Sunday, May 29, 2022

Paying Attention

Friends, with all the sadness in our world today... wars... shootings of innocents, whether adult or child... we need to focus on the good as much as we can. 

Every new day brings a fresh slate.  We can make it a good one or a bad one, depending on how we respond to it.  Our cares can drag us down, or we can rise above them. 

I am on the "trying to rise" side. 

Please enjoy these pictures I have taken the last few weeks. 

This is little Teenie Tinie, the little kitten who was in heat when she appeared here a few months ago. 
I had her neutered by the wonderful organization "Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society", or 
LAWS, who do free and low cost spay and neuter clinics in Leavenworth, Kansas.

She brought this: 

Jack Flash

He ran both Yeller, and my dear Rusty, my first feral rescue cat, off the property. 
He hates Coco, for some reason, the black female.  He has attacked her viciously. 
He wants in the house, but everyone is petrified of him.  
Cleo, the beautiful calico, will no longer come near the house, and I have to watch for her and take her food to her on the fringes of the yard. 

Jack doesn't know it, but Tuesday morning, I am calling LAWS and discussing how to get him neutered.  IF the neuter does not help, I am afraid he will have to go to the Humane Society as neutered and with shots.  He will let my son and me pet him, and I believe I can get him into a carrier to get him to the doctor. The problem is, I cannot guarantee a day, hence... I need to talk to LAWS to figure out what to do. 

At 4 AM daily, he curls up in the chair nearest the front door... and waits for me to deliver his 
breakfast to him around five or five thirty.  I'm very well trained. 

I was going through the kitchen one day last week and looked out the window and saw this: 

Bullseye was stalking birds. 
Jack Flash was stalking Bullseye. 

They are baccckkkkk.

Two weeks ago, the family to whom I gave my sheep, and who have used my pasture these 
last three years, dropped off a group of ewes to be bred, with their ram and Mama Goat, who was 
here the last two years. 

this kept happening: 

Sheep 204, a Southdown Ewe, kept getting stuck in the fenceline. 
Troy, Kathy and I all cut her out multiple times. 
You cannot tell from this angle, but she was on her knees, caught fast, 
with her butt up in the air. 

Then Mama Goat remembered she knew how to jump the fence in the southwest corner, and I found her in the hen house, inhaling chicken feed. 

So, last Sunday night, Sam, their owner, came over and loaded those two out and took them home. 
There were no more stuck sheep during the week, thank heavens, because it stormed off and on 
for three days. 

It's nice to see happy faces at the gate in the morning. 
There's Mama, I was sure sorry to see her go. 

The finches aren't the only ones using the finch feeder. 

These pictures were taken through my kitchen window. Let me just say that I have never had Baltimore Orioles stay like this year.  Usually they are here on stopover, about two weeks, and then disappear until the next year.  I just looked back to see when my first pictures appeared, and it was the third week of April.  It is now the fourth week of May, and they are still here. 

There is a woodpecker hanging on to the bottom of the feeder... do you see him? 

You can see him a little better there. 

Their color is so brilliant. 

The female Oriole. 

My friends, don't laugh. 

I had a rose-breasted grosbeak for about three days. 

That is he, with his black/white back to you at the feeder. 

I never got a front-on picture of him!  I SAW him going back and forth as I did chores, but just could not get a picture. 

By the way, I am no longer feeding the expensive bird mix I fed the last ten years, I just could not sustain it.  I am buying a Sam's Club Member's Mark mix, it is mostly sunflower, but what I am finding is that the birds are eating almost every single bit of it, there is little wastage.  Sam's was out one day and I bought a bag somewhere else... it was almost 50% wastage.  I stocked up at Sam's, and will continue to do so.  I don't replenish during the day, except if I check in late afternoon and there is nothing left, I will put a partial scoop out because the cardinals feed so late. 

The raccoons are getting nothing but some spilled shells, and... I notice there are not near as many coming. 

Ben, my yard helper the last two years, is working for me one more summer.  He has earned an academic scholarship to the University of Arizona, and will be leaving in August to pursue studies in genetics.  He is going to rebuild this platform feeder that Keith built ten or twelve years ago, giving it a hardware cloth bottom and sturdier frame, as it is now crumbling.  I am so glad for Ben, but also, sorry to see him go. 

I looked out the window to see Coco in the planter last night.  She has wanted in so badly, so about an hour later, I caught her and put her in a carrier and brought her in.  Coco came from a feral colony, and for some reason, Zoey, who likes all the cats, even Jack Flash, does not like Coco.  I put her in my office where there is food, water and a litter box.  She spent the night in there, and about an hour ago, I took her outside, once I was sure Jack Flash was gone.  He hates her, you see, and has wounded her back.  I have been putting medicine on her and will get her to the vet this week if it does not scab over well.  I can see her walking back and forth on the deck right now, as I look out the door. 

We are expecting strong storms tomorrow afternoon, and she will be coming in again for a while to be safe.  Wanda prefers the hen houses, Teenie stays in the shop, and there is a dog house on the porch out of the wind and rain for Jack. 

Cleo is living over in the wild area across the road again, as far as I can see. 

There are two peripheral cats, Lilly and an unnamed gray tabby (who was on the porch this morning), but they usually eat in the garage. 

They live under Troy's storage building. 

The reason we "celebrate". 
Remembrance Day. 


Friday, May 6, 2022

A Cold April and May

It appears we are going straight into summer from a very chilly spring!

We have had rain since Wednesday... and... after one last cool day, today, we are to dive into the nineties!  

Too soon! 

Here are some pictures from around the place in the last few weeks...

I walked out on the deck and happened to look to the east one day and saw this! 
It is in about the same place where the maple that turns into fire every fall stands... but I have never noticed it before! 
(Could the big maple have been felled??) 

It was beautiful, and shown like a beacon for several days. 
Yes, I know it's probably a pear tree that needs to be cut... but gosh, 
it was beautiful.

Jack Flash is always around, always watching.  The other cats are scared to death of him, and I am not kidding.  He has beaten up Cleo several times, and she fears him.  I have to carry her food to her now. 
He comes on the deck about 4:30 AM, and curls up in the chair by the door. (camera)   At 5:30 or so, I haul myself out of bed, and go to the door, having filled the dry food bowl the night before.  He jumps down as soon as the door opens and eats his breakfast, and yes, he will let me pet him now.  He is the only one left not neutered... and I am working on that slowly.  The other males are gone (except Bullseye)... Yeller and Rusty are eating across the road at my friend's house now. 

The orioles are back, both Baltimore and Orchard. 
However... I could not feed on the deck as I did last year, so I have not seen them "up close and personal" .  Cats.  Cats everywhere. 

The feeder is way out in the yard, and after trying it on the shepherd's hook for a day, I moved it to the flat feeder that Ben built for me last summer.  

They will be gone in another week. 

Oddly, I have had the hummingbird feeders up on the porch for two weeks, and have yet to see a hummingbird.... also cats?  I wonder. 

I could move them down in the yard in the shade... and may try that, but the littles are everywhere.  The littles are Wanda, Coco and Bullseye, even though all are a year or over a year now.  They are all small and young cats.  They are also good buddies. 

Wanda and Coco playing on the trellis and fence. 

That is literally the cross bar of the big main feeder Keith built. 
No wonder I am not using much wild bird seed right now. 

I have to admit they make me laugh all day. 

The rainy cool days caused us to spend a lot of time inside. 

I have never grown sweet alyssum or lavender, isn't that crazy?  I had no idea that 
Sweet Alyssum actually smelled so wonderfully sweet!  I know it is spring-flowering, but, my goodness... it's wonderful!

I planted lettuce at the back of that planter, you can barely see it.  It did not 
germinate well.  The flowers in the front are all volunteers, so we will see what they are. 
(they look like daisy foliage) 

Here are more volunteers... Batchelor's Buttons, from the planter 
directly above them on the deck.  There is also catnip growing out of sight on 
the right.  I am leaving all these, they are doing wonderfully. 

There are pink versions around the corner there on the right. 
Serendipity, folks. 

The crazy thing is the planter is my "pasture flower" planter that was planted with a 
wildflower mix.  These were obviously seeds that dropped from it. 

On Monday, my young friend Ben stopped by to invite me to his graduation party. 
Any of you who have read this blog over the past year knows how Ben has helped me so much... he weed eats, does simple maintenance, builds, fixes... the list goes on.  I was afraid I had lost him forever, as he is working at the local bank this summer.  He reassured me that he will still work for me this summer, and I can't tell you how happy it made me! 

I have a list already. 

My local friends are so tired of hearing me talk about On The Hook. 
They are in about six states... if you have a chance to eat their fish and chips, try them! I am NOT a seafood lover, but I could eat their cod every day of the week, and believe me, the weeks I can hit the truck more than once stand out in my mind!

(My friend Gloria calls it "The Truck" and that is how I think of it now, even though there are many food trucks) 

They have the best tartar sauce I have ever tasted! 

I rarely eat more than a few french fries, but I savor every bit of the cod. 
I bought four pieces last Saturday (dinner comes with three) and ate every single bit. 

They are five miles from me this Saturday... I will be there as soon as I leave the Ag Hall. 

Speaking of the Ag Hall, we had our first Barnyard Babies Family Festival on the 23rd... and had a decent crowd after not having it for two pandemic years. 

This is not a very good picture, but you can see that people are starting to gather around the Southwest Dairy trailer to watch a milking demonstration. 

It was so good to see families enjoying themselves, and we had many, many animals there for them to see (and no, I did not get pictures, I'm so sorry) 

In the afternoon, I was the Schoolmarm in Island Creek School, and I invited kids to come up 
and draw on the blackboards behind the teacher's desk.  There are no blackboards in schools today, and it's a novelty to draw with chalk and erase what you have drawn. 
Unbeknownst to me... a young artist drew ME. 

My granddaughter, Paiton, was there helping me all afternoon, and she laughed and said 
"Grandma, turn around and see what is on the board."

I couldn't believe it!  She had actually captured me perfectly, and oddly enough... there was also a cat on the board to the left of me!  

I did not get her name, but she was very talented! 

Another young girl drew a city across the board... it was really something to see.  There is so much hidden talent in our young people. 

My little Zoey had to make a trip to the emergency vet on the 24th... she had a bladder infection, they thought.  She was on meds for over a week, and seems to be much better.  We go on Monday for a checkup with her own vet to make sure.  

She and Jester did a lot of resting up during the chilly week. 

This came up in my Facebook memories this week... Little Snowy in the haybarn, looking for mice. She was as dogged a huntress as is Zoey! 

How I miss her sweet little face! 

Here are the three littles caught by the deck camera.  They are together, many times, when I look outside. 

And to close... proof that there are still a few wildings around. 
However, I don't know whether it is because I am feeding MUCH less feed, or whether it's because I went to a cheaper feed, but 
I have nowhere near the number of wildings eating in the yard now. 

The cameras catch only one or two, not ten or eleven, as they used to. 

Last week, I had a raccoon strike during the day, and kill one of the silkies I use for education at the Ag Hall. 
I have not had that happen, though I have had coyotes strike in daytime. 
I have watched for a raccoon around the place... but have seen only an opossum hurrying home early one morning. 
I know it was raccoon.. it had pooped under the bird.  

And on that happy note... 
goodbye until next time, I am going to deliver some eggs!