Saturday, May 18, 2013

Clouds, rain, and a nice day anyhow

Klipsun Trail near Barkley Village
 No skydiving today. It's an overcast day with rain falling during most of the previous night. I woke to the sound of rain drumming on the roof, sighed, put on my walking shoes and headed out to Barkley Village to join the Fairhaven walking group at 8:00am. Not many women showed up, maybe a dozen, because of the weather, I guess. But by the time we introduced ourselves around the group and started out, the rain stopped and hasn't returned yet.
Peggy, Diane, Judith, before starting out
Most of the women who showed up this morning I already knew. As you can see from this picture, we were not overly warm when we started walking, but by the time we had navigated more than five miles with lots and lots of ups and downs, we were very warm. After a few minutes, almost everyone had their jackets tied around their waists, instead of wearing them. I had chosen my own layers carefully and was comfortable the entire time. As I've said before, the brisk pace gives me quite a workout, since I never walk this fast with any other group. We kept up a 3.8-mph average, even with around 700 feet of elevation gain and loss.
My plot on the left, Nate's on the right
After a quick lunch, I headed out to the garden to weed my little patch, and I worked with the hoe to get that green section between our plots looking a little less healthy. I also have two more plants, nasturtiums, to get in there soon, but I ran out of steam before I finished. Nate has constructed a very neat mesh lattice out of twine to give his snap peas something to climb up on. I put poles in mine, since I don't have anywhere near as many as he does.
Compost bin and containers filled with composted horse manure
Yesterday Clint put out a call to the community gardeners to help with the compost bin. I've been putting in my kitchen scraps, along with many others, and apparently there needs to be a balance between "green" and "brown" materials: green being stuff rich in nitrogen; brown, rich in carbon. He asked if anyone might be going by a nearby horse farm; if so, would we pick up a couple bins of composted horse manure, and I volunteered.

I drove out to the stables and found the pile, along with the promised pitchfork, filled those two black bins and brought them back to the garden. There was nobody around at the stables, but two ducks guarded the place, putting themselves right in the middle of the road leading to the pile. I tried honking the horn (no luck) and finally put the car in neutral and tried to shoo them out of the way. Of course the drake was having none of it and came at me, quacking menacingly and flapping his wings. I ran away, screaming. By the time he had driven me away, he got his mate and went off somewhere, proud of himself. I sneaked back to the car and got the manure and made a quick getaway.

There's a lot more to organic gardening for me to learn, but next time I head out to the stables, I'm wearing some high-topped boots!


  1. you had me laughing - first with your plot vs. nate's. :) then with the attack duck! :)

  2. DJan - I am crying I'm laughing so hard picturing the duck chasing you!

  3. Lol. That's so funny about the drake. Gee, what a slapstick comedy that would make.

  4. haha thanks for the chuckle at the image of she who jumps out of airplanes being chased by a mad duck...smiles...sounds like you had a busy good day...

  5. Brian has a point. A jumper being chased by a duck, quite the image:)) Says she who runs in terror of a ticked off goose. Those buggers can hurt you.

  6. You are smart to layer in preparation for your hike on Klipsun Trail. I'm glad that you all had such a nice day...rain stopping and hiking enjoyed by all.
    Gardening is enjoyable, and it is a lot of work, as I know you can attest. So sorry that you had to fight the ducks for the manure, but glad you won that battle!
    We use donkey manure here because Daddy has 12 donkeys on his farm. Lots of good compost there for sure!
    Continued success to you as you tend your garden. I hope that the plants grow and produce those wonderful veggies that you love.
    Have a beautiful remainder of the weekend, Jan.

  7. Duck, duck, goose. I would run from the goose, but.... then I've never encountered an attack DUCK before.
    3.8 mph is indeed fast walking, almost fast enough to out walk a duck.

  8. Guard Ducks guarding the time take some corn with you or some bird seed..:)

  9. Jan, you are so much fun. You'll volunteer for anything.

  10. There's nothing better than a good brisk walk.
    Now I can see big brave DJan trying to get a duck off the road and then running away when it turned on her. Good thing nobody saw you!!!

  11. Good for you braving those ducks!

  12. Too funny. Guard ducks and geese can be very effective watch dogs, as you discovered. Glad you managed to escape and get the manure. A cheap pair of waders is perfect for working around manure, they clean easily with a garden hose.

  13. Attach ducks are better than attack geese - but still disconcerting.
    Your garden is going so well. Yay. And I love nasturtiums.

  14. I'm just picturing you running with the drake flappin' n attackin' - tooo funny. ha,ha
    You walks always sound so great and I just realized something - we could walk fast speed together - my average is 4.0 when I am by myself and I always slow down when walking with others, but my "alone" walks are my workouts. Nice to see your garden coming along and I am sure from what you learned last year, you crop will be in greater bounty this year. Have a wonderful day.

  15. That hike sounds like a workout--in good company. The garden is looking good.

    Those geese can be aggressive! Manure piles--now that's something I've never been close enough to touch, but I've definitely been close enough to see and smell a tall one from cows. :) Yes--tall boots!!

  16. Your garden shots remind me that I need to get outside and put the chicken manure into the patch where we'll be planting our beets. I'll count it as my exercise for the day!

  17. Guard ducks...I had no idea! Great story.

  18. Funny how it always seems cold at the start of a walk; but always hot by the time you're finished. Which is why the best thing to do on a cold day is not turn up the heat, but turn up your metabolism. Our best friend's son is graduating from college this rainy day. Hope it means good luck!

  19. Funny! Chased by a couple of ducks, but you got what you came for, anyway.

  20. Your chasing duck visual had me laughing. I don't for one minute believe ye, who jumps out of airplanes ran off screaming. :) Oh, and I'll give you a wee hint as to why they were annoyed with you. You honked at them.. that's goose speak - not duck. ;)

  21. Looks like a great hike! Good for you. Nothing like exercise with good company. :)

  22. "What did you do over the weekend?"
    Nothing much...
    "just went out and collected horse bon bons for the compost pile".


    I cleaned toilets. Guess you could say great minds think alike.


    Okay then...scratch the above part and read on down.

    LOVED your hiking story. And the duck chase. LOL Layers is always a smart way to go. And your garden work, looks like it's gonna be a good season.

  23. Dear DJan, I so enjoy your posting about your garden plot. The community effort that goes in this is inspiring. And I'm eager to learn what you are going to grow this year. Peace.

  24. I love how green and vibrant the garden looks--just beautiful. I have bad luck with ducks. And it always seems to be when their mate is around. One tried attacking my oldest girl a few years ago--it was crazy.


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