Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photos Around our Place

Just because this is a completely new habitat for us and so many of you have not been here, I'll do my best to show you around.
Above Kyle is in a pretty cool climbing tree by the duck enclosure. Below is a beautiful flower I spotted in the yard.
Below is a Papaya tree. There is just one, so I need to plant more so it will fruit. They actually fruit within 2 years time!
Below: View of the Ohana House (back cabin) from the driveway.
See the solar panel on the roof? Tom is working hard to get our solar system up and running. It's been challenging figuring out the best direction to face the array and build the rack.

Happy Little Stella running around.
Reeve usually rides his bike from the Aloha house (front cabin that we are living in now) to the Ohana house.
Stella playing "hide and go seek" while running. She figures if she can't see anything, then we can't see her. Kyle in the background.

Below is a view of the Aloha house on the walk from the back of the property.
Aloha House...because that's where we arrived first.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Six Little Muscovy Babies

Yesterday was the day we brought our little ducklings home.
We went to the farm where the Mama Duck was taking care of 15 little ducklings born Sept. 20th. The owner wanted to make sure Mama had shown the little ducklings how to forage. We made a little home for them out of straw and a purple bucket.
I was amazed at how easy it is to tell them apart. At 5 days old they already have distinctive personalities and very different colorings. The kids have named them all. In the above picture, I'll name them going clockwise starting with Alice in the lower left corner. Alice is Kyle's duck and Kyle named his duck Alice because (as Kyle says) Alice can be a boys name or a girl's name. Alice is the one who likes to sit in the drinking water.
Above Alice is Mr. Drake (or Mrs. Drake...we haven't sexed them yet...I'll put their alternate names in parenthesis). Mr. Drake is very vocal and finds the food first. Next, with his head in the food trough is one of the "twins". The twins look very similar, but Reeve's "Roosevelt" (or Velvet Rosey) has a rose colored spot on the end of his bill. I forgot to mention that Mr. Drake's bill is spotted white with black spots. Reeve loves Roosevelt because Roosevelt is the smartest. I would have to agree. We put some fresh avocado and papaya in their pen, and Roosevelt was the first one to heartily eat it. Also when we were outside this morning Roosevelt actually ate a mosquito that was on my foot! I also saw him hunting an ant down.

The other twin is Calvin (Callie Sue). Reeve named Calvin as well. Calvin is for "Calvin & Hobbes", or Calvin Coolidge...I forgot to mention Reeve named Roosevelt after FDR...or Calvin from A Wrinkle in Time. I had picked out "Sandy" & "Dennys" for the "twins" names, because those are the twins' names in A Wrinkle in Time.

The all (mostly) yellow duck is Jemima (or Mr. Jeremy)...both from Beatrix Potter, however Mr. Jeremy was a toad. Jemima is sweet and is calmest when Stella holds her.

The very last one is Meg (or Charles Wallace)...again from A Wrinkle in Time. Meg has an all dark brown head and seems very headstrong...just like Meg from the story.
Above Kyle is holding Alice. Below I believe Stella has Roosevelt.

Today we will put the fencing up around their outdoor enclosure and we will continue to build their nesting box/coop, so we can keep them safe at night until they are a little older and able to fend for themselves.

Reeve with his Roosevelt.
Also...notice Stella's new haircut. She actually asked me to cut her hair when I was trying to comb out some tangles.
Above: Starting at 9 o'clock...Roosevelt, Meg, Jemima, Mr. Drake, and Calvin...Kyle must be holding Alice.
Above and below...from this morning.

Above from Left to Right: Meg, Calvin (top on the stick), Jemima (bottom on the stick), Alice, Mr. Drake, and Roosevelt.
We are in love! Sorry about the foggy pictures. The camera was cold from being inside the house and then going out to the humidity of the warm morning fogged up my lens.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blogging Again

Now that we have internet at our home (very slowwww connection) it is easier to "blog" again. I liked the shutterfly site, but I think I missed the blog. Kyle had a project for school where he needed to bring pictures of his family. Where did we look? Our Family Blogspot! I was grateful to have so many pictures in one spot spanning from 2006 to near-present. So I'm blogging again :)

So what did our Tommy do for his Birthday? He would not be deterred (I wanted to go to the warm pond with the family) and he went up on the roof of the Ohana House to work on the solar system.
Tom's been having to make racking and panel adjustments to account for the magnetic declination and position/angle of the roof. He's got 3 panels up there, and is working on building the rack. 
(See Stella down below...under the internet satelite dish)

Tommy has kindly put the solar system on hold for me, because I have duck fever (he does too!). Below is what the pony that lived here had for shelter. We plan to modify this and build a nesting box for some lucky Muscovy ducks. We've done some reading, and feel that we can handle this new "pet." That will eat mosquitoes, slugs, snails, cocqui frogs, and even grass! The Muscovy is a terrestrial duck from South America. One book states that they aren't really a true duck and don't need a pond or water body. We will provide lots of fresh water, but they're not really a swimming duck. or at least it's not a necessity for them to be happy.
We pick up 6 little ducklings that were born on Tommy's birthday today. I'm SO EXCITED.
Above was just some pretty flowers in our yard. Below is the cover we built for the catchment tank. The catchment still needs loads of work, but this is a start and has already help reduce the mosquito population.
You've met Fred (on Shutterfly...our Gold Dust Day Gecko) and this I believe is an Anole Lizard, Jack. Kyle named him Jack because he said he reminds him of Captin Jack Sparrow. Jack is super friendly and I do believe he likes to watch us.
The other night I went outside and I saw a glowing red sky off our back porch. The flash was on in the first picture, so you can't see it, but I thought it was a good pic of the trees at night.
You'll probably have to click on the pictures to see the glow better. It is from a recent eruption at the Pu'u O'o crater. It's about 15 miles from our place.
When Stella came outside to see what the commotion was about she spontaneously started chanting, "Go Volcano, VOLCANO, go Volcano...OH!" We have no idea where she got that from, but it was eerily hilarious.

Speaking of eerily hilarious...this morning at 5am Reeve and Kyle sat bolt upright in bed and started telling each other to wake up. They both got dressed and went downstairs to start making oatmeal. At about 5:30 am they were getting restless and wanted to know when Papa was getting up to drive them to Pahoa to watch the Packer Game! They all left just before 7am, but they found out that the game wasn't going to be shown until 10am. Oh well...they got an early start at the Maku'u Farmer's Market.