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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Discovery on a grassy bank 

We have waterfront property. Not like the rich and famous, but we are lucky enough to have a small pond at the back of our yard. We made the decision when we moved here that we would not fertilize or use pesticides on our lawn because we didn't want run off into the pond since there are fish and crabs that live there. Of course that was a pretty easy decision for us to make since we have never agreed with putting those things on a lawn to begin with, but that's another story.

The other decision we made was to let the grass grow around the edge of the bank. Of approximately 15 homes facing the pond we are the only ones. Now to their credit, two of our neighbors have allowed cattails to grow and that provides some protection for birds and fish. Back to the reasons we allowed the grass to grow. It About two weeks ago we noticed kind of a hole burrowed through the grass. We didn't think too much of it speculating that it was probably the ducks coming into the yard to hang out at the patio and swim in our pool. Precisely the reason we installed the pool, just for their benefit don't you know. Then our dog Max got curious and stuck his nose in it. We called him to come back to us and he wouldn't budge. The next thing we knew he brought something out of it and dropped it on the ground. It was an egg!

We found a nest with what looks to be about 9 duck eggs in it. Doing some research, we learned that Mallards lay between 8-15 eggs at a time and they take approximately 28 days to hatch. We are now very careful about letting the dogs out without supervision. Max is a mother hen, so to speak, and likes to go over just to check on Mama and her brood every time he is in the yard. He just can't understand that she really doesn't need his big nose sticking through the grass while she's trying to keep her eggs protected. Oh, that egg he wanted to show us? He was so gentle with it there was no damage. So, in a another week or so we're going to be something - maybe an aunt and uncle? How cool is that. Happy Gardening and we'll keep you posted on the progress of our little extended family.

What a beautiful pond! I love how beautiful and peaceful it looks.
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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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