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017res The moorhens have chosen to nest in the weeds that sit about twenty feet from my seawall. The female built a nice nest and I reported a few weeks ago that she had 5 eggs.  res

Last Tuesday one hatched and the baby was swimming around and enjoying newly hatched life and an hour later, it was gone. Never saw it again. On Wednesday, a new moorhen chick was hatched. 100_1852res

100_1857res This baby is still alive, and it is a great ‘hider’. As soon as I approach the bank. The moorhens squeak and the baby hurries away to the reeds to hide. The Father gets upset and comes running in to either be near the chick or to cover the nest if the female has chosen to go swim near the baby. This again is a wonderful scope of nature. The moorhens are very protective parents.  The three other eggs have not shown any attempt to hatch, maybe with all this heat and a warm feathered behind sitting on them so much, maybe they have become hardboiled…
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The full moon is affecting the ducks. This morning I found Carbs on the porch! He never comes that close when I am outside. Frankie the cat sort of stared at him and hissed.

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Carbs ate the birdseed at the stump and settled under my budding, Myers lemon tree for a morning siesta, while the Pekins sat under the plastic fishing chair closer to the lake and one had layed an egg.
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And all seemed peaceful and hot as hell and humid, and the nice start to the morning, when all of a sudden, there they are — the damn band of brother mallard/mix. The bullies of the lake appear on shore. DSC05064bob1 There are 3 of them and one of me. I side track one away from Carbs while the Pekin ducks are chased in the water by the two others, of course they go right on top of one of the sisters and
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rape-mate. The other one chases Carbs and I ran and ran, finding Carbs being jumped on by my house first,
DSC05069cb-1 and I chased the mallard off and poor Carbs is not a fast enough runner, (and neither am I, and frankly I had pajama bottoms on and did not want to run through neighbors other than Kim who understands I sometimes have PJ’s on in the morning),  khrape-1
though the orange is Kim’s house where poor Carbs is getting dominated again. And then I chased them off and the last I saw was all three of the band of brothers being mean and trying to rape and dominate poor Carbs through the neighborhood. rc-1

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Poor Carbsy! That mallards would hop on top at every stop – (excuse the poetry pun.)  I hate those creepy mallard brothers!  They come out of nowhere, pillage and leave.  I have to figure out how to trap those damn bullies of the lake. I’d take them out to another lake in Orlando or somewhere one by one just to get rid of them and maybe when they are not together, they would not be so mean.  And it makes me so mad that I can’t even keep up with a duck, they are pretty fast, or maybe I am really out of shape and I think its the latter.  AND–what do I do with that nice fresh duck egg? It might be the spawn of Hell!

Here it is another day of gray and rain threats, nothing I can do about it and I really don’t even mind it. Somehow it seems like a dreary day you would veg out and listen to Procal Harem or Led “Zep’ – oh I am so 40 years ago aren’t I?
But after three days of ice-cream cookies and junk food, I had to get out.  I ran some errands and did even stop by the marina.
There was nothing floating around in the water and only a few fisherman and very little wildlife, still no muscovy ducks. I did see a couple mallard duck mothers and their ducklings, one had almost a dozen ducklings,  52109mallardclan-3_edited-1 I thought her brood looked well disciplined.  The wind was not as brisk as it had been the past two days of driving rain. The marina waters were pretty calm
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There were a lot of homeless people sitting around the park which is always sad to see. Also saw some vultures
looking bored. vultureresize
I came home and attempted to go fishing, the wind was built up again and there was no use in bothering after several casts came floating back. There was a huge yellow rat snake that I saw and he saw me and he went right over the seawall and into the water. he swam out to the lily pads and did a big loop and came back to the other side of my property, back to dry land. ratsnakeedit The sky looked like it was trying to build some momentum, even Ringo didn’t bother coming out with me which is unusual. The heron family is long gone, the mama never comes to fish anymore, have not seen her since before going to Tampa almost two weeks ago. I do see one of her babies down near the channel that leads from our lake to the next. I have not seen the crane family in almost two weeks.
Tomorrow I take my two photos to the Gateway Center for The Arts for an upcoming show called “Abandoned Houses” – other than that, I am working on a dream series of work to go with some of my poetry and hoping to present that somewhere for an exhibition. Art is never quiet once it infects you, it squirms it’s way out of you and then you must find it a home just like you find a pet a home. Someone has to fall in love with it enough to buy and take home. The best part for the perspective art owner is that the artwork does not have eat, crap or have to be neutered, so there, now go buy some local artists’ pet project!

52009-8am It stormed most of the night! So far we are up almost ten inches. The funny thing is, at a point where there was no rain this morning, I went out to garden a bit and pick up downed tree limbs because you get stir crazy after three days of incarceration. So I transplanted a few canna lilies and the ground about five inches down is dry as dry can be!  It’s just as sandy as if no rain has ever fallen. It is another day of rain and what can I say, same old same old, but at least it is helping with our drought!  The only visitors have been the ducks and regular birds.

52009woodpeckera-1 Okay — so how does one get through the days of liquid peril that assault us? Comfort food of course.  comfortfood1 comfortfood2
comfortfood3 The best is the new Haagen Dazs ice cream “Five”!!!! OMG it’s amazing and it has fruit in it so I am counting that as a fruit suppliment in my daily diet as I count the nuts in the Payday. The cookies count as needed carbs of course. And it does give comfort when the weather is blaring all day long with lightning, thunder and storms all around us and the repeated warnings. It’s all one can do to make it through the day besides petting cats… 52009Frankie2_edited-1

Here it is at 7 weeks and it is going to be the biggest crane I can think of – it is growing like a corn stalk in July!
So I will let the photos speak for themselves
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For some reason I was drawn to the marina yesterday to see what action was going on. I parked the truck and walked around by the boats. The gators were gone, but I saw weird patterns in the water
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then I saw this dsc03297resiz

and I knew I had found buried treasure! Manatees! 4 of them swirling around.  But, trying to catch their faces was another story.
These ‘baked potatoes’ of the sea would rarely put their whole face out of the water. I did manage a few and you can go to
http://offshoot2.wordpress.com or just type in offshoot2 in the search bar to take you there.
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I saw plenty of mallard type ducks – but not one muscovy.
I even asked a few city workers I saw if they had seen any muscovy ducks and they thought about it and said not recently.
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There were baby ducks, ibis, small herons and turtles, but no muscovy. Have not even seen Carbs or Elvis in about 5 days.
Haven’t seen baby crane either in over a week.

But seeing the manatees was a treat. There was one with a tatoo of A-5. Lots of scarring on the backs of those bodies.. I stayed over 2 hours watching them frolic from point A to point B and everywhere in between.  I wondered if it was mating season as there was a lot of manatee kissing going on, big wet ones… As Paris Hilton would say, “that’s hot”! (well it was about 87 in the shade)
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First of all the clocks ‘sprung’ ahead last night, but I got up at normal time. Bella and Ringo the cat and I went out the back door, (actually Bella is about 3 feet behind Ringo being that Ringo is about twelve pounds heavier than Bella and sometimes looks at Bella as a nuisance animal and pounces.) The first thing I saw was the otter swim by so I turned and ran in for the camera and the otter was long gone. Missed that shot. But did see Elvis the duck was here visiting his buddy Carbs. They posed for me.

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My philosophical and wise neighbor Dee always says if you get one muscovy, a lot more will follow. I am hoping Carbs is keeping a low profile and only entertains once in a while. The worst thing is the duck dung, it is all over the bank and where I fish, I can no longer wear my shoes in the house after fishing, they have to be hosed off! Gross!                                             100_0065

The ducks were all at the lake and when we walked down there, I saw one duck egg on the bank. I walked over to go get it and a big black bird swooped it up in it’s mouth and took off! I am going to get out earlier to see if I can find duck eggs. I often see cracked ones so I assume Daisy and Lily the Pekin, Aflac ducks are on a roll, (ha ha ‘cheep’ humor.) I am going to try and hatch one if I find one whole. It just amazed me that crow could carry it off. I wish I had had time for that photo.

The mocking bird was singing away on the chimney as usual. His song fills the fireplace and living room with bird music in the early morning.  He is the reason I am not using the fireplace, too much nesting material up there!100_0072

The mama crane came over and gets more rusty looking all the time  – I looked in on her yesterday and she was sitting on nest so did not see if both eggs were present.100_0079And thats it for the morning at least. I missed two good photo opportunities. One day I will get that otter photo! Maybe it will show up tonight when I am fishing. Well, looks like a gorgeous Florida day with 80+ degree temp, I can dig it! The water level is dropping low, can’t see my small meter yet, but it will show soon if we don’t get any rain, it’s too dry.

One more close up of Elvis the muscovy to go- do you believe in reincarnation? This duck wiggles like Elvis too! Later…
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