This next photo is of all the ducks we currently have. Every one of them was born here. Two from last year, and the other five survivors from this year.
I don't know what happened to our original two domestic ducks, or that one wild one that hung around for a couple of years. They must have been predated. Funny too because there's been a dead grackle carcass lying by the ponds for about six months now and nothing has gotten it. I'm glad the domestic ducks are gone though because they quacked loudly all the time. You could hear them from two blocks away. Many nights they woke me up in the middle of the night. Now all I have to disturb my sleep is my husband's snoring (or yelling in his sleep), trains, sirens, and dozens of dogs. Unless neighbors are having a late, loud party, or it's July 4th. Often when I get to CMO I have to sleep most of the first day I'm there just to catch up.
Alpine has been getting good rains. CMO hasn't had any in nearly a month. Really dry there. The daily high temperatures average around 100° which only makes it worse. When it's like that, watering keeps it alive, but things do not thrive.
Meanwhile, in town things are thriving. Every year my husband plants way too many tomato plants because he has such bad luck with them and most of the plants wilt and die. Root rot or something. My dad was an expert at tomato growing, and before I spent all my water at CMO on habitat, I had a big garden. One year I canned over 100 qts of tomatoes and froze another couple dozen quarts. I never want to spend my whole summer canning again. We only used about 10 quarts a year. It was bad enough this year spending 6 weeks drying fruit, but at least we'll use it all.
Anyway, this year I prevailed upon my husband to let me plant his dozen or more tomato plants, and we haven't lost a one. You have to plant them deep and keep them wet. He tended to let them dry out and then flood the rows. In my opinion, flooding leaches the roots and sets them back. And he planted them the same depth they were in the pots they came in. Bad plan. With trees and most other stuff that's the way to do it, but not with tomatoes. Any leaves on the stems that would end up underground when you deep plant them you pinch off first. So, bottom line, we are overloaded with tomatoes. We're giving them away. Won't let them go to waste.
For years, maybe four or five, we've planted a Bird of Paradise plant only to lose it during the cold of winter. This year it froze back but survived. I'm going to try to cover it good during the upcoming winter but I think once they're established they can take normal cold winters. So here are our first blooms from it.