Friday, November 7, 2008

Inga

Inga has been missing for, oh, about 2 weeks or so. Maybe its more like a week and a half...I'm not too good with time these days and rarely know what day of the week it is much less the date, so lets just say shes been missing for AWHILE. Predators are not a stranger to us, we often here coyotes singing across the road and see the red tail fox perusing the area. I've also seen mink crossing the roads up here and even once a Lynx, so my first thought was something got her. As the days went by though, I started wondering. First thing is that the dogs didn't make a sound the night she disappeared, and although they're getting up there in age, they still love to bark at things that don't belong on our property...and even at things that do...they just like to bark I think...and as annoying as it is, it also serves it purpose of letting us know when something is around and scaring things off that don't belong here. They have it good too, when we started finishing off the area that connects the garage to the house we fashioned them their own "room". Its about 10ft long and 4 ft across, half of the inside wall is sheet rock and the rest is chain link fence and a door made of chain link. So when they re not inside with us I can put them in their room and shut the door but they are still "inside" so to speak. On the wall of their room is a doggie door that leads to what from the outside looks like a dog house, but is really a dog house with a dual purpose, because the roof juts out too far to hook a fence wall to we had to improvise and build out a little..so this "dog house" is built onto the wall and comes out about 2ft, and hooked to the outside face of the dog house is a section of dog kennel..you know, one of those 6'x10' ft out door cages for dogs. We had 2 of those and we hooked one of the door sections to the dog house face and then constructed a pretty big outdoor space for them.
Anyway, because this is about INGA not the dogs, the point is, they are right out there where the ducks are, they go in and out at night and always let us know if something is around. And that night, nothing. Not a peep, not a whine. Nothing.


Kismet laying in a snowbank in the front yard...because he kept jumping the fence outback


The reason he kept jumping the fence...too much snow! Bowser showing us just how much there was!

Over the next few days I began looking up and down the small stream where they live. I was looking for strange tracks or duck feathers, I found nothing out of the ordinary, no sign of anything, duck or predator, so I began wondering if perhaps she had just left. But where? Not too many places for a blue swedish duck to go unnoticed around here, not where they could survive on their own anyway...or so I thought.
Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was warm and the sun was shining. It certainly didn't feel like a November day. Our mail comes late in the day, so around 4 I heard the mail car come and I threw on my beautiful red crocs (hahaha) and headed to the mailbox. That's when I heard it...."QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK" from across the road. There is a small farm pond across the street that is frequently visited by ducks and even sometimes geese, so I wasn't too surprised by the quacking, I WAS surprised though by how late in the season it was. Most mallards have already made their way south, and most are usually NOT that loud. Seeing as how I've had a nagging intuitive feeling about Inga for the past few days I decided to mosey on down through the cow pasture to see what was making that quacking noise.
First, let me tell you that the part of the pasture that is on a decline from the road is full of springs and since there have been several cows living on it for months on end, well...its muddy (I keep telling myself that it's mud) and mucky and wet and not easily travelled. Half way to the pond my right foot sunk out of sight in the farm muck and *plop* came out naked. I lost my crock. I had to dig a quarter way to China to find it, and I nearly pulled off the handle thingamajiggy that I pulled it out by. Anyway, once Tryphon and I made it to the pond, lo and behold there was Inga! Swimming along like "what?". There is no way to catch her, I've got to construct some sort of trap somehow, I know she's hungry and little big lonely, when we were walking away she started quacking really loud like "HEY...WHERE ARE YOU GOING...BRING ME FOOD!" Poor Inga.
If any of you have any ideas on how to retrieve a rogue duck from a pond please enlighten me...because I'm clueless ...:-P
Oh..and I'm every so happy that I was wearing my crocs and NOT my new white sneakers...I *heart* crocs!

7 comments:

Teresa R said...

Ok, first, let me get my laughing out of the way because, dang, Stace, you are funny!! Especially when you go off on your little tangents. ;)

Secondly...sorry, I'm not sure how to coax a rogue duck home. The chickens, we train them to come to a rattling can of scratch along with our "heeeere, chick, chick, chick" call. We've never had ducks before and don't know if they're trainable in the same way. Besides, the training bit is a tad too at this point. Maybe you can still lure her with a can of food and have one of the kids tackle and grab her while she's feeding?

Good luck!

p.s. your dogs are very handsome!

Gayle said...

The only way I've gotten a duck to go where I want to go is by herding with a lot of help. I'm assuming the pond is big...like in boat big? If that is the case you would probably need someone to go out in a boat and SLOWLY drive her to shore between two people who are very, very wide apart like 40 feet apart. A trail of food up the bank a ways would help. The boat comes in to shore, they get out and everyone slowly walks towards Inga and hopefully she walks away, to home. Probably not though. Someone usually moves to quickly and she'll panic and fly right over you back into the pond. But maybe you'll get lucky. Another duck in a cage across the road quacking obnoxiously would encourage her in the right direction. Ducks are quite a pain in this kind of situation as they spook so easily. Determination is the key. And moving very, very slowly. Sometimes it's taken me awhile, but I usually figure out how to bring them home. Wish I was there to help! Good luck.

Kimberly said...

Ducks always stay in pairs, so take your other duck down to the pond in your arms . . . DO NOT LET HIM GO! Once he starts quacking like mad, she will hear him and come running. Have some bread that you can even bait her with and be ready to grab her. She might even follow you home on her own!

I use to keep Pekin ducks and they were so imprinted on me that they would follow me to the bus stop, waddle around all of the kids, and after the bus would come, they would follow me hack into the back yard. We turned many heads on our walks. We had someone lock up breaks in the yard to stair and almost get hit from behind! LOL

Good Luck!

Kimberly said...

Holy cow, how many typo's can I possibly have! LOL

Snowbird said...

I don't know all that much about ducks but would she possibly go into a humane cage if you put food leading from the pond up the bank and into the cage?

Arija said...

Great story, don't think you would like to wade through the muck every day and put a small handful of grain where it is easily accessible to you and coax her out?

Firefly mom said...

Hehe - I was picturing all of the, ahem, "mud" squishing through the holes in your crocs ;P

Granted, ours isn't a farm sized pond, but I can always coax the ducks out of it with bread pieces. I throw a few in the pond to whet their appetites, then throw some on the deck or in the yard and they're out in no time.

Good luck! (and make sure you have somebody take pix of the "duck wrangling" ;)