Cat update for week ending July 20

It’s Saturday, Caturday.

Warning: sensitive readers may want to skip this post; a couple of GIFs that some might find troubling.

Let’s start with some innocuous pictures. A staring cat, and a second one in the feeder, probably startled by some noise:

Staring cat

Pansy in the shop:

Pansy in the shop

Pansy in the shop

Pepper in the shop:

Pepper in the shop

The alien orange cat, Pumpkin, caught a bird below the bird feeders. Rather than include a sequence of photos, here’s an animated GIF:

GIF of orange cat catching bird

One of our feral cats was interested:

Orange & feral cats

Raccoon vs possum at the feeder:

Raccoon vs possum

Another animated GIF, of a rather nasty encounter between Pumpkin and a raccoon inside the shelter. Pumpkin was inside the shelter, and saw the raccoon. The raccoon came running up, and after Pumpkin hissed at it a couple of times, the raccoon dove inside and attacked Pumpkin:

Pumpkin vs raccoon

I suspect that was a female raccoon feeling like she was protecting a youngster:

Big and little raccoons

One of our ferals checking out the shelter after that:

Sniffing cat

Let’s finish off with some more usual scenes. A couple of cats having dinner:

Cats

Three cats:

Three cats

I hope those GIFs weren’t too disturbing. Let me know if you think I should avoid such content in the future. It’s all part of nature, as uncomfortable as it may be sometimes.

Cat update for week ending July 6

It’s cat update time!

Here are Porcini and Poppy:

Cats

A nose-sniff greeting:

Cats

Pansy in the back of the shop, arriving for lunch:

Pansy in the shop

Pumpkin, the alien orange cat, is getting more bold. This past week he went into the shelter when Portabella was already there… and amazingly Bella didn’t object:

Pumpkin and Portabella in the shelter

Bella even went back to sleep, with him on the lower level:

Pumpkin and Bella in the shelter

Meanwhile, a deer came by to eat some berries off the tree, while another cat (Porcini, I think) watched:

Deer and cat

Back inside:

Pumpkin and Bella in the shelter

Pumpkin got a bit too close, which Bella wasn’t keen on, but she didn’t run away, perhaps feeling like he’d chase if she jumped down:

Pumpkin and Bella in the shelter

At one point Pumpkin left, ate some food, then returned, again without objection. After both being in there for over an hour, Pumpkin left peacefully.

Then about an hour later, when Bella was by the bird feeders (look closely to the right of the leftmost feeders), Pumpkin again approached:

Pumpkin and Bella by the bird feeders

He got within a couple of feet of her, then she retreated a short distance, till he wandered off:

Pumpkin and Bella by the bird feeders

At least those two seem to be getting used to each other.

Here’s Porcini in the swimming pool area, after I flushed her out of the bird feeder grasses, while refilling the feeders. She was happy to watch me from a safe distance:

Porcini in the pool area

Bella by the cat house:

Bella

That evening, though, there was a less friendly encounter between Pumpkin and one of the twins (probably Spud), where Pumpkin chased him to under the cherry tree by the front steps:

Pumpkin chasing Spud

Pumpkin chasing Spud

Pumpkin chasing Spud

They separated when I came out, having heard the ruckus:

Pumpkin chasing Spud

The alien gray cat:

Alien gray cat

Another nose-sniffing greeting:

Greeting

One of the twins watching birds by the feeders:

Cat watching birds

Flock Friday for June 28

Welcome to the third Flock Friday!  (Did you see the bonus ducklings on Monday?)

Firstly, a bird flying to the pole the camera is on. Not sure what kind… I want to say woodpecker, since I often see them on poles, but may not be (if you know, please tell me):

Bird

The bird flying away. Notice also a pigeon on the red feeder, with the roost folded down under its weight, which closes access:

Birds

On to the chicks; roosting together on the upper bar:

Chicks roosting

An assortment of chick pics; look at those feathers coming in!

Chicks

Chicks

Chicks

Chicks

Chicks

The chicks discovered the roosting bars above the (blocked off) nesting boxes. Their first view outside, too:

Chicks

Moving to the older chickens, a three-headed chicken dust bath:

Chickens dust bath

A bunch of chickens in their run, watching me as I approached:

Chickens in the run

Some closer pictures of the chickens:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Merida on my lap:

Merida on my lap

Finally to the ducklings:

Duckling peeking

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

They’re getting so big!

I’m now leaving the paint tray pool in the duck house during the day, only removing it at night, so they can swim throughout the day. Next week, I’ll leave it there all the time, where it’ll remain until they can go outside (in about 3-4 weeks time).

Cat update for week ending June 22

Unlike the flock pics, I didn’t have a huge collection of cat pictures this week, as the cats haven’t been hanging around as much, as is typical in warmer weather. But I did choose some interesting ones. Interesting to me, anyway.

Firstly, the twin cats:

Twin cats

The cats haven’t been spending much time in the shelter, since it isn’t all that cold at night, but occasionally they rest for a bit, especially while waiting for breakfast to be dispensed:

Two cats inside

Hey, is this photo mis-filed?! Sure, it contains birds… but also a cat.  Can you see it?

Cat under bird feeders

Here’s another one, that includes two cats. One should be easy to see:

Cats under bird feeders

A cat less stealthily watching a bird on a feeder hook:

Cat watching bird on feeder

Spud in front of the cat house:

Cat in front of shelter

Three cats:

Three cats

About to leap on top of the camera housing:

Up close cat

Four cats:

Four cats

Two story cats:

Two story cats

Another encounter between the alien orange cat & Poppy, in night vision and color:

Orange cat & Poppy

Orange cat & Poppy

(It ended peacefully enough, when Poppy ran off.)

One more pic of a cat watching birds, from a few minutes ago:

Cat watching birds

That’s it for this week!

Flock Friday for June 21

Welcome to the second Flock Friday!

Okay, sure, I cheated with the bonus Flock Monday… but a good thing too, as I have 147 photos since then. I have managed to cull them down to just 30 for this post.

Let’s start with the Ducklings. They have definitely learned that I provide treats when I visit them in each morning:

Duckling treats

They love swim time:

Ducklings

Water flowing off the duckling’s head after dunking:

Ducklings

The buff ones like to keep an eye on me, hoping for more treats:

Ducklings

Water everywhere:

Ducklings

Ducklings

Ducklings

The brown-billed buff duckling still hasn’t been swimming, so I decided to show it (and wash it) by grabbing it and dunking it in the water… which of course it wasn’t too thrilled about, but I think worthwhile:

Dunking duckling

No hard feelings:

Ducklings

A quick look at the wild birds. I temporarily mounted my mobile cam on a post by the bird feeders, so I could watch them with the new feeders. I’m pleased to say that they are effective against the pigeons, that swarm in and clear out the feeders, leaving little for other birds. The pigeons can still eat the dropped seed on the ground:

Pigeons

Pigeons

Birds on feeders

On to the chicks:

Chicks

Chicks

Chicks

Chicks

Chicks

Me in the coop, with a chick on my hand:

David with a chick on the hand

Chick on the hand

Back to the ducklings:

Ducklings

Duckling

Little duckling wings:

Ducklings

Ducklings

Finally, a look at the older chickens. Here they are hanging out in the run:

Chickens

There was some excitement yesterday; it appears a chicken broke an egg, hopefully accidentally (it happens sometimes), then ran away with the shell (which is unusual). Others chased her, and there was some fun for a while. I hope they don’t get in the habit of that, though:

Chickens

Here I’m turning over some logs in the chicken run, to expose the tasty bugs hiding underneath:

David in chicken run

And me in the chicken coop, collecting eggs. The girls are hunting for dried mealworms that I scattered on the floor, their evening treat:

David in chicken coop

Sunset by the chicken run:

Sunset by chicken run

Chickens settling down for the night on the roosting bars, as the pop door automatically closes when it gets dark:

Chickens

In the morning, chickens squeezing out the pop door as it opens:

Chickens

I hope you enjoyed this flock update!

Introducing #FlockFriday

I thought I’d experiment with a new weekly feature on this blog: Flock Friday. I will try to post a selection of photos related to the assortment of avians around the homestead each Friday. Can’t let the cats have all the fun of a weekly feature!

For now, I’m just adding the pictures in chronological order. In the future, I might group by kind or something.

Let’s start with the chicks; one flew onto the waterer:

Chicks

Better seen animated; here’s a GIF:

Chick flying GIF

We just got a couple of new feeders for the wild birds (the second from the left, and the rightmost); both are squirrel-proof, so they close when a weight is on them, which will hopefully also stop the pigeons from cleaning them out:

Bird feeders

On to the ducklings; I got a new paint roller tray that seems to work better; easier access, and more capacity for swimming:

Ducklings swimming

Ducklings swimming

Here’s a pond cam shot of me spending time with the ducklings:

David with the ducklings

Big enough for all of them for now… but not for long!

Ducklings swimming

Another wild bird (swallow, I think) drinking from the pond by swooping low over it, dipping its beak in:

Bird & fish

It’s nice to be able to spend time with the ducklings and feed the fish at the same time:

Fish

Another visitor to the pond, the heron:

Heron

Last night the heat lamp in the duck house burnt out just after this:

Ducklings

Ducklings

Fortunately, the ducklings were all fine; they’re old enough now, and it wasn’t excessively cold last night, that it wasn’t too cold for them.

I changed the lamp with a spare as soon as I saw it was out (and have ordered more spares):

Changing heat lamp

Back to the chicks:

Chick with treat

Chicks

Chicks

Let’s not forget the older chickens, too:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Finally, let’s wrap up with more of the ducklings:

Ducklings swimming

Ducklings swimming

Hand-feeding treats:

Treats

Treats

Treats

Any more treats?

Any more treats?

More swimming:

Ducklings swimming

Ducklings swimming

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know what you think in the comments on the blog, Micro.blog, Twitter, etc.

Cat update for week ending June 8

I’m back from San Jose, and catching up with things… including reviewing the cat cam footage for the week (or as many days as the cameras record; it varies based on memory card capacity and camera resolution).

Here’s Portabella requesting breakfast:

Portabella

Another encounter with the orange cat; it’s being quite a menace:

Orange cat encounter

A good stretch:

Stretch

This is a funny expression; she looks startled, but is actually just in the middle of licking her lips after eating:

Mid-licking lips

One of the cats threw up outside the feeder, and a scrub jay was helping itself:

Bird

However, things didn’t go as planned for the bird; a cat was inside the shelter, and chased it. Here’s a sequence of motion-blurred images, of the bird flying into the feeder, chased by the cat, then out again between the cats legs. Don’t worry, the bird got away:

Cat and bird

Cat and bird

Cat and bird

Cat and bird

A few hours later, another bird, a steller’s jay, came to finish off the food; I guess it didn’t see what happened to the other one:

Bird

It was more successful, and also helped itself to extra cat food. They are such pretty birds:

Bird

Two cats eating breakfast:

Two cats eating

Two cats inside the shelter:

Two cats inside

Four cats inside; three upstairs, one down:

Four cats inside

Three cats snuggling on the heating pad:

Snuggles

One cat scratching the tree, while two are in the feeder, and one on the deck:

Scratching tree

I hadn’t seen all five cats for a while, so was pleased to see them here (one outside, one in the shelter, three in the feeder):

Five cats

Three cats inside when another arrives:

Four cats inside

Snuggle pile:

Snuggles

Cat update for week ending June 1

We may have new chicks and ducklings, but let’s not forget the cats! A Caturday between the Hawaii and WWDC trips.

Four cats on a foggy morning:

Four cats

Three cats inside:

Three cats inside

Pepper in the shop; this is the last shot of her from this camera, as it has been moved into the duck house, as was originally intended; I was just using this for her until it was needed there. (There’s another lower-res camera over by her food, but it doesn’t record as reliably.)

Pepper in the shop

An encounter with the alien orange cat:

Orange cat encounter

Orange cat encounter

The orange cat in turn had an encounter with an inquisitive deer:

Orange cat and deer

A cat in the feeder:

Cat in feeder

One eating, one waiting on the deck:

Cat in feeder

A sleepy Poppy in the shelter:

Cat inside

A cat arrives while others are eating breakfast:

Cat arrives

A comfy Poppy again:

Cat inside

A scrub jay keeps visiting the feeder and taking food (could be multiple, who knows); one day it might end badly for it:

Bird in feeder

Two cats in the feeder:

Cats in feeder

Another orange cat encounter. It arrived (barely visible off to the left):

Orange cat encounter

And four cats scattered:

Orange cat encounter

There’s the bird again:

Bird

Cat update for week ending May 25

Just because we’re in Hawaii, doesn’t mean you need to suffer the loss of a Caturday post! Here’s a post with pictures from the few days before we left.

It’s bothered me since building the cat house that the signs weren’t very readable, as they just had a stain without any color difference of the carved lettering (you can see them towards the end of this construction post). So I recently used a marker to color the lettering, making them much more visible:

Cat house

Here’s a closer view. The coloration of the scull shape is just natural weathering:

Cat house

Breakfast time:

Breakfast time

A scrub jay has visited several times to grab some kibble out of the feeder:

Scrub jay

Going back for more:

Scrub jay

A squirrel:

Squirrel

The squirrel leapt onto the camera housing. Flying squirrel!

Squirrel leaping

Oh yeah, this is supposed to be a cat post. Here are the twins:

Twin cats

Two happy cats inside:

Cats inside

The alien orange cat has been visiting a lot recently. Here he is inside the shelter:

Orange cat inside

Another time, the orange cat arrived when a cat was inside. Harsh words and swipes were exchanged, and the cat rapidly exited through the back door:

Orange cat facing cat inside

The next morning, the orange cat arrived when Porcini was obliviously eating in the feeder:

Orange cat with cat in feeder

Orange cat with cat in feeder

They didn’t exchange any words, but the orange cat wandered off after a minute:

Orange cat with cat in feeder

Then he ate a bit:

Orange cat in feeder

But was startled by more food dispensing:

Orange cat startled

Pepper in the shop:

Pepper in the shop

The alien gray cat also stopped by briefly:

Gray cat

Another squirrel:

Squirrel

And scrub jay, with food in its beak:

Scrub jay

That’s all for now. I may include some pictures from while we’re away in the post next week; most cameras record about a week’s worth, so I’ll review them when we get home.

Bee water pool

Like any creatures, bees get thirsty. So they have to get water from somewhere, for themselves and their hive. They also use water to control the humidity of the hive, as part of the process of making honey.

We have a big pond they can drink from, but it’s easy for bees to drown if they’re not careful. We also have a stream, and in summer a swimming pool, but those aren’t ideal water sources either (Jenn has rescued several bees from the pool when swimming).

So we also have a small kiddie pool that has rocks in it to act as safe landing zones for the bees. It is by the closest tap to the hives, near the greenhouse. Bees will fly for miles to find water, but if they have a ready source close to the hive, they don’t need to go to less ideal places.

The pool was immediately below the tap, but that made it hard to turn it on to top up the pool, when lots of bees are buzzing around. So I recently added a splitter and a couple of short hoses; one going into the pool, which can now be a bit further away, and another for use when working in the greenhouse (until I get around to adding taps in there):

Hoses and bee water pool

I also added a couple of bits of wood as additional landing pads for the bees:

Bee water pool

As a temporary thing, I set up the mobile cam above the pool, so I could watch the bees using it, just for fun. In the above picture, you can see the beehives and greenhouse in the background, to give a better idea of the location.

One interesting observation was that birds and cats also take advantage of the water source. Here’s a crow drinking from the bee pool:

Bird drinking from bee water pool

A cat drinking:

Cat drinking from bee water pool

Bees drinking from the pool; notice some on the wood, some around the edge, and a bunch on the rocks:

Bees drinking from bee water pool

If I zoom in on the pile of rocks, you can more clearly see lots of bees:

Zoom on bees

A crow drinking again; it doesn’t care about the bees:

Bird drinking from bee water pool

Another cat:

Cat drinking from bee water pool

The crow decided to walk across the platforms, somewhat unsuccessfully:

Bird walking in bee water pool