Monday, June 23, 2014

Pie, Paint, and Predators

Friends, I have an update on the duck nest.  Do you want the good news first or the bad news?

I was hanging laundry on the line a few minutes ago and noted in the very damp air the distinct odor of cat pee.  We do not have a cat.

Obviously, one had been roaming the vicinity of our backyard.  My next thought was the nest of duck eggs.

Sure enough, on approaching the row of hosta where the nest is hidden, I noted this.

And this.

There were a total of three opened eggshells in the grass in front of the nest.

I have been careful not to disturb Mama Duck by peeking in on her, but my curiosity won out given the apparent calamity, and I gently parted the leaves.  She was there sitting on the nest.  She looked at me a little sleepy-eyed, but she didn't move.  That was the good news.  

I tried to take a photo after I let go of the leaves, but it didn't really work.  She's in there, though, right through the center where you (may or may not) see a little mottled brown.

I hope all is well with what may remain of the eggs.  But now I expect the cat may be back nightly prowling for more eggs.  We have a live trap.  I'm wondering if we should set it out for the cat?  I sure wouldn't want Mama Duck to be the one to venture into it for a nip of fish.  On second thought, maybe we just have to let nature take its course.

Elsewhere, with this damp weather, we have a plethora of mushrooms sprouting.

The petunias look a little waterlogged this morning.

The lilies are loving the moisture, though.  They're ready to pop.  I don't think they've bloomed, like, ever.  We had a drought a couple summers ago and I didn't water, and the rabbits ate them into oblivion last year.

The coral bells are sending up spires.

I made a pie this weekend with some of Dad's rhubarb and a pint of blueberries that were about to go soft in the fridge.  I used this recipe but substituted blueberries in lieu of the strawberries. 

Oh, my goodness.  Deliciousness!  The rhubarb looks a little dry in the photo because I didn't put a top crust on it.  They shrivel a bit in the oven but still tasted soft and tangy.

I sanded my antique table last evening in preparation for chalk painting it soon.  I've decided to paint it coral, but picking which shade of coral has proved trickier than I anticipated.

In my mind's eye, I was thinking of a particular shade that appears often in my vintage paint-by-number paintings.  No, I'm serious.

So I took a couple of them off the wall (and left a few more on the wall), and laid my samples on them.

Well, the one that seemed to match turns out to be more tan-looking to me, especially in a darker room (like most rooms in this house).  I'm leaning toward the brighter salmon color, even though it seems a little more pink in comparison.  If I use an antiquing gel or stain, it will tone that down a bit.

Or so I'm thinking, anyway.


  1. I would put out the live trap, because ducks are not particularly fond of fish (they are grain and insect eaters). I didn't think that cats ate eggs! I think cats want meat only.

    Your flowers and paintings are very beautiful. Please let us see the table and baby ducks later!

  2. Poor eggs!

    The color in the paintings appears brighter when you step back, because of the other colors next to it. With your table a brighter shade will be wonderful. Have fun!

  3. Poor Mama duck. I'd do a live trap to catch whatever it is eating Mama's eggs. Thats so sad...

    Good Luck with the table refinishing- I like the colour idea (even though I was yelling "Aqua" at you very loudly when you first floated this idea) Its going to look brilliant.

  4. Oh dear...the problems with Mother Nature. I would try to catch that pesky feline. I remember 'paint by number' we go back a bit don't we?? Happy painting. The bright salmon will be perfect.

  5. Poor mama :( I do hope a few babies make it. I too have been mowing over mushrooms, they are so quick to pop up! As Shay said aqua was my vote but any of your salmons will be lovely!

  6. Darn cat hope that mama duck is safe now:( my son likes to pick mushrooms in our back yard and I have to tell him leave them be.

    I always love hearing about peoples gardens too;)


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