Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Female Nesting

Follow the link below to view the story of Madeleine, a wild Mallard who nested in a garden, laying and hatching her eggs, and then taking her ducklings away to the water....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Came across this Mallard nest next to the creek today. 

 Hens lay 1 egg per day with a clutch being about 12 eggs.  As the female lays additional eggs, she will construct a nest bowl from twigs, grass and down feathers.  The nest bowl camouflages and insulates the eggs.  Once all the eggs are laid, the incubation period begins.  This incubation period last about 25-29 days, with the ducklings hatching within 12-24 hours of each other.  

According to Cornell University studies, the success rate for a Mallard nest is between 1% -28% (based on location).  This is really close to the creek edge in a area that tends to flood when it rains. It is possible that this is a "new mommy" since mallards often return to the previous years successful nesting sites.  Hens that loose their first nest will nest again (and again, and again ) up to 4 times, but with fewer eggs.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What The BOLT?!?....going to seed...

Spinach seedlings that went to seed.  

Bolting is a natural life cycle or survival technique that plants use to perpetuate the next generation.  As gardeners, we consider bolting as premature, often happening before we are ready to harvest.  Energy, normally spent on the edible parts of the plant is spent on producing flowers and seeds, leaving the plant woody, tasteless or bitter, and rendering the plant useless for consumption.
Bolting, or "going to seed" is brought on by temperature, light length, inadequate water, overcrowding,  and other stresses, and triggered by the plants hormones.   

These spinach seedlings bolted on me after I left them under the grow light for to long.