Animal Antics – Birth, Death, Amputations, Games of Spies and a retarded duck (Part 2)

This is the continuing chaotic saga of the animals antics that abounded this summer. Please do read Part 1 first, if you haven’t. Then follow the link at the end back to here.

From Death, we come full circle back to Gigi. With our attention diverted to the rabbits, our very pregnant Gigi was not getting all the right type of attention she would have liked and spent most of her days lounging under next doors sun umbrella. Much more tranquil, no other animals. Our neighbours texts kept me up to date with her location. Then she went missing for 3 days and returned one evening skinny, and starving, demanding to be fed. She ate everything in sight including the dog food, hissing in passing as Lapsong and Chewie watched. This set up the pattern for each night.

We were certain she had had the kittens in the neighbours garden, under their shed or in the garage. They were certain she had had them under our pool house. We decided we would try to follow her and see where she went. What ensued were a series of evening manoeuvres Special Forces would be proud of, but with maybe less favourable results. Continue reading

Animal Antics – Birth, Death, Amputations, Spy Games and a Retarded Duck (Part 1)

WARNING! Animal Antics are not for the faint hearted. My nerves and emotions are just about settled now. Thank goodness. This  two months have been a bumper roller coaster ride of happiness and sorrow, frantic activity and chaotic wonder in our little animal world. Not even a moment to blog a morsel of cheese for a mouse.

Our Gigi leads the pack by getting pregnant, again, and very, very sneakily. What we didn’t know was when her kittens were not even quite 6 weeks old, she tarted herself up and went on the prowl. First time lucky we figure since she appeared to be with her kittens the whole time. About a week after giving away the last of the kittens (at 9 weeks) we finally noticed she was a tad pudgy around the middle. Our first reaction was ‘No way!’, but Yes way and we had to cancel her sterilisation at the vet. (Honest, we had tried not to let her know what was in store for her.) By the next week we knew for sure as her appetite soared and so did her telling us about her day. It was like living with an opera singer on full non-stop vocal. Continue reading

Mother Nature goes to town dolled up in hat and handbag

This years spring has been like an old woman entering the cold sea, a tentative toe at a time. I’ve been told it is an El Nino year, so hence the strange lengthy cold and wet spell. Whatever the excuse, I am not bothered, I just wish it would come! The odd sunny warm day pops in, like a friendly neighbour for a cup of tea, but once drunk, disappears again and we are back to grey, damp days. And this is France! Tsk, tsk, tsk is what I have to say, pull your boot straps up Spring and get on with it! I am ready to garden.

We’re trying something new in our garden this year, building truly raised beds, using pallets. (No more bending and kneeling, and less weeds. Hopefully.) There will be more details on this in a later dedicated blog, but suffice it to say, its a slow project as I work between boughts of rain. Yup, I am a fair weather gardener and not ashamed to say it.

But what I really wanted to talk about here is how this year Mother Nature has gone mad. The garden may be delayed in its growth, but this has definitely been made up for in animals. We figure it is the colder, wetter, consequently darker days that have made the animals bored and looking for something to do. But, honestly!!! Continue reading

That Sunday feeling – a day in the life of a sunny day with animals

December 21st and the shortest day can’t come quick enough for us, particularly the animals. We normally let them out to roam around dawn, depending on fog. The last few days we have woken up to dense fog. It seems to be settling in like a tired old lady in a comfortable chair, not certain when it wants to bestir itself.  The chickens and rabbits are not happy about it. They don’t like fog. The ducklings are not bothered, but Maggie won’t fly in dense fog, so we have to walk her down to the others, quacking and calling to the others all the way. It’s obviously slower than flying. Continue reading

Strange goings on in our animal kingdom

Its been an unusual animal day in our little French world.  This morning, we went to let out the rabbits, chickens and ducks only to be greeted by – silence. Very, very strange and not a wee bit apprehensive. Normally there is lots of quacking, the odd cock-a-doodle doo, and cluck. The rabbits being silent we are used to, the feathered friends – never.  Our first thought was predator and we wondered what we would find, or fearfully who we would find missing. Read on

Making Friends in the Animal World – A Duckling Adventure

This morning I went to let the rabbits out and found a little red squirrel in with them. They seemed rather oblivious to him. He had a bit of a panic as he tried to find the way out, but in the end he managed. It is moments like this, when confronted with the unknown and unanticipated antics of the animal world, that I am reminded not to make assumptions but rather watch, wait and see what happens. Read On

Inundated with Easter Eggs

Easter has dawned beautifully sunny. Hoorrah!  It has been awhile since we have seen the sun and we are all, animals and humans, basking in its warmth.  It finally feels like spring, and the animals are certainly making us aware it is.  We have discovered yet another duck nest this morning, this time amongst the daffodils, bringing the count now to 4 duck nests, 3 chicken nests and 1 rabbit laying eggs.  Okay, the last one is a bit tongue in cheek, especially since it is our male rabbit, but he did invite the photograph after I put the eggs on the chair next to me and he hopped up to investigate.

It just has to be said ~ A truly eggagerated Easter this year.

 

Our rabbits, unlike most teenagers, are very tidy

The rabbits have let it be known that they are getting too warm now in their winterised house, so it was time to start opening it up – a little – as nights are still quite cold.  I removed the straw insulating the roof of their house, which then got added to the duck nesting area, and took the opportunity to clean out their house as well.  This means removing wood shavings and hay and putting in fresh. All duly done. And all with the help of Hobbs. Read On

Walnuts!

We are very lucky to have an amazing walnut tree on the property. We were able to collect a large basket of them over a couple of weeks in the autumn. The trick was then to dry them out as we didn’t have much space that could also be kept dry.  We had them resting everywhere.

And once dry, then began the process of shelling. It became my daily treat to take the basked of nuts down to the rabbits and shell them there. They of course enjoyed the odd nibble, sometimes even cheekily stealing one. Read On