The Ruddys' Door Into Summer (Photo Heavy!)

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by CanuckBock, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Loved this book (Sci-Fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein)...read it as a kid. Loved the context that his [email protected] was always asking to go out...but not by the door into winter...the door into SUMMER...ha ha ha.

    I love winter! LOVE it...bring on the winter's white! Get like ten months of it each year and snow in every single month..."Yeh, in August, ground white in July...gobs of crystalline H20 ice to bend leafed out trees over! No wonder our birds are resilient and strong...ha ha ha...wimps need not apply. [​IMG]


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    Burrow nesters, the Ruddies enjoy "cave like" quarters...makes them feel happy, makes them feel right at home...these bales of oat straw do make a most acceptable CAVE! (male left, female right)


    So the pair of Ruddy Shels (Tadorna ferruginea is the formal Latin name of this waterfowl member of the swan, goose and duck family Anatidae)...they get antsy. First winter with us. Unrelated pair that was imported up from the Southern States...poor beasties had no idea, now did they?

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    Fixins doing the hoochy koochy...'cause she CAN! What a brat dougal, eh? She likes Romaine Lettuce too!


    So dem Ruddies, they got moved like the two pairs of Aussie Black Swans do, to the Duck Barn where I have lotsa heat lamps that may be turned on...tidy, tender, lovely toasty accommodations. A home away from winter...comfy quarters to survive and prosper residing in.


    So I was bashing out rubber buckets, full of solid ice with my good right hand Aussie Cattle Dog friend, the Fix... Got the doors wide open on the Ruddy Shel's pen which makes lugging heavy laden buckets out easier.

    I am not the kind to tell the creatures what to do and not do...so if someone wants out, "Well sure...there you go. Have some fun!" I won't let them go out at dusk in a snow storm but if you want out on a nice sunny winter's day...there you be. I find working with the critter's wishes much less stressful on them. "You wanna go...you go! Don't let lil' old moi stop you!"

    The Ruddy hen, she was so intent on going...going I figure to find the DOOR INTO SUMMER..."Good luck with that Girlie!" [​IMG]

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    Course the male, he's game. He will follow his lady to he77 and back...that is just what males do. She says, "Move!" He moves...

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    She says, "Jump!" he jumps on ahead of her and gets boogying. Poor buggers...those webbers padding on the packed ice and snows...Whatever, gotta figure out their take on the world, eh?

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    Man can they move...all I could manage is stop and click pic and hurry on up....Before my quarry disappears round the next bend in the path chosen by the female...

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    Sure glad we are so well perimeter fenced...good luck with going outside the boundaries but that still leaves alot of real estate for them to run wild on...Do waterfowl run with the bulls? [​IMG]

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    Nope...there's the Fancy Footed Fix, Australian CATTLEdog (no bull there...she's a real COW dawg) to my rescue!

    "STOP the RUDDY RUN!"​

    Fixins is an awesome herder girl dog...knows just the right amount of force or no force to use. Such a sweetness with her birdles...them stock dogs ARE the reason we have stock!


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    SCREECH...​

    Can you hear the webbers engage into lock down? Black rubber like webbers...no wonder the male HONKS...ha ha ha...rubberized webber toes on a tiny version of a big ol' long haulin' MACK truck. C. W. McCall would be so proud..."This here's the wubber footed folly..."


    There, now a slow saunter for the pair past the other pens in the Duck Barn.

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    A glance the other way..."Yeh, no summer that way!" either.

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    So into the Duck Barn they go. Back home...home sweet home.

    [​IMG] HONK!!! [​IMG]


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    Male in foreground showing off his back neck ring.


    No door into summer here...no where to be found but no matter!

    Soon enough the spring will hit. Be slip sliding in the mud and on the way more ice. Move them back out to the Goose and Swan area. Good to go and there will be their "door into summer" fer sure.

    Spring can't be too far off. Getting a real bounty of duck eggs...Call, Indie, Oz Spot, then Appleyards, Durch Hookbills, and the Crested...even got a Turkey egg the other day. Silly girls...I don't want NO poults in a month!

    "Nope, not yet my sweet productives...not quite yet. Soon...soon ALL doors will lead out into summer."

    But in the mean time...to the Ruddy pair..."Stay in yer pen when I have the door wide open!" Unless of course you "like" padding round about, on a walkabout in the snowy drifts. Bwa ha ha ha...[​IMG]

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    Tucked back in their winter vacation home...male on left, female on right keeping an eye on that other reddy female of Dad's--that dog Fixins!


    Winter wonderland of white...jest can't seem to remember the green...was it EVER green here...well was it? [​IMG]

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins


    edited by staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2014
  2. 3BirdGirlz

    3BirdGirlz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good story! Love reading one with pictures too;)
     
  3. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Glad to entertain you! [​IMG]

    I find photos bring a subject and topic to life and enjoy being able to post images to share of subjects that are not commonly kept by many North Americans.

    These six waterfowl are out because I am pen cleaning here at the beginning of January and putting down some more oat straw in their winter quarters. Using food (romaine lettuce leaves) strategically placed to amuse them during their outing.


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    These are the Shel pair with our two pair of Australian Black Swans - visiting with the rest of the occupants in the Duck Barn.

    A day at the zoo perhaps--only who is observing whom?????​


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    Two cobs on the top left are discussing the weather ("Weather's improved!" "Yeh, much warmer!") and the two pens on the right are gossiping about the other waterfowl ("Every evening, you can hear her blowing bubbles in her water!" "Most annoying--those Dutch Hookbills have NO manners." "Hush up, here she comes now!" "Good morning!" in unison). Ruddies are selecting the best produce offered up like they are at a market garden ("This one has more leaf to gobble up, but this one has more stem!" "Let's taste it before we commit!") .

    What a gang of activities. [​IMG]


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    Lookit the twinky webbers...lost an entire leg did they? [​IMG]


    Time to move 'em on back inside to home sweet homes.

    Now it is not so pleasant a temperature, HA...high of -20C (-4F) today with maybe a -35C (-31F) this eve.


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    This is the male's wing speculum I photographed last fall...how gorgeous is this...and the colour combinations are just fantastical!


    Love these little mouthy musical honkers and think fondly of the white and black Penguin down their babies will express.

    Now those are going to be photo ops that are hard to resist, eh? [​IMG]

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  4. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Tara,
    The Door Into Summer was from before he went off the deep end with some of his L. Long stories. A good time for Si-Fi the 60's and 70's.

    Scott
     
  5. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Hee hee...well we all should know what they say about the fine line between genius and INsanity [​IMG]

    He had lots of health issues to battle with and still, he is credited at inventing the "waterbed" (mentioned in the Door into Summer), served in the Navy, coined words like waldo and grok, and yet maintained an influential AND controversial writing career; gaining notoriety as the "Dean of Science Fiction" writers.

    Did he go off the deep end or did he just go places others feared to follow...bwa ha ha.

    He coloured outside the box and made you think in terms you might otherwise never explore. To me, that remains genius. [​IMG]


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    His book title completely describes the thought process the Ruddy Shel hen was after. Winter needed to be over and she wanted her summer back.


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    She's been a lot more content as of late.​

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    But then, she's been out and about with the other waterfowl enjoying the spring melt.​


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    I think she sees others enjoying the season and she's getting in the groove.
    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
     
  6. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  7. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    BTW is it ok if I talk about R. A. Heinlein and his books? This is your thread after all!

    Scott
     
  8. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    I admit to only reading his "Door into Summer" publication...not sure I would like it if they got really raunchy. Blood, guts and gore...sorta OK but too much birds & the bees and... [​IMG]

    I have read that he was controversial and I suppose if I read some more of his other stuff...my eye balls might fall out. <<blush>> Hee hee.

    These days I do not have much time for sitting and reading for entertainment...more the "how to" books on topics like poultry. Go figure. [​IMG]

    I'll sit but it's usually between pens and with a camera in tow to get that prefect shot of some silly creature being bizarre.

    My life, gone to the birds.

    Of course it is...I used it in the title because, as I said, it sums up the hen's attitude totally...she's on a mission to find a better season. Heinlein had all these neat weird ways about him and well, if you can tag something like that to an animal behaviour to explain it, works for me. We are always trying to figure these creatures out and why they do what they do.

    Thanks very much for your comments...

    Tara
     
  9. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

     
  10. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Advice taken! I shall keep myself in the "children's" section of the book store! [​IMG]

    Thanks for encouraging, enabling me to keep clicking photos. [​IMG]

    I like to share the more unusual birds because I totally "get" the not having seen many of what we now have here. Information on how to keep them and keep them happy is not very common and it scares me when you go looking for reference books, buy them and find them completely inadequate at helping to keep the birds healthy and content. No big mystery really but some of the books have totally impractical advice.

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    I look at the Mandarins, the Black Australian Swans (extend the pinky..."Hem, hem. Why yes, we have the SWANS!") and these Ruddy Shels and pinch myself because it is hard to believe they are really ours! More like things found in a picture book than ones you can own at yer home.

    The Ruddy Shels are quite the independent type birds...I think they would be a neat addition for someone that wanted a pair of waterfowl to enjoy. Not shy, very independent, quite funny and entertaining to watch (love greens like spinach and romaine, not the stems but just the leaves) and extremely exotic/beautiful...no lack of personalities there. The fact that they HONK and make strange noises also intrigues me. Not only eye candy but musical to hear. I get to enjoy watching them and learning by listening to them. [​IMG]

    They can be aggressive I hear but if given room and I am watching, not seen any bad behaviours so far that make them really dangerous. I am told it depends on the pair though---some have been reported to kill geese...larger birds than themselves during breeding season...so I will never be completely at ease to leave them to wander into a bevy or gaggle at will. One lady told me she thinks of her male like a busy body mobile orange feather duster...he likes to project himself at her rather large geese and hangs there off the gander's chest. She says he "owns" the yard and is always on patrol for intruders. [​IMG]

    I think more people would like the Shels if they were given a chance to know more about them...not a duck or a goose but something wild but in between the two. Perhaps a great choice for someone that wanted both in the same birds of the waterfowl type.

    Tara
     

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