Cat update for week ending April 4

This week, nothing particularly dramatic happened; just a bunch of cuteness, as the cats have been spending more time in their house and cabins.

A couple of cats snuggling in their house:


Porcini and Pommie in the cabins:

Porcini and Pommie in the cabins

An interesting pose while scratching a tree:

Cat scratching tree

Cats sniffing noses:

Cats sniffing noses

Super-cute cat hugs:

Cat hugs

Three cats inside:

Three cats inside

You may have seen this GIF of scratching the tree on my personal blog, but here for completeness:

GIF of scratching tree

Pepper watching me from her nest on top of the shelving in the shop:

Pepper in the shop

Three cats in their house:

Three cats in their house

Cabin snuggles:

Cabin snuggles

Cabin snuggles

Spud and Porcini:

Spud and Porcini

Cat house snuggles:

Cat house snuggles

GIF of climbing the tree, also previously shown on my personal blog:

GIF of climbing tree

A fun frame from that GIF:

Climbing tree

Cats on the awning and roof of their house:

Two cats on house

Jumping up:

Two cats on house

Two cats on the roof:

Two cats on house

Paladout and ducks, as seen on yesterday’s Flock Friday post:

Paladout and ducks

Two cats on their deck:

Two cats

Big yawn:


Screenshot of the camera views, showing four cats — one in the feeder, one in a cabin, and two in the house:

Screenshot of four cats

(I think I briefly saw all five, but didn’t manage to capture it.)

Finally, a classic Poppy face:


Flock Friday for April 3

This week, Rory with the ducks, broody chickens, and a new camera view.

I posted a similar (but different) picture to this one, of the ducks and Rory, on my personal blog:

Ducks and Rory

The ducks on the back lawn, with their heads in the grass, looking for tasty bugs:

Ducks with heads in grass

By the chicken run:

Ducks by chicken run

Ducks and chickens

Two broody chickens in a nesting box:

Chickens in nesting box

Gert on the “island” pot in the pond at night:

On island

You probably saw these two pictures of the ducks and Rory on my personal blog:

Ducks and Rory

Ducks and Rory

I moved the mobile cam from by the cat house to the (currently off) waterfall area of the pond:


A view of the pond and ducks from that camera:


Gert with her head in the ground:

Duck with head in ground

Gert was curious about the camera:




And knocked it over:

Duck foot

So I moved the camera to a better location, closer to the pond deck:


A view from there; you can see the ducks hanging out below the pond deck, where they’ve been spending a fair bit of time:

Ducks below pond deck

I suspect Gert may be considering that location for laying eggs, though haven’t found any more yet.

Swimming past the camera:


Ducks eating treats:

Ducks eating treats





Gert below the pond deck again, and Bert walking past the camera:


Both ducks below the pond deck, and Paladout walking by:

Ducks and cat

The chickens in the old coop:


Broody chickens again (still):

Broody chickens

A wider view of the broody chickens and others:


The ducks walking by:


Chickens roosting on potato planters:

Chickens roosting on potato planters

The ducks below the pond deck again:


Ducks and a bird:

Ducks and bird

Cat update for week ending March 28

This week, some alien cat sightings, some GIFs comparing the twins, and some cat snuggles.

Two alien male cats in the breezeway; they exchanged words, then separated (none of our ferals were there):

Two alien cats

That new alien cat again:

Alien cat

Sleepy cat:

Sleepy cat

Three cats (can you see all three?):

Three cats

A two-frame animated GIF comparing the twins, Spud and Pommie; Spud is the larger one when Pommie is in the cabin. You can see why it’s hard to tell them apart; their markings are virtually identical, but comparing them like this helps to pick out some subtle differences:

GIF of Spud vs Pommie

Porcini and Pommie:

Porcini and Pommie

Another GIF, this time with Porcini in the left cabin, Pommie arriving and going into the right cabin, then Spud arriving and joining Porcini, then later leaving and sitting in front:

GIF of Porcini, Pommie, Spud

A two-frame excerpt from the above GIF, to again compare the markings of Spud and Pommie:

GIF of Spud vs Pommie

And a still of the three cats in the cabins:

Three cats

Porcini yawning:


I was amused by this post-yawn face; looks like she’s about to sneeze:

Post-yawn face

Bella joins Poppy inside their house:

Two cats inside

Bella playing under the mat:

Two cats inside


Two cats snuggling

Two cats snuggling

Finally, Poppy and Porcini inside this morning:

Two cats inside

Flock Friday for March 27

This week was a busy one for the flock, with a possible first duck egg, me wading in the pond, broody chickens, and the heron and a flock of geese visiting.

An egg?!  Maybe!  We found this large broken white egg on the edge of the pond; it sure looks like it could be a duck egg, and I am expecting Gert to start laying about now. I have been looking most days for more, but haven’t found any yet:

Duck egg?

Duck egg?

On Sunday I waded into the pond with a large ceramic pot, to make a small island for the ducks:

Adding a pot to the pond

Adding a pot to the pond

The pot island:

The pot island

The main reason for doing that was that the ducks often perch on the pot that encloses the pump, but I also wanted to clean and turn on the pump, which would prevent that:

Cleaning the pump

Here’s the pump going:

Pump and ducks

A bunch of pictures of the ducks while I was standing in the pond:


Pump and ducks









Ducks going into their house:

Ducks going into their house

I’ve seen the ducks sitting below the pond deck on several occasions; I’m wondering if that’s a possible nest location (nothing there yet, though):

Ducks below the pond deck

Let’s not forget the chickens. Here are some having dust baths in the veggie garden:

Chickens having dust baths

Enjoy it while you can, girls! Once the weather warms up enough for us to start planting, they’ll be evicted.

Refilling one of the outdoor waterers; it’s easier to do that in summer, when the garden water is on, but at present I have to turn on an underground valve for one of the pipes, which leads to this tap in the back lawn, plus the pond tap:

Refilling waterer

Domino laying an egg in a nesting box:

Domino in nesting box

You can see the leftmost egg still glistening, moments after being laid:

Domino in nesting box

The heron stopped by briefly:


An animated GIF of topping up the pond; you can see the water from the hose on the right, and the water level rising slowly (watch the pond edge):

GIF of topping up pond

Ducks following me down the path:

Ducks following me down path

Did you see my YouTube video of eleven geese taking a pitstop in our pond?

Here are some photos of that, starting with the geese landing (look in the upper-left corner):

Geese landing





The geese taking off:

Geese taking off

Finally, Martha is being broody again, hanging out in a nesting box; here she’s sitting on 15 eggs:

Martha in box

Mister and tap repairs

Now that Spring has sprung, it’s time to repair some of the broken garden plumbing that inevitably occurs.

I may discover more once I turn on the garden water (after the overnight temperatures stop being below freezing), but for now I was aware of two breakages.

The first one was a burst pipe for the deck mister system, that we can turn on in the heat of summer to cool us down with a gentle mist.

I had accidentally left a valve closed, preventing water from draining from the pipe, so unsurprisingly it froze and burst:

Burst pipe

The reason the valve was closed was this system also had a problem where the tap wasn’t fully closing, perhaps due to some debris in the pipe, resulting it in dripping:


So I removed the broken pipe. Here you can see the old pipe in the foreground, a new length of pipe on the left, and a cart with my plumbing toolbox:

Removed pipe and cart with tools

The repaired pipe:

Repaired pipe

I replaced the dodgy tap with a ball valve, which while not quite as easy to turn as a tap, will be more reliable:

Repaired pipe and valve

The second breakage was a tap in a lavender bed, snapped off at the base (probably kicked by a deer or landscaper):

Broken tap

The repaired tap:

Repaired tap



While I was doing plumbing repairs, I took the opportunity to extend the pipe for a tap by the small pond, that was too short:

Too short tap

I cut the pipe and inserted a short length to raise up the tap:

Raised tap


Re-buried tap

(Though I was just thinking that maybe I should have also taken that opportunity to add a second tap there, so I don’t need the splitter. One fork of that goes to the small pond auto-filler valve, the other is a hose to refill the feral cat water. Oh well, the splitter is fine.)

It’ll be interesting to see if anything else is broken, when I turn on the water.

I’ll also be doing some plumbing to add taps in the greenhouse, but I don’t have enough pipe for that yet. Ordered for delivery from Home Depot, along with materials for a couple of other projects.

Weather station

As part of the greenhouse project, we wanted to add moisture sensors to seedling trays, to know when we need to tweak their watering.

To enable that, we got an Ecowitt weather station that supports optional moisture sensors. The weather station will also be useful for hyper-local weather information, since weather conditions for nearby towns aren’t necessarily representative of what it’s like here, being on the top of a hill.

Here are the wind and rain sensors, mounted on top of the berry cage. They ideally should be higher for the most accurate readings, but that’d make changing their batteries much harder:

Wind and rain sensors

A closer look at the anemometer, with sensors for wind speed, wind direction, light level, and UV:

Wind sensors

The rain gauge sensor:

Rain sensor

Outdoor temperature and humidity sensor, hanging in the shade of the greenhouse:

Outdoor temperature and humidity sensor

Indoor temperature and humidity sensors and Wi-Fi gateway, next to the Eero Beacon Wi-Fi router in the greenhouse:

Indoor sensors and Wi-Fi

Cat update for week ending March 21

This week, a new alien cat, a jay landing, and assorted cute cats.

I mentioned this yesterday, but for anyone who didn’t see that: because everyone could use a bit more joy at present, I’m posting a moment of cuteness every day on my personal blog. Which will include additional feral cat pictures not posted here, plus our pet cats, our dog Rory, ducks and chickens, and other cute things from around the homestead. So you might enjoy following the Dejus blog, or its RSS feed, or cross-posts on, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Also, a plug for one of my Dejal apps: to help people new to working from home, I am giving away the fully unlocked features of my Time Out break reminder app for macOS.  It’s important to take regular breaks.  Learn more on the Dejal blog.

On with the pics. Here’s Porcini peeking:


Pommie and Porcini in the cabins:

Pommie and Porcini

Pommie and Porcini

In the breezeway during the day:


I encountered Pepper in the front of the shop; she is used to me, so doesn’t run away unless I get within a few feet of her. The feral cats have been practicing social distancing before it was cool:


Porcini on the driveway:


Bella in the cat house:


And by the cabins:


Bella and Porcini:

Bella and Porcini

A new alien cat turned up this week; similar to Pumpkin, but a lighter color:

New alien cat

I haven’t seen Pumpkin for a while; I had to significantly reduce the food dispenser quantity, to avoid leaving food overnight.

A good stretch:


Bella, Poppy, and a twin by the cat house:

Three cats

Three cats

A twin on the front steps (sorry about the reflections in the window):


A fight between two cats; I assume one of our twins and the new alien, but could be two aliens; I can’t see them clear enough to be sure:

Face off

Cat fight

Cat fight

The new alien cat again; an un-neutered male:

New alien cat

New alien cat

A Steller’s Jay coming in for a landing; such a pretty bird:

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

A twin with their tongue out in the cat house:


I hope you enjoyed this cat update. Be like feral cats, and practice good social distancing!