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Did you ever see the sun go down and you are convinced it was like no other night? Well last Thursday when I had to run an errand, it was 7:55pm and the sunset which I normally can’t see because of all the trees around the Loch Arbor area, was closing in over Interstate 4 and was one of the best sunsets I have ever seen! The peaches and dark pinks were astonishing, it had gift wrapped the sun in peach and was there to be photographed and I did not have my camera. I am lucky enough to have the sunrise right pop up right over the lake in my backyard, but I do miss the sun going down.
Last night as I was fishing, it was getting later and filtering through the trees I could see it might be another pink one. So I put down my rods and tackle box, said a rushed good night to my heron and the cats

catsandheron420-small who by now know I am wacky and accept it.  Though the heron does get a bit miffed when I leave early.  In fact, the cats stayed there sleeping while the heron escorted me in.heron420 But I had to see what was unveiling tonight. I grabbed my camera and truck keys and off I went toward I-4 heading west chasing the sunset. But I was just too late, it was after 8pm and the sun had about avoided me by pulling up most of her stakes and taking her light toward California. I pulled into Kohls parking lot and watched the absolutely stunning remnants of the sun pulling her light away and the clouds left by the cold front. The clouds seem to be folding their colors into the fabric of the night. And it was worth it, and though I didn’t have anyone to share it with, that’s the great thing about blogging, you can n see the totally unretouched pics I have. I do have to say, it is worth it to get a glimpse of something that takes your breath away. It is something that brings a lot of peace and a smile, but then again, I am afforded that each day with my wildlife too. So chase sunsets, it’s worth every minute!
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Of course I feel quite honored as the folks brought the baby by, hard to believe it is almost a month old. I don’t have to add much, will just show the photos:  But look to my nature photography blog to have many more today, link below

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For a much more in depth look, come to my photo blog:
http://offshoot2.wordpress.com

FINALLY – I tracked them down and got a few photos. The baby has been very well taught by the parents to be skeptical of all noise and older people with cameras. The baby darted out of view into the bushes and I would have to wait for it to feel safe enough to come out. I bet I was at least 75 feet from them, but the parents were fine, it was the baby who wanted my credentials before posing. I tried to hide behind a tree so it would come out, this was all I could get, but gives a sense of size of this 5 day old and he’s bigger than I remembered. The single child seems to thrive faster and grow bigger!
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P/S, so long to Carbs. Have not seen him since the band of brothers took over ruling the lake
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Elvis and Carbs March 2009

I found two more abandoned duck eggs in the lake this morning.  I figure they were just  more unfertilized eggs and put them by the stump for the blackbirds to enjoy.
The baby crane was on the island walking with her parents, but could not get a clear photo. The baby heron actually came across my lake front and perched next door on a downed limb overlooking the lake. I figured I would fish a while and maybe his mother would fly down and notice her missing baby. That didn’t happen. But I did catch a small bream and threw it within ten feet of him. The heron did not notice until the fish began struggling and the heron’s  whole body language changed; his neck elongated, he stood straight and rushed for the fish which tumbled forward back into the lake, he lost the fish, but did show a big interest. Maybe later when I fish I will but a bucket of fish under his norfolk pine so he can have a midnight snack!
The ducks were swimming around the water near the shore line when suddenly Crabs jumped on one of the twins.
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He totally dominated her holding her lily-white neck with his beak and submerging her little Peking face over and over underwater. At one point it looked like he would drown her.

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Poor little girl was so very distressed looking. Ducks are such
hardcore lovers! It did not last long, but the Peking duck left aside was so concerned, she quacked and was noticeably cognizant that something weird was going on and stayed as close to the pair as she could. It looked like a waterboarding technique as the poor Peking’s
face kept disappearing under the water. Finally he turned sideways and dismounted.
Daisy and Lily were then side by side and Carbs swam on shore and slept, (typical male). The girls swam around for awhile and did come on shore and walked around. I have those two other eggs I put on the porch yesterday and will see if they show signs of life in a couple days.
Once we had a poor female muscovy come visit a few years ago, she came on the property and at that time we had the ‘band of brothers’, three mixed mallard looking ducks that stayed together all the time. When they came ashore and saw the female, all three of them were trying to gang rape the poor duck. She was panicing and went into the corner of where my porch and house form and L and the males tried ravaging her. I took a broom and shooed them away and got her on the porch for a while until the males finally left, (the next day). The muscovy seemed fine away from the males and when I left the door back open, she looked hesitant upon leaving. Ducks “do it” with anger, the attitude of the male duck in mating mode is downright cruel. I am happy to say the girls seem no worse for the wear.
I suppose if Elvis visits tomorrow, Carbs can dish out his mating details. Dee, my neighbor might be right about inviting one muscovy and you get them all. I guess I could set up a duck egg stand every morning for fresh duck eggs- and a free duck to go with it…

dsc00016Woke up this morning and went out to feed critters and no Carbs. I didn’t see him anywhere around the lake. The girls came swimming up about fifteen minutes later, they did not see their man-duck and swam off. Yesterday Elvis had come to visit.
31809ducks-11 He and Carbs and the girls all yakked it up on the bank and then Elvis flew off and the girls left.

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Carbs has taken to jumping up on the stump and eating the bird seed, he doesn’t care a ducks ass about Ringo hiding to sabbotage the birds.

Will let you know if he comes back, maybe he is visiting Elvis??? It’s only 10:am – Do you know where Carbs is???

Now it’s 5pm, Carbs has a hiding place underneath the fallen tree, I called and called and finally went to the waters edge and saw a little red duck head peek out when he heard me.
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So he is still here, enjoying life in Abbesworld, and I’m
so happy he still likes it here, enough to hang out and be a duck model….

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That’s what my fence used to look like for three years. Loaded with red and purple pasion flowers. They made everyone happy. My neighbors on the other side of the fence loved looking at the blooms and would tell me that often. Today I had to go out there and perform a Paul Bunyon with my trusty shears. all the vines were dead and full of debris. I hacked and hacked and pruned and pruned and this is now what it looks like 100_0194

My grass, (what grass?) is just weeds and everything froze back. I need one of those natural no grass kind of lawns, (xeroscape) oh wait, that’s what I have, weeds have taken over and the backyard looks like crap. To make it worse, my son ran into the realtor whom I bought the place from and she gave me the old photos from the listing. The grass was so lush and green. Thank God the old couple moved 3000 miles away. He would be mad, he took a lot of pride in in yard. It’s not that I don’t, I just don’t feel like wasting water for asthetics. I need cactus and stone or something instead of grass, and a pot of gold to finance a total undertaking of what to do. I might have to consult some my ‘yardless’ friends who have let natural nature take over and have yards requiring little care. I am totally tired of weeding and pruning, I need a gardner who likes to work for free, oooo, that’s me, and you can see what a lousy job I am doing!

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