Ducklings day 52

Today is the last day before the new ducks can go free-range; I plan to open the pop door and let them go into the pond tomorrow morning.

I don’t expect them all to take that opportunity the first day, though having access to the run and pool might make them more comfortable with going into the pond than the ducklings last year, who didn’t have that advantage. I’m very glad I hacked together the run this year:

Morning ducklings

Betty on the steps:


Cora shaking off water:

Shaking off water

I wanted to compare Clive and Cora; Clive has darker wing feathers, and Cora is more uniform, but their bills and feet are very similar. As mentioned yesterday, Clive will put on a bit more of a show in spring, and I think in the fall too:

Clive and Cora

Clive and Cora

An animated slow-mo GIF of Cora dunking and the water flowing off her back:

GIF of dunking

And a slow-mo GIF of flapping her wings; look at all those feathers:

GIF of flapping wings

Setting up the swimming pool

I usually have a fairly strict separation of topics between my personal blog and my homestead blog: the personal blog is for short posts about personal stuff, and links to my homestead and Dejal blogs, and the homestead blog is for longer posts about animals, gardens, and building projects.

But they’re my blogs, so I can bend the guidelines if I want. This post is something I’d usually cover on my personal blog, but I wanted to do a longer post, and it kinda relates to a building project (the pool deck), so I’ll let it slide. Let’s not make a habit of it, though, eh.

Anyway, the topic (as you might have surmised from the title) is setting up our above-ground swimming pool. Something I do each year, for us to enjoy for something between about 5 and 15 swims between late July and early September, before taking it down again and storing it in our workshop for the rest of the year.

Speaking of my personal blog, you might recognize a cropped edition of this picture from my most recent What’s It Wednesday post: the poles and supports for the pool, as stacked in the back of the shop:

Poles and supports

The two solar panels are also stored back there, somewhat rolled up:

Solar panel

But the first thing I bring over is the pool liner. Here it’s folded up on my cart. It’s rather heavy and bulky, but each year I’ve been getting better at wrangling it (or maybe all this homestead lifestyle is improving my muscles?):

Pool liner

Then I bring over the poles and supports in two cart loads:

Cart with poles and supports

Along with tubing and pool floats:

Cart with supports, pipes, floats

Some of the components next to the pool area:

Pool liner etc

The steps we got last year live next to the pool deck, being weather hardy and rather heavy, though the two buckets of sand, used as weights for the steps, were stored in the shop:

Steps and supports

Once everything is on hand, I spread out the tatty old tarp as extra protection for the pool liner (I really should buy a replacement):


Then I lay out the pool liner, carefully positioning it based on some nails in the ground I added as markers last year, to ensure proper alignment with the pool deck. I also move the steps onto the liner, and insert the poles and supports:

Liner and steps

A closer look at the supports:


The assembled (but empty) pool:

Assembled pool

I then add the sand buckets under the steps, suspended from it, and position the steps in the right place, on a protective mat:


The skimmer, not yet connected:


Another view of the steps; notice that I’m starting to add the water; it takes quite a long time to fill:


The steps are screwed to the pond deck:


The pool continues to fill overnight. In the morning, it is pretty much filled:


It’s a lot of water, but our well can handle it, and the water is returned to the ground when we’re done with it.

Here are the sand filter and pump:

Filter and pump

And the solar heaters; the water flows from the pump via the filter, then through the solar panels, warming the water from heat from the sun adsorbed in the black plastic:

Solar heaters

The completed pool:


It just needs a few hot days for the water to warm up from the cold water out of our well, to a bearable temperature.

Now it feels like summer!

Cat update for week ending July 25

This week for Caturday, a couple of GIFs with Poppa and Bella, and the usual assortment of cat pics.

Paladout is watched from the cat house:


Poppy and Pommie:

Poppy and Pommie

The mushroom girls, Bella and Porcini:

Bella and Porcini

Poppa, with Porcini in the background:


An animated GIF of Poppa drinking, with Porcini approaching from the back, then Bella rushes up, chasing Poppa:

Poppa and Bella GIF

Another GIF from a few minutes later; Bella was having a bath, Poppa started to get comfortable, and Bella didn’t allow that:

Poppa and Bella GIF

She seems to have a bit of a problem with him; they don’t fight, she just appears to want to put him in his place.

Porcini relaxing on their deck:


Pommie in front of the cabins:



Pommie watching me from behind the cabins:



Costco deliveries:


Three cats:

Three cats

Poppa and Pommie sniffing noses:

Poppa and Pommie

Pepper in her nest on the shelves in the front of the shop:


Three cats:

Three cats