Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Quack, Quack, I was taking a bath...

We woke up on Easter Sunday to 16 baby ducks swimming in our pool with their mother.  She had been nesting under a bush in the back yard for about 3 to 4 weeks, so even though we knew the big day was coming soon, we were still surprised.  And so many of them!  This was the third year in a row that she has come to nest in our yard.  She arrives with her partner a couple of weeks prior to settling down and they can be found swimming in the pool in the early mornings.   They usually wake us up with their loud quacking and splashing about.

The mother ran out of the yard with about 6 little ones as soon as we could get them out of the pool, leaving us to fend for the others who seemed a little panicked that their mother had left them.  We were able to coax the rest of them out of the pool on a blue swim mat.  They headed to the fence, but couldn't get through, so I had to scoop them up with my hands and put them through the opening.  Mommy Duck was out there waiting for them, quacking away.  Off they waddled, single file, into the big pond in the woods.  It was an exciting Easter morning to say the least.

I've been working on forging recently.  I made these earrings from a solid piece of 8 gauge square wire (round wire would be fine, too).  After forging the ends, I ran them through the rolling mill, bringing them down thinner and thinner until they were thin enough to develop into ear wires, which I finished off with an Artifex wheel.  The entire piece was then cut in half and the earring was then made by forging a triangular design and finishing off with filing or a coarse wheel.  I shined them up by putting them in the tumbler.  Each earring is all one piece with no soldering at all.   (This technique was recently taught in one of John Cogswell's classes here in Atlanta, and he is such a master I would guess he makes the entire earring with a hammer and a file.  Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the class, so did what worked best for me.)