Feeding Ducks

I only have 2 ducks, so you may think feeding them a trivial task, especially as they trudge up the hill each morning with plenty of rest stops, to present themselves at my house for the daily feed of coarse grains.  So this morning I put 2 scoops of grain into their feeding bowl (an old saucepan) and dump it outside on the patio.  Then from nowhere 4 scrub turkeys turn up and the situation gets political.  The scrub turkeys try to dart in to get a share but the power politics and hierarchy comes into play.  The ducks are twice the weight of the turkeys, but the turkeys are much quicker and more aggressive.

So I have deduced that in the pecking order, the big male duck is boss and doesn’t take shit from anybody.  Second in status is an old and very cranky male scrub turkey with a long pendulous bright yellow wattle that charges at and scares the female white duck with wild charges and flapping wings.  He can frighten her away from the feeding bowl.  When frustrated from his attempts at plundering the feed bowl, he spends considerable effort terrorising the other scrub turkeys.  Just out of spite it seems, as they wouldn’t dare get in his way.  The 3 subordinate turkeys have their own pecking order I haven’t quite figured out as they look so similar.  The white duck tolerates the 3 lower status turkeys eating out of the same bowl, and sometimes so does boss duck, but he doesn’t like sharing it with the boss turkey.  However, the turkey is much, much faster than the duck and can grab a gullet full of grain from under the duck’s beak.  Until it gets too greedy and gets a duck’s bill pounding on it’s head a couple of times.  Meanwhile, the white duck isn’t getting fed, which is rather the object of the exercise.

So in steps me as the ultimate boss, the alpha male, top of the heap ruler of Possum Valley, to bring authority, order and fairness to this rabble of feuding birds.  So I stand guard and gently encourage the white duck it is OK to come back to the bowl and feed again.  The boss turkey races round approaching from every angle including darting under the house to ambush from another angle, but with some difficulty and racing around I manage to thwart his efforts and occasionally lob a stick of firewood at him to assert my authority.  He quickly learns that 3m is sufficient distance to avoid my missiles and continues to test my defenses.  Meanwhile, the low status turkeys have taken their chance and snuck in to plunder the grain scattered round the bowl by the duck’s clumsy eating habits.  This enrages the boss turkey and he plunges straight through the amicable group of feeding birds, to scatter them in all directions and vent his anger.

About this time I deem that my ducks have managed to get enough to sustain them for another day and think I’ll go for a rest and a cup of tea before facing the other challenges of the day.


working to craft our future

I am increasingly baffled by the increasingly strident and vociferous ‘deniers’ who refuse to see the nose in front of their face, and rely on internet ‘silos’ or ‘echo chambers’ to satisfy their view that they are the chosen few who have penetrated society’s fictions and have discovered the ‘truth’. The first I remember was the cult that asserted that the American moon landing was a hoax.  Well yes, I wasn’t there on the moon to personally welcome the few who landed, but there were many thousands of people who witnessed the Saturn rockets taking off in a ground trembling, ear shattering, display of power as 25,000 tons of rocket was thrust skyward.  There was a mighty contingent of the US navy that fished them out of the ocean and upon opening the capsule hatch were instantly repelled by the stench of guys who had been living in a tin can with nappies on for a week or two.  If that is a hoax, it was a very elaborate and expensive one.

Then of course there is the evolution ‘debate’, where so many people, especially in the US claim that a single book written by various unknown and unqualified authors between 3000 and 1700 years ago, translated rather dubiously through several long dead languages, is more to be trusted than libraries of books written by highly trained and qualified people who have done vast amounts of research duly vetted by peers.

Then we could go to UFO’s, but let’s not, as there are so many wild theories based on flashes of light in the sky, that are are so improbably they make Dr Who look like an authoritative guide to extraterrestrial life.  Even in it’s earliest episodes with crepe paper space suits and garden hose squiggling aliens.  Not to mention the formidable Darleks with many identifiable parts from the local hardware store.  Yes, I was there dear readers as an avid consumer of this bizarre children’s program displayed in glorious and blurry black and white on the TV in the 1950’s.

Which brings us to climate deniers whom I am glad to say are suffering a long protracted final cry of despair as accumulating facts suffocate them.  Actually, billions of people around the world don’t have to rely on any academic’s theory anymore.  Like me, they can see it and feel it in their own homes and paddocks as record temps and wild weather break records every year.

So we come to covid deniers.  The wildest wingnuts on the planet who think that millions of deaths, vast disruption to economies, abrupt dislocation of flights, people hospitalised and gasping for breath are merely doing it to fool them!  I have to tell those so paranoid, you really aren’t that important that anybody would bother.  It is really happening and if you can’t grasp that, you may be in line for a Darwin Award.  This is an award for those who do such stupid things as to permanently remove themselves from the human gene pool.  From my perspective these reality challenged deniers are welcome to exercise their philosophies and hope they maintain their ‘Let nature take it’s course’ stance so they don’t trouble the health services and clog up the over-stretched nurses and doctors as they gasp their last.  They may be comforted by their friends and family accompanying them to their fate.

GET VACCINATED!  It is the only thing you can do to help protect yourself and the people you love.

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