Afternoon meal in cat feeder

I enjoyed making the cat shelter GIF yesterday, so thought I’d make a time-lapse GIF for the cat feeder, too.  Both were generated by individually capturing a bunch of photos from the cam viewer, carefully timing them to be evenly spaced, then running them through Retrobatch, an excellent image conversion app for macOS, to read in the files, scale them, combine them into an animated GIF, and write that out.

For the cat shelter one I captured 106 images at 5 minute intervals; for this one I captured 57 images at 30 second intervals.

This was from yesterday afternoon; I noticed they’d eaten all the food, so I dispensed more, and three cats arrived to chow down:

GIF of cat feeder

Cat update for week ending October 19

Like with the ducks, I capture a lot of cat pictures, though mostly from the cam recordings, since I don’t see the cats in person as much. This week, however, I also have some phone photos, to make things more interesting. I managed to narrow them down from 88 to 25 pictures. Let’s dive in.

A queue of cats at breakfast time:

A queue of cats

Pumpkin yawning in the shelter; he’s been spending most mornings in there:

Pumpkin yawning in the shelter

Three cats outside (one stretching on the tree):

Three cats outside

Walking away on the driveway:

Walking away on the driveway

Two cats on a bench overlooking the field; a little hard to see the second one through the slats:

Two cats on a bench

The second one is a bit more visible in this shot; you can also see the side of the cat house on the right, to give some context:

Two cats on a bench

Poppy face:

Poppy face

Porcini looking at the camera:

Porcini looking at the camera

Having a bath on the driveway:

Having a bath on the driveway

Porcini peeking at me from behind the tree:

Porcini peeking from behind the tree

Porcini by the front steps:

Porcini by the front steps

Poppy vs Pumpkin; as usual, she hissed at him, he stood there for a while, then wandered off:

Poppy vs Pumpkin

Bella about to jump onto the camera housing:

Bella about to jump onto the camera housing

Here comes trouble; Pumpkin approaches from behind the cat house while two others are there:

Here comes trouble

A hiss then rapid retreat:

Hiss

Poppy on the deck, Porcini rubbing against the corner:

Poppy and Porcini

A nice afternoon nap:

Afternoon nap

Breakfast:

Breakfast

They sat like this for quite a while; couldn’t eat another bite:

Couldn't eat another bite

Me cleaning the blown leaves out of the feeder area:

Cleaning leaves

Me refilling the water dispenser:

Refilling water

Poppy sniffing the water dispenser:

Poppy sniffing water dispenser

Bella looking at the camera:

Bella looking at the camera

Pepper in the front of the shop:

Pepper in the front of the shop

A rare in-person sighting of Pansy in the back of the shop:

Pansy in the back of the shop

Flock Friday for October 18

It’s time for a confession… I take way too many pictures of the ducks. They’re just so cute! Several times this week I told myself “no, put away that phone, you don’t need any more pictures”, and had a hard time narrowing down the ones to include this week. The new iPhone 11 Pro Max with the fancy machine learning optimizations takes some amazingly detailed photos, too.

Without further ado, the ducks:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Duck

Duck

Ducks

Duck

Duck

Ducks

Ducks

I haven’t included a picture from inside the duck house for a while; here are the ducks eating:

Ducks eating in the duck house

Ducks with lots of leaves in the pond:

Ducks with lots of leaves in the pond

Okay, enough ducks. Let’s look at the chickens enjoying some rice; one of their favorite treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

The older chickens enjoyed the rice, too:

Chickens

Finally, some hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds

Measuring tree heights

Every year at around this time I wander around the property measuring the heights of select trees, to see how much each has grown. Here’s a post about this last year.

Once again, the incremental growth throughout the year becomes more obvious when compared with measured heights from the previous year.

Here’s my spreadsheet recording the heights (in inches); I’ve added columns to also indicate the change from the previous year, e.g. the “18 ▸ 19 Δ” column shows the number of inches of growth between 2018 and 2019:

Tree heights spreadsheet

This year I used a new tool to measure the heights of trees taller than I can reach with the tape measure. Using this simple tool, I can stand near the tree to be measured, look at the top of the tree through the two sight rings, and use the mirror to see the bubble level, then measure the distance from the tree to myself, and add the height from the ground to my eyes. This gives the height of the tree:

Height tool

As I recorded each measurement (in the spreadsheet on my iPad), I took a picture of each tree, as a visual record. This time, I thought I’d post all of the photos. They are in the same order as the spreadsheet, above.

No doubt this is only of interest to me, but maybe others might enjoy seeing other areas of the homestead that I don’t normally show with the more common animal-focused posts. (There is a bonus glimpse of the ducks in one picture, though!)

A new addition to the measurements this year, the Monkey Puzzle tree (by our bedroom closet). I wish I had measured it before, though I couldn’t until I got the new tool; I think it’s tripled in size since we’ve been here. It’s also the only tree being measured that we didn’t plant:

Monkey puzzle (by closet)

Coral bark maple (by front of shop):

Coral bark maple (by front of shop)

Dogwood by pool (by dog yard NW corner):

Dogwood by pool E (by dog yard NW corner)

October Glory red maple (by dog yard SW corner):

October Glory red maple (by dog yard SW corner)

Field Leyland SE1 (nearest flagpole):

Field Leyland SE1 (nearest flagpole)

Field Leyland SE3 (east of road gate):

Field Leyland SE3 (east of road gate)

Field Leyland SE4 (west of road gate):

Field Leyland SE4 (west of road gate)

Field Leyland SW (corner):

Field Leyland SW (corner)

Field Leyland NW (corner):

Field Leyland NW (corner)

Field fir outside gate (to N property):

Field fir outside gate (to N property)

Field Leyland NE/tall (last tall going E):

Field Leyland NE/tall (last tall going E)

Field Leyland NE (by wooden pole for old fence):

Field Leyland NE (by wooden pole for old fence)

Field dawn redwood (second row):

Field dawn redwood (second row)

Field tulip (replacement) (second row):

Field tulip (replacement) (second row)

Field scarlet willow (second row):

Field scarlet willow (second row)

Field Leyland feature (second row):

Field Leyland feature (second row)

Field apple NE (4th from S); a rather sad specimen, broken by deer and elk, but hanging on:

Field apple NE (4th from S)

Field apple NW (4th from S):

Field apple NE (4th from S)

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field):

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field)

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo):

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo)

Behind pond fir (middle between orchard & pond), with bonus ducks:

Behind pond fir (middle between orchard & pond)

Next to stream fir (next to pond stream):

Next to stream fir  (next to pond stream)

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard):

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard)

Apple honey crisp (next to old coop):

Apple honey crisp (next to bantam coop)

Apple gala (next to old coop):

Apple gala (next to bantam coop)

Apple braeburn (next to old coop):

Apple braeburn (next to bantam coop)

Sweet gum in flowerbeds (replacement tree, center of central path):

Sweet gum in flowerbeds (replacement tree, center of central path)

Weeping cherry (in fountain garden):

Weeping cherry (in fountain garden)

That’s it!

Cat update for week ending October 12

Let’s take a look at the cats; welcome to another Caturday at the homestead.

Poppy on the deck, looking her usual grumpy self, Porcini in front of the camera:

Two cats

Sleepy cat:

Sleepy cat

The alien orange cat, Pumpkin, has been hanging out in the shelter quite a bit this week, waiting for the food to dispense:

Orange cat

Here he is arriving in the shelter when Poppy is already there:

Orange cat arrives

Poppy expressed her displeasure at the arrival with some hissing and swiping, which Pumpkin ignored:

Not happy abput it

After both settling for a while, Pumpkin defended the shelter from raccoons:

Hissing at raccoons

The two raccoons:

Raccoons

Then they settled down again:

Settled

When the food dispensed, Pumpkin was first there again:

Orange cat and food dispensing

Still the same morning, Pumpkin was in the shelter when the gray alien cat, Paladout, arrived:

Orange vs gray cats

Orange vs gray cats:

Orange vs gray cats

A screenshot of the cam viewer app on my iPad, showing Paladout in the feeder, Pumpkin on the deck, and Poppy in the shelter:

Orange vs gray cats

When more food started dispensing, Paladout started freaking out; he wanted to run away, but the entrance was blocked:

Orange vs gray cats

Not happy:

Orange vs gray cats

After a few minutes standoff, Pumpkin lost interest and went back in the shelter, allowing Paladout to leave:

Orange vs gray cats

Pansy, the indoor feral cat who lives in the back of our workshop:

Pansy in the shop

Porcini watching a bird, while another is in the feeder:

Watching a bird

Bella on the deck and Poppy next to the house, both watching a taunty bird:

Watching a bird

When feeding the birds, I flushed both Poppy and Porcini out from the grasses under the bird feeders, and they ran to under our deck:

Under the deck

Flock Friday for October 11

It’s time to check on the ducks and chickens.

Let’s start with the ducks, as usual:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

I really like that last picture of the ducks.

And the new chickens; here they are rushing to see me:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Some older chickens:

Chickens

Inside the old coop, the flock block is slowly getting smaller:

Chickens

Cat update for week ending October 5

Another post drafted before we headed to Cancún.

Porcini in the kitchen garden:

Porcini in the kitchen garden

Three cats inside:

Three cats inside

Two cats peering out:

Two cats peering out

One cat in the shelter, two eating:

One cat in shelter, two eating

I was pleased to see this: a cat in the feeder and another arriving, with three cats inside the shelter — I’m excited to see all five cats at once:

One cat in shelter, one in feeder, one arriving

Here are the three cats inside at the same time as the above shot:

Three cats inside

Pansy in the shop:

Pansy in the shop

Pumpkin in the shelter:

Pumpkin in the shelter

Two cats inside:

Two cats inside

Porcini enjoying the bench by the fountain again:

And playing with the algae in the fountain:

Flock Friday for October 4

We’re in Cancún now, but I prepared this Flock Friday update before I left, so you wouldn’t have to suffer a week without ducks and chickens. You’re welcome.

The ducks discovered a fun new activity: digging for bugs in the grass next to the pond:

Ducks digging for bugs in the grass

Ducks digging for bugs in the grass

Ducks digging for bugs in the grass

Ducks digging for bugs in the grass

Digging amongst the fallen leaves is also enjoyable:

Ducks digging for bugs next to the stream

Ducks digging for bugs next to the stream

The next day, they were back in the grass:

Ducks digging for bugs in the grass

Ducks digging for bugs in the grass

Ducks digging for bugs in the grass

The heron returns:

The heron returns

Finally, a couple of pictures of the young chickens:

Chickens

Chickens

That’s it for this week! I can’t view the cameras while away, so I might include some pictures from this week in next week’s post.

Cat update for week ending September 28

Time for lots of pictures of our feral cats; it’s Caturday.

This past week Porcini has taken to sitting on the bench by the fountain on sunny days; a nice spot, somewhat near the cat house, where she can keep an eye on things:

Porcini on bench by fountain

Poppy looking at a bird:

Poppy looking at a bird

Snuggles:

Snuggles

Three cats waiting for breakfast in the shelter:

Three cats inside

Two cats snuggling in the evening:

Two cats inside

A screenshot of the camera viewing app, showing four cats; two in the shelter, one on the deck, one eating:

Four cats

A Steller’s jay making very bad choices, when there’s a cat in the shelter (don’t worry, the bird flew away before the cat came out):

Steller's Jay making very bad choices

Porcini sleeping on the bench again:

Porcini on bench again

Porcini coming out of the feeder:

Porcini coming out of feeder

When the weather isn’t so nice, Porcini has another solution: sleeping on one of the chairs on our deck, under the shelter of the gazebo (with a nice view of hummingbirds flying to the feeders):

Porcini on deck chair

We had suspected a cat was doing that for a while, as we noticed cat fur on the cushions, but this was the first time we’d seen her doing so.

The orange cat, Pumpkin, watching a possum that scored some leftover food:

Orange cat and possum

Pumpkin spent some time inside the shelter, too:

Orange cat inside

Two cats snuggling inside:

Two cats snuggling inside

A screenshot showing Pumpkin peeking at others inside:

Orange cat peeking in at others

A sequence of images of Pumpkin going into the shelter when Poppy was there:

Orange cat going into shelter

Orange cat in shelter

Poppy hissed at Pumpkin:

Orange cat in shelter

But Pumpkin just settled down, and Poppy relaxed:

Orange cat and Poppy in shelter

Orange cat and Poppy in shelter

Orange cat and Poppy in shelter

Orange cat and Poppy in shelter

Orange cat and Poppy in shelter

They shared the shelter for about an hour, then Poppy left:

Orange cat and Poppy in shelter

And Pumpkin stuck around for another hour before departing too:

Orange cat in shelter

Orange cat in shelter

Orange cat in shelter

This morning, two cats waiting for breakfast inside; they don’t seem to mind the smell of Pumpkin:

Two cats inside