Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baby Dove Update Number 6

I uncovered the bird cages one morning and was amazed to see that the 16 day old baby doves in nest #1 were perching with their parents and no longer occupying their nest. On the very next day, I saw them picking up seed off the floor of the cage. When I said that they grow rapidly, I really meant it!:

The two 16 day old babies from nest #1 are developing lovely pied coloration, though with with two different shades of brown. They are going to be stunning:

Here they are on their perch:

And in hand:

And now on to nest #2. The older, 14 day old baby is also becoming a pied, though with more delicate shading. The younger, 13 day old baby is apparently a true albino but appears to be healthy:

At 13 and 14 days of age they still have that homely squab look to them. I'm counting on them developing into lovely, graceful doves so that I can find them good homes:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Arrive At The Farm

The dogs and I arrived at the farm shortly after lunch time. It was a Monday, so the tenants were at work and I had the whole place to myself. I fed and watered the dogs, then let them out into their fenced yard to enjoy the beautiful weather while I explored. I found that the lawn was mowed, the gardens were weeded and everything was immaculate. The patch of Phlox I'd planted in the middle of the yard where a guy-wire was fastened was growing nicely:

The south side of the house looked just fine with its new siding and with the big old rotten Maples taken down. The historic Cedar still grows alongside the main entrance:

My tenants had even weeded the garden abutting the barn's milk room and spared the old Asiatic Lilies which had battled the weeds for the last few decades:

The ferns and Lilies-Of-The-Valley I'd planted were growing nicely in the shade of some smaller Maples:

On the north end of the house, one can see clearly the addition which is my apartment. The tenants had disassembled the old waterfall and turned it into a rock garden, sparing the old Bleeding Heart plant which grew there:

This is the view from the road as you would see my farm as you passed by. I've still got some plumbing problems in the house to take care of, but overall, the old homestead is looking good. This is intended to be my retirement home where I'll raise most of my own food. There's some rough winters in that part of the country, but the summers are like the Garden of Eden:

This is view from the small dirt road which bisects my property as many truck drivers saw it that day. The peaceful calm was frequently interrupted by large dump trucks roaring down that dirt road. I noticed that they were filled to the very top with chopped hay to become haylage. This is, after all, prime hay country. My own modest hay fields don't get cut until towards the end of the season:

The friendly view from the mailbox:

The apple and pear trees:

Do you remember the patch of mystery plants last year which I said looked like Blackberries or Raspberries but had neither thorns nor fruit? Well, this year that patch is loaded with berries, though they are still green and not yet identifiable:

And the hay field is looking good. I plan to pasture Red Poll Cattle there some day, alternating fields between pasture and haying:

And one final shot of the farm taken from the edge of the southern hay field. It's a friendly, welcoming, scenic, old fashioned kind of place. Just what I'd been hoping for:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rest Stop At Mountain Pond

Well, back to our trip north through the Adirondacks to visit the farm. The dogs and I had taken a rest break near the town of Keane and then traveled most of the way northward, almost to Malone, New York. There's another favorite stop of mine along the way, and that's Mountain Pond, just off Route 30. I turned in and drove along the lake searching for a good place to let the dogs out. There were campers near where I usually stop, so I kept driving. I learned that the lakeside road (and the lake, of course) went on for much longer than I'd ever imagined. The views were terrific:

And then I found an unused campsite on the lake with no other people around anywhere. I stopped and let the dogs out. That, of course, made them quite happy. Fergus, Wally, Clover and Daphne sniffed around and then headed directly to the water:

Wren doesn't move much unless encouraged to do so. I urged her to move through the grass by calling her toward the water. She's going deaf and I didn't want to holler in order to make myself heard, but I've learned that many deaf old dogs can hear hand claps. That worked with Wren also:

Clover and Seamus, little buddy and big buddy, trotted right down to the water's edge:

Daphne and Fergus waded right into the shallow water, but this was a new, intimidating experience for little Clover:

Seamus, of course, has no fear of water and immediately did his brontosaurus imitation:

The two Papillon pups, Daphne and Clover, went exploring like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. They were adorable:

Wren and Wally found a shady spot of grass where they could enjoy the outdoors without expending any energy:

Winky, always the independent sort, set off on his own adventure to sniff and explore the area:

I love this photo as it shows tiny Clover, unafraid in the wilds of the Adirondacks. She's having a grand time. I think my dogs live very happy lives and this photo reminds me of that:

And lastly, a short video of the two Papillon puppies exploring the shoreline of Mountain Pond. It's nothing exciting - just a glimpse into a moment of life as a puppy. You may notice that both of them like to eat grass. I've come to believe that must be a Papillon trait as both are well nourished and none of my other dogs are voracious grass eaters:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baby Dove Update Number 5

Well, I'll interrupt the travel posts for another baby dove update. These first two babies are from nest 2. They are, at this point, 9 and 10 days old as there was a delay of one day between their hatching. Just look at the size of those wings!:

You may recall that the second baby was born nearly naked and quite fragile looking. He (or she) lived and appears to be doing well enough, but is falling behind the growth of his nest mate. He is also quite shy and tries to hide his head beneath his sibling. But he is now developing white feathers:

I see some color on the bigger baby, so that one will likely be a pied. The smaller baby is still a mystery. Most white doves are not albinos, though at first glance they even have red eyes. I compared this baby to his white mother. Her eye has an orange iris with a black pupil. But this baby has pure pink eyes. I checked the internet and learned that one sign of a true albino chick is that they are born totally naked, without even baby fuzz. So it now appears that's what we have. I also learned that they tend to be less hardy than other doves and are prone to vision problems, especially if kept in bright sunlight. This baby should thrive as someone's pet, however. At least I'll hope so:

And here's all four babies from both nests. From top to bottom, they are 12 days old, 12 days old, 10 days old, 9 days old:

The 12 day old babies from nest 1 are now becoming little birds and beginning to show their colors. This one is becoming a fawn and white pied, a lovely dove some day:

The two babies from nest 1 are similar, but the dark patches on one of them are fawn, and on the other are a darker brown:

And they fill up the nest. Any day now they'll break out and begin roosting with their parents:

I find it fascinating to watch these babies with their rapid rates of growth and array of colors. Their parents are devoted and work tirelessly to get these youngsters out and on their own. It's a shame that they're not more popular pets than they are. I suppose their rapid reproduction rate and loud cooing are among the drawbacks to wider acceptance. Well, I'll keep you updated as the babies grow. It won't take long before they're all grown at the rate they're going:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Field Of Adirondack Wildflowers

This is the second in the series of posts from my trip up through the Adirondacks to visit the farm. I'll mix these posts with baby dove updates. We'd stopped along the Ausable River for a doggy rest stop and adventure. We'd stopped at the Cascade Lakes where I photographed the scenery and two rock climbers scaling a steep rock cliff. But then we arrived in Brighton, New York. This is one of my favorite scenic spots. This time, the hay fields were filled with brilliantly colored wildflowers of many varieties. It was all so lovely that I took many pictures. I'd intended to delete all but one or two, but just couldn't bear to hit the delete button. So I'll present them here as a series:

I believe those bright orange flowers are Hawkweeds. There were also Vetch, Daisies, Mustards and many more. I didn't go exploring because it was private property and because I had a car full of dogs, but I sure did snap some photos:

This is a broad, flat valley surrounded by Adirondack Mountains which in one direction are some of the highest peaks. The more gentle mountains in this direction sure look inviting:

This is actually someone's farm, though I imagine it's got to be extremely valuable land. Sadly, I saw a sign stating that it will be the future home of a housing development. I'm sure that lots of people would want to live where such views surround them, but it will be a sad thing for the rest of the people of New York when these fields are filled with expensive houses:

The big round hay bales are, I believe, several years old and have been left along the road for some unknown purpose. Whatever the intent, they sure add to the scenic value:

The wildflower population was both dense and beautiful. The old fashioned farm buildings could have been a scene from a valley in the Rocky Mountains or the prairies of Minnesota. Instead, this scenery is part of the Adirondack Park of New York:

More loveliness:

And I took one final shot before traveling on. The dogs sure would have loved to run through those grasses and wildflowers, but we had our own fields to explore when we arrived at the farm:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Dove Update Number 4

These babies are from nest #2, and were hatched one day apart. They are 6 and 7 days old in this photo:

The smaller, 6 day old baby is (thankfully) no longer naked and is now growing some feathers, all of them apparently white. He also has red eyes which is common to white doves. Most white doves with red eyes are not albinos according to everything I've read, but this baby seems different. Perhaps he (or she) is a true albino. He's also growing more slowly than the other babies:

Here's the little fellow with his red eyes. He is growing, but less rapidly than the other three babies:

Here's a comparison shot of babies from both nests. From top to bottom, they are 9, 7 and 6 days old:

And here's one of the 9 day old babies from nest #1. Both babies are clearly going to be pieds, though the pattern and exact color is not yet clear at this point:

This is nest #1, with two 9 day old babies. You can see that doves are not among the animals of the world which do not poop in their nests. In fact, they poop in it so much that I wonder if it holds some evolutionary value. Perhaps it helps keep the babies warm or repels lice(?):

It appears that though both babies in nest #1 will be pieds, they will have different colors for the darker patches. I'll keep you updated as they grow and mature. It is impossible to tell their gender at this age and, in fact, can be difficult even with adults: