I was away for a couple days, and when I returned, Dobby kept his eye on me. He can see me in the living room from this vantage point.
Dobby was extra naughty to teach me a lesson.
So I rewarded him with a nice hot soaking tub. Also known as a wading pool.
In other news, a new Muscovy Maiden has officially joined the flock just a short ten days after her arrival and quarantine here. In comparison with the bullies I picked up from Pasado’s Safe Haven who took about five months to integrate, this is a stunning achievement. In fact, none of the mallard-derived domestic drakes (and including my gay Muscovy Drake, Romeo) are interested in a Muscovy hen, so she has been an uncomplicated addition. Plus, she easily passed muster with Winky, my Muscovy hen, who doesn’t seem to know she’s a duck, so no contest there.
Carmen Miranda, the new Muscovy hen, earned her name by flashing her crest readily and constantly, as if forming a question mark over her head at each new discovery. She is still young, a spring bird transitioning through her first year. She is very poised, but aggressive when appropriate. She has been very excited about joining this flock and convinced me that she could hold her own among them. She has a little story, and a duck friend and five hens who may join her here, sooner or later. I stopped asking questions when the words “stem cell” came up and seemed to hang in the air. At that point, I just asked what I can do to help.
She must have been eyeing the pool from her pen, because she went directly to it and now spends a lot of time near the steps.
When Carmen emerged from her isolation pen, all the drakes charged in there to check out her food and small wading pool. I almost got a photo of them all milling around in there, but suddenly they came out almost as fast as they had gone in.
Dobby had to check it out first, apparently.
Carmen’s hen friends should pose no problems here, but I am concerned about the duck. My drakes will no doubt find a white Peking duck to be the most exciting thing at the farm since Cleopatra, my last remaining female Rouen. I rehomed her to bring peace to the farmyard. Carmen’s friend might as well be named Marilyn Monroe for all the excitement she will cause around her, yet I am reluctant to separate her from her friends. Carmen is already here (she had to have her wings clipped) and she suffered no separation anxiety, but I know not where poor Marilyn will end up. I can keep her here, in her own pen, indefinitely, but it is not a good long-term solution. Please let me know if you hear of a suitable home for her. And stay tuned for The Carmen Story, which will be written when it is time.
The flock was pretty excited about getting into the yard, again. They were more excited about their freedom than the new duck, so it was a good time to let her out.
Dobby just had to be in charge, though.
He kept rounding them up and putting them away, like a Border Collie being paid by the piece.
Now that we are past the solstice, our early winter has backed off enough for fall weather to try again. With milder temperatures, dry ground, and even some sunny breakthroughs I was finally able to clean out the dovecote. I wish I had been able to do it earlier, before my December birthday, because my back has aged another year with the rest of me, and hauling out over 100 gallons of sodden wood chips set me back a bit. Fortunately, the Funny Farm has a bartender on staff. This no joking matter.
I counted 21 in there but it’s not easy to feel confident about the count. There’s a pigeon in there, too.
Dobby was perturbed by my lingering in the dove area. He watched and “helped” for a long while, but I was later informed that he managed to register *3* complaints in the kitchen while I was occupied with Not For Dobby activities. Spending the day outdoors, but not with The Prince, is NOT APPROVED.
I told him to sit for this photo, but he struck this pose instead. He stood there like this for quite a while.
No day is complete without a trip to the front yard to eat corn, grass, and bamboo. As you can see, he suffered a terrible mishap out there: his harness is wonky. It was so dark by the time we got out there I didn’t manage to get his harness on correctly. He doesn’t seem to mind as much about that any more.
I wasn’t joking.