Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The duck is growing

Look at this picture. And then look at the first picture I posted of Curly back on 6th May. That's only a little over 3 weeks ago. I'm getting used to the speed at which geese grow, but there's quite a few of them, and it gets to feel common-place (but no less miraculous for that), but Curly is a one-off.

I said a week or so ago that Curly thought he was a Goose, because he was being raised with goslings. That might have been right at first, but now Curly has no identity problems.

At this stage I should say I don't know whether Curly is male or female. For the sake of prose, I shall refer to ...him as male. The reason is that Curly is a male sounding name, and we chose the name because of the peculiar circumstances of his hatching. Because he is in all likelihood a Muscovy/Khaki Campbell cross, he is almost certainly a mule, so he/she is in any event relatively meaningless.

Anyways, as the photos show, Curly is thriving. He's even been swimming in the feed bucket I keep in the goslings' enclosure with water in so they can dip their heads. I am SO sick I missed that photo!

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Different kind of Animals

Anyone who knows East Prawle will know the pub on the green, The Pig's Nose Inn, and most will be familiar with it's music nights. The landlord, Peter, has a history in the music industry, and his continued contacts enable him to bring some famous names to this tiny remote Devon village.

Past acts include Wishbone Ash, The Yardbirds (both regulars at the ' Nose), Paul Young and Dr Feelgood. Last night featured the second appearance there of The Animals (nowadays known as Animals and Friends), featuring their original drummer, John Steel, together with Peter Barton (bass & vocals), Johnny 'Guitar' Williamson (lead guitar & vocals) and Mickey Gallagher (keyboards).

I never saw the original Animals, having spent my childhood in New Zealand, but like most music lovers of my (and other) generations, their music is part of my psyche. From the opening "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", through to the encore, inevitably "House Of The Rising Sun", there was no doubt, this was the The Animals live. OK, no Eric Burdon in the lineup, but Peter Barton (Mindbenders, The Move) has all the power and raw rhythm and blues energy needed and more. Williamson belted out guitar solos, and Gallagher, who replaced Alan Price in The Animals in 1965, completed the authentic sound. But it was John Steel, who started out with Eric Burdon in 1957 with The Pagan Jazzmen who amazed me. Now 66 years old, and after 50 years in rock'n'roll, he clearly still enjoys every second on stage.

And that's the thing about gig's (or as they are called in Prawle, music nights) at the Pig's Nose. All generations are represented, both on stage (The Animals were supported last night by local teenage band, Cosmo), and in the audience. And whether they were teenagers, partying down in front of the stage, or pensioners, nodding their heads and shifting their feet to music they had partied to as teenagers, for all of them, this was live music as was supposed to be - totally real.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

The Continuing Adventures of Wee Curly

Wee Curly, our day old Muscovy Duck, was not happy. Having hatched a week early, due to dubious parentage, he was all alone. He protested about this long and loud, making our hearts ache for him. So with some trepidation, we introduced him to the goslings who hatched a few days earlier.

Although a little suspicious at first, the goslings soon accepted him as one of their own, and Curly now thinks he's a goose!

Thursday, 3 May 2007

New Life - again

As expected, 9 goslings hatched over the course of Wednesday and Thursday. Eight are fit and active, but one has a defective foot, and needed assistance getting out of the egg. It seems to be gaining strength, though, and the others accept it as one of the gang.

I had my mobile by the incubator whilst one of the goslings was going through the final stages of hatching (the whole process, from the first crack in the eggshell, can take up to 2 days), and took a series of videos of it actually struggling free of the shell. I've edited these into one film which can be seen to the left.

Sorry about the quality - it's a very cheap phone!