Measuring tree heights

Every year at around this time I wander around the property measuring the heights of select trees, to see how much each has grown. Here’s a post about this last year.

Once again, the incremental growth throughout the year becomes more obvious when compared with measured heights from the previous year.

Here’s my spreadsheet recording the heights (in inches), with columns to indicate the change from the previous year, e.g. the “19 ▸ 20 Δ” column shows the number of inches of growth between 2019 and 2020:

Tree heights spreadsheet

I only took photos of some of the trees this year. Here they are, in the same order and captioned with the name from the spreadsheet. If you compare to last year’s post, you can see some distinct growth in some of the trees. I hope you enjoy some unusual glimpses of the homestead.

Coral bark maple (by front of shop):

Coral bark maple (by front of shop)

Field Leyland NW (corner):

Field Leyland NW (corner)

Field dawn redwood (second row):

Field dawn redwood (second row)

Field tulip (replacement) (second row):

Field tulip (replacement) (second row)

Field scarlet willow (second row):

Field scarlet willow (second row)

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field):

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field)

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo):

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo)

Next to stream fir (next to pond stream):

Next to stream fir (next to pond stream)

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard):

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard)

More ducklings day 50 (start of week 8)

The big 5-0. No summary GIF today; I took relatively few pictures, due to being busy with other stuff. But still some fun shots.

They really enjoy ripping bits off kale stalks:

Leafy treats

Leafy treats

Um, you have something on your bill. Several somethings, actually:

Dirty bill

A funny expression on Sassa:

Funny expression

Clara’s wing feathers are still growing; still not quite ready for the pond:

Feathers still growing

More leafy treats:

Leafy treats

Watching the duck butts in the pond, as the older ducks dive underwater:

Duck butts

More ducklings day 49

The ducklings are seven weeks old today, which means they could be eligible to go in the pond any time now. But I think I’ll give them another few days; they aren’t all fully feathered yet.

Let’s start a little differently this time: with a GIF time-lapse of overnight in the duck house. It is only showing times with activity, so if you notice big jumps in the clock, that’s when they’re sleeping. It’s fun to watch the water level drop in the waterer and tray — ducks drink a lot of water — I fill both when I close up the house, and they’re almost empty in the morning:

GIF summary

You probably saw the post earlier today with their names. Here’s me peeking through a nesting box at the formerly mystery duckling, Silver Swedish Sassa (aka Gimpy):

Silver Swedish Sassa

All of the ducklings… really ducks now:


Colorful Rouen… Rosa, Roxy, Riva, or Ruby… yep, one of them:

Colorful Rouen

I tried giving them bits of tomato as a treat… they weren’t too sure about that. It’s not green!


That’s more like it… though my fingers aren’t included in the meal:

Fingery treats

Silver Swedish Sassa somewhat swimming — I tossed her in the pool again, for more reluctant swimming practice:

Silver Swedish Sassa somewhat swimming

Silver Swedish Sassa somewhat swimming

She’s much more clean than she was before; amazing what a short dunk or two will do. Though still got more preening and bathing to fully clean up:

Silver Swedish Sassa

Khaki Campbell Clara, still a bit of feather growth to do:

Khaki Campbell Clara

Clara swimming:

Khaki Campbell Clara swimming



Raising out of the water:

Raising out of the water

Two Rouens:

Two Rouens

Two Rouens

Two Rouens

Once again, let’s finish with a GIF summary of all 38 pictures taken today:

GIF summary

Thanks for the feedback from several people. Seems that one second per picture is a good pace, and including all of the pictures provides interesting context. I’m glad you enjoy these, those that do — and if you don’t, easy to skip them at the end.


The Jays love their peanuts

I put a handful of raw whole peanuts in a tray for the wild birds every day. The Steller’s Jays and Scrub Jays love them, hardly waiting for me to leave before diving down and grabbing one or two. They take them elsewhere to open and eat; we find peanut shells under trees all over the homestead.

More duck(ling) names

Back in July I did a post titled “Duck(ling) names”, where I included one picture of the previous batch of ducklings, soon before they went into the pond for the first time, and gave information about their breeds and the names we chose for them.

I’ve been meaning to do that for the six new female ducklings too. So here we go.

As you may recall, there was a mystery about the breed of the duck in the foreground of the following picture. Turns out, she is a “Silver / Splashed Swedish” duck, a less common variation. (Information from the hatchery, and replies to a Reddit post I made; see that for more info.) Not what was expected, but these things happen. I mentioned before that one of the followers of this blog called her Sassa; we like that name, so that is what we’re going with. She will join the Blue Swedish Sven and Sonja.

The other duck unlike the others is the Khaki Campbell, the little brown duck in the center. Our older Khaki Campbells are named Clyde and Cora, again following the convention of naming with an initial letter for the breed, and name from the region of origin. So the new one is named Clara.

Finally, we have four Rouens, which we are naming Rosa, Roxy, Riva, and Ruby. Their male counterpart is Rémy. Though we’ll probably continue to just call them the Rouen girls, since we can’t tell them apart (yet, at least).


More ducklings day 48

Since Jean mentioned it, here’s a GIF of me shoving Gimpy yesterday. Or more charitably, gently introducing a reluctant duckling to the concept of swimming, in a safe environment. Yeah, that sounds better:

Shoving duckling

The ducklings this morning:



Today I introduced them to mealworm treats; they weren’t too sure about them at first, but I know they will go crazy for them in short order:

Mealworm treats

Hanging out in the duck house:


Rouen close-up:


And the Khaki Campbell:



ChickenGuard pop door opener demo

I recorded this video to show ChickenGuard’s customer support the issue I’m having with the opener on my new chicken coop (three years old, to be fair). It is having a door jam error when closing, requiring recalibration, but works once done, until nighttime when it is supposed to close.

I thought others might find it interesting too, to see how the coop pop door opener works, and the innovative way I have it mounted on a door so I can access it from inside the coop, and have the cord go straight down from the opener to the pop door.

More ducklings day 47

Today: a mystery, shoving a duckling, showing off feathers, and another GIF summary of 75 pictures. Yep, I took a lot today. But first, here are 13 pictures of note.

A Rouen showing off her wings:


This duckling, who we nickname Gimpy after her dodgy leg, but one of my blog readers more charitably calls Sassa, I thought was a Blue Swedish when I got her. But as she grew her feathers I had my doubts about that — she doesn’t look like the other two Blue Swedish, Sven and Sonja:

Mystery duckling

For one thing, she has yellow feet, when theirs are black… and her feathers are mostly white, though rather grimy, since she has never gone for a swim as far as I’m aware:

Mystery duckling

So if she isn’t a Blue Swedish, what is she? Based her coloring, I think maybe Pekin? If you have more experience with ducks than me, please let me know! I have queried the hatchery I got them from to see if they can help.

A dusty Rouen having just chomped part of a leafy treat:

Leafy treat

Another leafy treat:

Leafy treat

Water droplets, and more feather growth:


Green feathers:

Green feathers

The mystery duckling having a drink from the edge of the pool:

Mystery duckling

Since she hasn’t shown any inclination to swim, and I was sitting right there, I took advantage of that opportunity to introduce her to the concept in a less graceful way: I shoved her in. Not nice, perhaps, but she’s going to be in the pond in a few days, so I wanted her first swim to be somewhere she can easily get out:

Mystery duckling

She flailed around and complained, unsurprisingly, but did fine:

Mystery duckling

After about 30 seconds she hopped out, and spent ages preening, which will be great for spreading her waterproofing oils. Maybe she won’t be quite so grimy now, though probably needs more than one swim to get cleaned up:

Mystery duckling

The Rouens showed her how much they enjoy swimming:


A Rouen showing off her wings again:


The GIF of all 75 pictures taken today, if you want more duckling pictures in your life:

GIF summary

(A question: do you watch these summary GIFs? If you do, would you prefer I include all photos, including the ones highlighted above, or just the ones I don’t include above? And is the speed of one picture per second good?)

More ducklings day 46

Not sure exactly which day I’ll let the ducklings out into the pond, but it’ll be coming up soon; maybe Wednesday?

Here they all are:


Leafy treats, watched by Betty (and she snuck one out of the pool, too):

Leafy treats

Trying to reach a leaf under the gate:

Trying to reach treat under gate

Snagged by Betty:

Snagged by Betty

A view of the run and older duck food dish from outside:

From outside

Feathers growing; her feather growth is my main indicator of readiness, being the least mature of the ducklings:

Feathers growing

Hanging out on the steps:

Hanging out on the steps

In the doorway:

In the doorway

Sleeping on the edge; not sure she’s actually asleep, but that’s the posture they take when sleeping:

Sleeping on the edge