Mix It Up Monday!!

So let me explain “Mix it up Monday” real quick. Obviously, some of us are dragging from the weekend. We need anything to knock us out of the stupor that we feel making our way to the coffee pot.

Anyway, to add a little fun to the mix, I’ve decided to take Mondays and give them a spin. Because I’m a writer I tend to sway towards blogging about writing. And that’s important! Share the wealth of knowledge I say! But writer’s are more than just their writing. They have hobbies, other jobs, and interests just like any other person.

In celebration of that; fun stories, recipes, animal facts, fashion trends, and any other little tid bit will find its way to my Monday blogs going forward. So sit back and enjoy!

kim 073Meet Ms. Piggy…

Yes, she does look somewhat like something you would see on Sesame Street. But I assure you she’s real and just happens to live in my back yard. We drove to Austin to pick her up and her mate, Kermit. To clarify, the reason for her name…when she honks it sound like a pig. Really…

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Ms. Piggy is known as a Cape Barren or Cereopsis Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae). These large geese are found on the south-eastern coast of Australia, and islands off southern Australia, with smaller populations occurring in Western Australia on the islands of the Recherche Archipelago.

They, however, are not like most geese. Cape Barren’s are considered land geese and unlike most others, they rarely swim. They spend their days grazing predominantly on the common island tussock grass, Poa poiformis, as well as spear grass and various herbs and succulents. They also eat pasture grasses, including barley and clover, and legumes. Their ability to drink salt or brackish water allows numbers of geese to remain on offshore islands all year round.

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Last century, they were hunted for food almost to extinction. Due to conservation efforts, their numbers have increased considerably and this species is now relatively common within its limited range. However, they still remain one of the rarest of the world’s geese.

Cape Barren Geese are monogamous, forming life-long pair-bonds. Most breeding activities are observed between May and September. In autumn, breeding pairs establish breeding territories and aggressively and noisily defend these territories against intruders, chasing away other geese, dogs, foxes and even humans.

The male is responsible for constructing the nest using various grasses and plant matter. The nest is lined with soft down feathers.The female lays four to six (sometimes seven) creamy white eggs and incubates them alone for about 35 days to hatching, while the male feeds the nesting female.

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The hatchlings are covered in black and white striped down feathers. The young are brooded by both parents equally. The goslings grow rapidly during the winter, and are able to fly by the end of spring, at which time families join flocks of non-breeding geese, which have also spent the winter on the breeding island.

As far my personal Cape Barren Geese, Ms. Piggy is very personable. She follows us around the yard making sure she’s a part of whatever is going on at the Mill’s House. She is quite a conversation piece to the visitor we have come ever so often, greeting them as they open the front gate to our yard.

Some aren’t sure what to think as she picks and tugs gently at their pants to be petted. Don’t be alarmed either when you bend down to talk to her and she flaps her wings in front or behind you and hisses. That’s actually a sign we found to be affectionate or simply a, “Hey I’m here, look at me!”

Kermit is more ornery. He keeps to himself and refuses for anyone to touch him. He doesn’t like the dogs so much either and they don’t seem to like him. They stay on their opposite ends of the yard.

For the most part they all live pretty harmoniously though with the German Shepherd, Lab, 2 pygmy goats, Canadian goose, Speckled-Belly goose, Runner duck, 2 giant Flemish rabbits, 15 Bantam (mini) chickens, 7 big chickens (variety), Bengal Leopard cat, mini pig, box turtle, and hermit crabs.

Whew! I don’t think I left anybody out! I’m still waiting on my husband to say yes to a miniature donkey. Everybody should have one of those. Don’t ya’ll think!? 🙂

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