Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Always Something!

 Stuck duck in center of  lake quickly frozen over after the winter storm and temperature drop.  He couldn't get any purchase on the smooth ice- flapping and clawing to no avail.   How his 7 associates made it across to stay under the dock is a mystery to me.  (I suspect that they better anticipated the lake freezing but who knows nature?)
 So a rescue was in order and three days later , and  after a warmup to 18°F,  I managed to devise a plan involving a raft, rope, and hunting knives since the ice was too thin  and creaky for me to walk on yet.

 Seven associates under the dock.  We built them a functional duckhouse and enclosure including a chicken-wire top sewn together with aluminum wire ,usually used for electric fencing, to keep out the racoons and owls from above.  (you can barely see it to the right of the chicken house -- sans chickens.)
But keeping them in the duckhouse is another problem even though that is where the food is (mostly dried corn).  They will eat then shoot right back out into the lake even though the fencing for the area extends out into the lake to capture about 6 feet of water.  They are domesticated but not at all very controllable.

This the deflated raft.  It started losing air as I was sitting in it on the ice while using two hunting knives' points to propel it forward while roped to a tree in case the ice broke and I had to pull myself back to shore.
Duck freaks when I get to it but didn't have the strength or the means to get away. Grabbed it and brought it back to shore by pulling on the rope where waiting black dog further freaks out  duck--fortunately it had not eaten in several days! (The duck not the dog)

But all is well; at least in this little corner of the story.


  1. Oh, this was hilarious! I got totally caught up in the rhythm of your story...your portrayal of yourself in the deflating raft had me howling with laughter.

    I'm glad your duck is OK. I love seeing photos of your place. The serenity of it must be incredibly healing!

    It's always something when you live in the country, for sure!

  2. I laughed when reading this feeling right at home here. Just recently a little Bantam chicken who refused to be caught or enticed inside when it was so very cold a couple weeks back did have to be revived in the oven the next morning and was allowed to roam in the basement till better. My brother feeling bad for her brought in a rooster friend for a bit of company - of course he did momentarily forget that at 4 AM that ol' rooster would be crowing at the top of his lungs....

  3. You sir have earned 2010 It started losing air as I was sitting in it on the ice while using two hunting knives' points to propel it forward while roped to a tree in case the ice broke and I had to pull myself back to shore.

    You sir have earned 2010 MacGyver award for improvising, adapting, and overcoming.

  4. wow I was lost in the pictures.. have never seen 'real' snow in my life and the place looks so very beautiful.. hope the duck is having a good time now.. loved the post :)

  5. You are a "true hero" and the way you obviously care about animals and humanity, tells me so much about you....but I think I already knew that..:o)

    Well done and very brave, my friend.

    Have Happy Holidays to you and yours,

    Love and Blessings,


  6. Wishing you and yours the magic, the joy, the peace of the season Goatman. May 2011 be filled with your laughter, your wisdom and good health. Take care my friend.

  7. I hope you had a lovely Christmas, dear goatman. I'm here to wish you a prosperous and happy New Year...I will be thinking of you. Take good care, my friend.

  8. Hello to all the goatman's kind correspondents: just wanted to let you know he's in the early recovery stage from his bone marrow transplant, doing exactly as expected/predicted by the docs, meaning right now the hours are dragging and he's heartily weary of the whole process.
    Please be assured I read him your thoughtful notes and he thanks you very much.
    Ginny (goatman distaff)

  9. My first real smile of the New Year, goatman - here's hoping you and yours have a whole raft full of smiles and saved ducks this year!

  10. Thinking of you lots and take care.

    Thank you for keeping us updated.

  11. The achievement of the hero is one that he is ready for and it's really a manifestation of his character. It's amusing the way in which the landscape and conditions of the environment match the readiness of the hero. The adventure that he is ready for is the one that he gets ... The adventure evoked a quality of his character

    -Joseph Campbell