcruiser.

I met a guy from El Salvador that was a foreman on a coffee plantation and the truck of choice was a Landcruiser. He said it was the only truck on the farm that could make it to the top of the mountain.

And for instance, Disney Land even has one. And, well, I have one. So put that in your bippy bag. DMP