Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reality check: 8 ducks verse 8 billion mosquitos

We (really) enjoyed record snowfall here in Wisconsin last winter, even raking in flakes after the official snow season tallies were done. It was so fun. It finally melted earlier this month, and then we had lots of standing water. By the way, we live near swamps and rivers. So, we are heavy into mosquito season. There are so many, you can't even count them all.

We have had to ask our neighbors, who are otherwise very considerate people, to PLEASE keep their mosquitos off our property.

We are also going to check with Grandpa Edd about printing up bumper stickers that say:

Please spay or neuter your pests.

So, the ducks should be really loving this, after all, they are MUSCOVY ducks (which some interpret to mean "mosquito eating" ducks). And they do sit down and munch them at times. But doing the math, we are not expecting a huge impact anymore.

Be that as it may, we are learning alot from the ducks and Sammy, Noah and Susanna...really everyone... is involved in their care and chores.

However, we do have some eggciting news...the females are laying eggs! We have been getting about 2 eggs a day, and they are big and yolky and yummy. The females have not gotten "broody", which means, they don't stay home with the egg. We will need to figure something out, as the two which are laying have built nests outside the confines of our duck coop. But hopefully, we can get a few more beaks out here to work on the extra mosquitos. We'll keep you posted.

This afternoon, we broke out the insect spray (which we buy by the six pack) and went on a walk down the country road just south of our house. The mosquitos always get excited when they see us coming. We carried extra spray with, in case we missed any exposed skin (we learned that you find that out pretty quick into your walk). In addition to clouds of mosquitos, we noticed that the web sacks of caterpillars we see on the trees are starting to hatch, and the road had tire tracks stained with caterpillar juice.

We did not see the orioles I found last week, nor the beaver, but we did find out, right before getting home, that we were racking up ticks big time. I think we took at least 8...all wood ticks. Eight is all we found today. We are keeping them as trophies on the "here-tick" card, and you can find the ticks scores in the white margin...if you are into those kinds of stats.

No comments: