Ducklings day 33

It’s duckling time again!

A peek though a nesting box… I need to clean that out, there’s a bunch of mashed spilled food mixed in the straw:

Ducklings

And the usual pics:

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

Curious head tilt:

Ducklings

Got a bit of lettuce on your bill, Betty:

Ducklings

I accidentally took a screenshot of the iPhone camera app, but thought I’d post it for the skyward head tilt:

Ducklings

Converting the fountain into a garden, part 1

One of the features of our homestead is a fountain with a flower-girl statue, that was added by a previous owner.

Here’s a GIF of the fountain from 2014:

Fountain GIF

However, we rarely ran the fountain, as it tended to spray water outside the pool, and leaked, so we had to keep topping it up. Plus, after a few years the electrical supply became unreliable, popping the GFCI increasingly frequently. And without running the fountain, the pool became a breeding ground of mosquitos and such.

So, we decided to replace the pool with a garden.

Here’s the pump in the base of the fountain, which I’ve disconnected:

Pump

I had the idea of using the fountain tube to water plants in the middle basin of the fountain, so I temporarily connected a hose to check that that would be feasible:

Hose

Yep; here’s a GIF of the fountain working from that hose:

Fountain GIF

That basin has a drain hole, so it won’t fill up with water when we put soil and plants there (the drain is still plugged in that GIF).

So, after checking that, the next step was to add a new tap for irrigation tubing to the fountain. I could have connected to the existing tap next to the fountain, but I wanted to have the tubing enter the fountain from the back, where it wouldn’t be visible from the house or deck. The garden to the right of the fountain doesn’t already have a tap, so I wanted to add one.

I knew from a previous plumbing project that there is a pipe under that garden. Here’s a picture from 2015 of an overly complex piping system I added for the flowerbeds (the tap on the left is to attach a water timer and short hose to the nearby female port, enabling timed watering, with a bypass valve too). The pipe at the top goes under the garden next to the fountain:

Flowerbed plumbing

Here’s that location now; you can see the short white hose, though there isn’t a timer connected currently:

Flowerbed plumbing

When I dug down in the garden next to the fountain, I found the pipe in the expected location:

Pipe

I turned off the garden water supply, then cut the pipe (a little water drained out):

Cut pipe

Then I added a tap:

Added tap

The next day (allowing time for the adhesive to cure) I turned the water back on, checked for leaks, then filled the hole:

Filled hole

The next step was to drill a hole through the base of the fountain wall, so I could have the irrigation tubing tidily go through the wall rather than over it. To do that, I previously purchased a rather large 1 inch by 16 inch masonry drill bit:

1 inch by 16 inch drill bit

Here’s the drill bit in my driver:

Drill bit in driver

Though after a while I switched to a dedicated drill. It took over an hour to get through the concrete-filled block of the wall:

Drilling

Drilling

The hole:

Hole

Then I added an irrigation pipe from the new tap through the hole:

Irrigation pipe

Inside the fountain pool, I added a T-junction to the irrigation pipe, with one fork going to the fountain tubing, the other for sprinkler emitters for the bottom level:

Irrigation pipe

That done, I brought several loads of scoria to add at the bottom as a drainage layer:

Dumping scoria

Thusly:

Scoria

We inherited a large pile of scoria over near the beehives; still lots left:

Scoria

Then I did a couple loads of soil:

Dirt

Starting the soil layer:

Soil layer

Soil layer

That’s all I had time and energy for. I will probably finish adding the soil next weekend, weather permitting.

It was quite a workout; don’t need a gym when you have a homestead!

Activity

Cat update for week ending July 4

For this week’s Caturday, a number of pictures of spotting cats in person, plus the usual cat cabin and house pictures.

While doing afternoon rounds, Rory spotted Paladout in the distance:

Rory and Paladout

Rory and Paladout

Spud emerging from the breezeway cabin:

Spud

Two cats in the cabins:

Cabin cats

Having a drink:

Cat outside

Feet:

Feet

I spotted Porcini on the path near the stream:

Cat on path

Cabin twins:

Cabin cats

Two cats on their deck:

Two cats

Three cats at the cabins:

Three cats

Porcini:

Porcini

Three cats inside:

Three cats inside

Three cats inside

I spotted a cat on the edge of the field:

Cat in field

Make that two cats; looks like they’re watching something:

Cats in field

Then they both headed towards the front yard (Porcini and Poppy):

Cats in field

Poppy and Porcini again:

Two cats

And again; those two like hanging out together:

Cat snuggles

Three cats:

Three cats

Ducklings day 30

This morning I mucked out the duck house, and captured pictures and a GIF of ducklings flapping their wings, with cute little feathers.

But first, three cam shots from overnight, showing sleepy and active ducklings… but also showing a benefit of the new position of the waterer, letting me see how the level drops overnight:

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

Mucking out the duck house, which freaks out the ducklings:

Mucking out the duck house

Mucking out the duck house

Mucking out the duck house

Mucking out the duck house

Mucking out the duck house

Mucking out the duck house

Mucking out the duck house

I gave them a few strawberries; they weren’t sure about that, though ate them:

Ducklings

Plus the usual leafy treats:

Ducklings

Ducklings

And some apple peel:

Ducklings

Ducklings

Hey Bert:

Duck and ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

Peeking:

Duck and ducklings

Duck and ducklings

Duck and ducklings

Flapping wings; look at those little proto-feathers:

Duckling wings

Duckling wings

A GIF of flapping wings, plus preening and drinking:

Duckling wings GIF

More flapping:

Duckling wings

Flock Friday for July 3

Let’s check on the chickens, Bert, and Jack. (Who is that? Read on.)

Chicken treats:

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Hey there, Bert:

Duck

Duck

Duck

Duck

Jack is, of course, the frog living in our pond deck box:

Frog

Another day, more chicken pictures:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens GIF

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens GIF

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

A couple more of Jack, sitting on top of the fish food container, and on the side of the box:

Frog

Frog