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Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

October 27, 2007
12:05 AM

Post #4127202

And here is His Royal Highness, God Gilbert (named in honor of Gilbert Godfried - the voice of the AFLAC duck in the TV commercials). Gilbert was named Bob when I brought him home from a DG roundup. Like the bargain plants, he was a reject in need of a home. No one else at the roundup would take him, so he rode home with me, quacking incessantly with complaints like a backseat driver for the several hour journey from Lakeland, Florida, to Jacksonville. He has turned out to be a wonderful garden companion. He follows me around as I garden and loves it when I stir up the dirt. Unfortunately, his only interest in eating garden denizens is to eat the beneficial earthworms while paying the insect plant pests no mind. I at first was letting him be a free range duck, but I did find a hand-scribbled note on an envelope in my mailbox one day, "Duck is attacking mail delivery person." I began to worry that a federal agent may show up at my door with a citation for "fowl acts performed upon a postal employee." Also, our doorbell soon afterwards rang late into the night. When I opened the door, an exasperated woman demanded to know, "Is this your duck?" Before I could nod in the affirmative, she informed me that Gilbert had been following her down the street and all her attempts to shoo him away had failed. She was left with no recourse but to bring him to the door.

I erected a makeshift fence around Gilbert's pond to maintain the neighborhood peace. Since that change, we have all been much happier. I made an amazing discovery about caging ducks (apparently not the brightest of birds). By haphazard accident, the segment of concrete reinforcement grid wire (salvaged, of course, from dumpster diving at a nearby I-95 remodeling site) that I selected to lay lengthwise across the entrance to Gilbert's enclosure, slanted inwards toward the inside of the cage. Even though this part of the enclosure is not more than about 1 foot high, Gilbert can't figure out how to jump over it. He runs up to it and finds himself under the slight angle and becomes totally confused. On the other hand, he is able to walk up and jump over the grid and return to his cage whenever one or the other of us grows weary of our garden walks.

I also found that ducks and pond plants and goldfish don't mix well. Within a few hours of moving into the pre-formed plastic pond, Gilbert had eaten all the plants and killed all the fish. I've managed to get some bamboos and other indestructible plants established around the edges of the pond. I recently had to reduce his pen size, at least temporarily, because he was trampling and eating the first signs of the annual return of my native Southern Grapefern (Botrychium biternatum) that grow within his caged area. He is a pesky critter, but now a definite part of our household.


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South Florida, FL
(Zone 10b)

October 27, 2007
3:02 AM

Post #4127729

Jeremy, what an absolutely adorable face. He's sooo cute, can I keep him -just joking. My queen (doggie) would not be amused if I brought another pet, she's just too jealous.
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

October 27, 2007
5:04 AM

Post #4127986

Gilbert can definitely take care of himself around other animals. Sometimes he manages to run inside the house when I open the door when he is out of his pen. Thereupon, he proceeds to chase the cats around the dining room table and up the stairs. The cats can't quite figure out what the big white monster is, but they definitely want no part of it.


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Other Article: True Confessions of a Gardening Addict Threads you might be interested in:

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Plant Addicts Unite! chrissy100 35 Oct 29, 2007 1:19 AM
Jeremy, what a saga! Happy_1 11 Oct 28, 2007 3:09 PM
By request: Enlargeable photos - 1 JaxFlaGardener 3 Nov 4, 2009 4:54 PM
By request: Enlargeable photo 2 JaxFlaGardener 3 Nov 4, 2009 6:43 PM
By request: Enlargeable photo 3 JaxFlaGardener 3 Nov 4, 2009 5:23 PM

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