Some clips from the pond camera: a heron visited the pond (and ate a frog), a raccoon went for a swim, and koi swam about.
Some pictures from the big pond.
Apparently raccoons can swim:
We were pretty sure that herons visited the pond, but hadn’t seen one till a couple of days ago, when it was captured via the camera. Here’s a heron landing:
And strolling around in the shallow part of the pond:
The heron visited again that night; I didn’t realize they were nocturnal hunters too. Here it has a frog, which it ate (sorry about the spiderweb in front of the camera):
Yesterday I waded into the pond and righted the fountain pump, which had fallen (or was pushed) over, and switched it on:
The fountain helps aerate the water. We also have a waterfall and stream, but that tends to make the pond level drop, so we usually don’t have it active.
Here’s the fountain pump:
I noticed one of the water lily baskets on its side, so righted that too, and found several sacs of salamander eggs on it. Interesting how the stalks were trying to compensate for being on its side, too:
Here’s a salamander:
The pond level was low, so I also turned on the water to the pond taps, and turned on the tap to top up the pond:
Some interesting encounters this week at the cat house.
But first, a couple of cats looking out of the shelter; I enjoy the eyes in the window:
Yet more snow:
A pile of all five cats in the shelter:
A couple of cats watching a raccoon:
A “SLOW, WATCH FOR FERALS” sign in the driveway, flecked with snow:
A cat with snow on their back:
Did you watch the video on YouTube of cats playing in the snow?
Another raccoon encounter. This time Poppy had enough, and went out of the shelter to hiss and swipe at the raccoon, and then retreat back to the safety of the shelter:
Another cat then ran up from behind the shelter and did the same from the other side:
A screenshot of my iPad, showing cats in all four cameras:
A Steller’s jay bird flying in for a drink from the heated water dish:
A cat climbing the tree next to the shelter:
Another raccoon visit, watched by a couple of cats:
The alien orange cat visited a couple of times:
The reverse angle:
A cat watching a deer:
Pepper the shop cat watches a moth flying by:
Pansy, the other shop cat, reaching for some food:
Three cats playing on the driveway:
The alien orange cat came back again early this morning:
The cats inside quickly evacuated:
The orange cat went inside the shelter, and Poppy followed and expressed her displeasure at the invasion:
There was much hissing and growling, culminating in a little swiping and rapid exiting:
But let’s end with more snuggles:
We start this Caturday with some lingering snow, and a cat peeking out of the shelter:
The cats have been somewhat absent during the day this week, though did show up for food, and occasionally spent a night in the shelter. Here are all five cats in there:
Birds in the snow:
A bird on the heated water dish:
I set up the old automatic feeder in the back of the shop, so I can eventually control the amount of food Pansy eats, since she’s somewhat overweight. Initially I had both feeders there, so Pepper still ate back there. A few days later, I moved the manual feeder and a new water dispenser to the front of the shop, where Pepper lives. So this is probably the last time we’ll see Pepper in the back:
I’ve got some new cameras for the chickens and ducks, so will move the old camera from the old chicken coop to the front of the shop, to watch Pepper’s food. Probably more on that next week.
Here’s Pansy, eating from the auto-feeder. Currently it is dispensing too much food, but I’ll slowly reduce the quantity to match the level she eats, then a little less over time:
Back outside, here’s a cat drinking from the heated water dish, while another eats their dinner. This is the last of the snow, too:
A cat having a good stretch against a tree:
Dinner queue. I don’t usually show pictures from this time of night, since the contrast between the darkening outside and the lighted feeder area doesn’t work that well in pictures, but hey, something different:
The theory with the feeder light was that a bright light would deter the possums and raccoons, since they can’t see in that brightness… but they just feel around for the food, so that didn’t work. I suppose I could turn the light off, but I haven’t; it might help a little, perhaps, and makes it easier to see things via the camera in there.
Two cats on the deck after dark:
A cat eating, when a raccoon turns up outside. The cat kept eating, then quickly evacuated when the raccoon got closer (there was no food left):
I think this is the first time I’ve seen a rabbit on the camera:
Three cats waiting for breakfast:
The breakfast rush:
Finally, some disappointed alien visitors. A small possum:
An orange cat:
A bigger possum:
It’s a snowy Caturday!
We got a trace of snow last Sunday. The area around the cat house is somewhat sheltered by trees:
Looking across the small pond to the cat house, with a dusting of snow:
Lots of cat footprints in the snow on the path to the cat house:
Another angle of the cat house through snow-covered branches:
A view from the driveway through the fountain garden, with the cat house visible through the trees in the middle:
Some snowflakes on a cat in the feeder:
More snow overnight:
A bird making poor life choices, snacking in the cat feeder; fortunately for it, nobody was home at the time (I do have bird feeders too):
Porcini looking from feeder:
Pommie with her tongue out, drinking from the heated water dish, about the only non-frozen water available:
Cat tracks in the snow across the driveway:
The cat house with lots of cat footprints out front:
The side of the cat house, through snowy trees:
A cat on the front path, watching me:
Just for fun, I made a couple of very rough mini-snowmen by the cat house. Here a cat is poking at one:
A rare sighting of a cat-head snowman:
Five cats toasty inside the heated shelter overnight. That makes me happy:
We had more snow overnight:
Likely more snow on the way over the next few days, so there will probably be more snowy cat photos next week. Stay warm out there!
With the sub-freezing temperatures recently, I have hooked up my hummingbird feeder heater, so the hummers have some non-frozen sugar water to drink.
This consists of four parts: a thermostatically controlled outlet, a small waterproof heating pad, paperclips to attach to the feeder, and an extension cord to connect the outlet to the heater.
Here’s the thermo outlet, that switches on the power when the temperature drops below 35°F, and off when above 45°F, so the heater is only on when it’s cold enough to need it:
And the heating pad, originally designed to heat engine blocks, held below the hummingbird feeder by paperclips:
The heating pad gets really hot, enough to keep the sugar water liquid. I use the clips to avoid melting the plastic base of the feeder.
Here’s another angle:
A customer on the feeder:
It’s a bit of a hack, but it works really well.
It’s that time again, Caturday! And don’t duck out from reading the blog tomorrow; I’ll have some exciting news then. Stay tuned!
Lots of pics this week. I usually aim for about 20, but today we have 31. Including some new visitors.
But first, some cuteness:
This may be a little hard to see, but there’s a cat climbing a pole in the background (and one eating):
The gray alien cat:
A screenshot of my iPad, showing cats on all four cameras: Pansy in the shop, and some outdoor cats:
A non-cam photo of the cat house. You an see the outdoor cam housed in a stack of concrete blocks on the left (one day I want to make a nicer enclosure, but this works):
Another angle, looking from the path by the bird feeders to the cat house, with the white gazebo and pond deck in the background:
Closer to the cat house. I really wish the two signs were more readable from a distance; I’ve thought about painting the lettering. They say “Cat House Saloon” for the shelter side, and “Mercantile” for the feeder side:
Double-decker cats (Porcini on the awning, Poppy on the deck):
Pippin is fascinated by the cats on my iPad:
With the big and small ponds frozen, birds have been taking advantage of the heated water dish (when the cats are elsewhere):
A daytime screenshot of my iPad, showing Pansy in the shop and others. I really gotta put her on a diet:
What’s this? More snuggles! How shocking:
All five cats inside:
Me refilling the heated water dish. Since the garden taps are disabled for the winter, I bring out a bottle of water (a reused creamer bottle) to flush and refill the dish:
A couple of cats watch as a possum walks by:
Porcini looking at the camera inside:
And her outside:
The alien gray cat ventured into the shelter:
Here he’s coming out:
A bird having a bath in the heated water dish:
Doesn’t want to share:
A couple of smaller birds (sorry, I’m no good at recognizing species):
Porcini the burrito:
Rolling over on the edge… this isn’t going to end well:
Saw that coming; everybody freaked out:
The gray alien again; pretty sure he lives north of us somewhere:
That’s it for this week! What do you think; too many photos? Would you prefer I limit it to around 20 as usual, or the more the merrier?
A silent slow motion video of hummingbirds on and around the feeder.