Cat update for week ending January 18

This week, the trials and successes of Bella, birds making poor life choices, and cold wet stuff.

Portabella and Pumpkin continue to not get along; Pumpkin seems to feel he has to chase her off whenever he sees her:

Bella and Pumpkin

Bella and Pumpkin

She came back, and again was chased off:

Bella and Pumpkin

Bella and Pumpkin

Bella and Pumpkin

In that encounter, Pumpkin kicked the decorative barrel off.  It was glued to the deck with the smaller ones; apart from helping the old west vibe, the barrels help hold the shelter’s maintenance door closed:

Barrel

A Steller’s Jay grabbing some cat food:

Steller's Jay

Two cats arriving, with Pumpkin in the house; he’s fine with the other cats, just not Bella:

Two cats arriving

Graupel:

Graupel

Pumpkin watching me from under the main deck:

Pumpkin

A bunch of small birds drinking from the heated water dish:

Birds

Pumpkin and Pommie hanging out on the cat deck:

Pumpkin and Pommie

A bird tried to have a drink when cats were nearby, and Pumpkin suggested that might not be wise:

Pumpkin and a bird

Pumpkin and Paladout seem to be getting used to each other; the latter saw Pumpkin peeking, but kept on eating instead of getting upset like in the past:

Pumpkin and Paladout

Pumpkin and Paladout

Pumpkin in the garden:

Pumpkin

Snowy cats:

Snowy cats

A Steller’s Jay arrives for more food:

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

This time, not so lucky: Pommie was in the cat house, and heard the bird:

Cat and Steller's Jay

Cat and Steller's Jay

Cat and Steller's Jay

Though I guess the bird was actually very lucky: it got the food, and narrowly escaped becoming food.

You may have seen that I added a new heated shelter in the breezeway next to our workshop. Subsequent to that, I modified it a little to make it more sheltered, by putting some old hanging baskets next to it:

Modified breezeway cabin

Bella found the cabin, and tried it out. She has spent most of the past two nights in there, which makes me very happy:

Bella in cabin

Pommie and Pumpkin:

Pommie and Pumpkin

A cat in the breezeway:

Cat in breezeway

Pommie has spent a fair bit of time in the cat house, too:

Pommie in cat house

Pommie in cat house

Bella in the breezeway again, from another angle (this camera is only there temporarily):

Bella in breezeway

Bella inside the breezeway cabin last night:

Bella in breezeway cabin

Bella having a stretch in the morning:

Bella by breezeway cabin

I’m glad that she has a comfy shelter away from Pumpkin’s usual haunts.

Flock Friday for January 17

This week, the ducks get to practice walking on the ice again, and more snow.

Let’s start with a couple pictures of most of the chickens in the new coop:

Chickens

Chickens

The ducks carefully walking on the frozen pond:

Ducks on frozen pond

On the ramp into the duck house:

Ducks on ramp by frozen pond

Inside:

Ducks in their house

Mealworm treats on the frozen pond:

Ducks on frozen pond

A bunch of crows in the field, making quite a racket; there were many more elsewhere on the field, too:

Crows in field

Crows in field

Ducks slogging through the thin ice on the frozen pond:

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

Chickens with some snow:

Chickens

Ducks in the partially frozen pond:

Ducks in partially frozen pond

Ducks in partially frozen pond

Ducks in partially frozen pond

An early morning shot of snow pooling in the middle of the frozen pond:

Pond

The snowy path to the duck house:

Ducks in partially frozen pond

Ducks in the slushy ice:

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

That’s probably going to be it for snow for this season, though it could snow again. It’s melting now, and will probably turn to rain over the coming week. Looks like the temperatures won’t be cold enough to freeze the pond either. It was fun while it lasted.

Cat update for week ending January 11

This week: using the cat house a bit more, Paladout becoming accepted, Pumpkin and Bella not so much, a little snow, and more.

But first, a Steller’s Jay on the cat house deck:

Steller's Jay

Pommie (I think) and Bella:

Pommie and Bella

One of the twins inside the cat house; not sure if Pommie or Spud, though probably Pommie. They have spent several nights in the cat house, since Pumpkin has mostly vacated it in favor of the cabins:

Cat inside

Poppy entering the feeder via the back door:

Poppy going in feeder back door

Poppy and Bella:

Poppy and Bella

Porcini and Paladout seem to be getting quite comfortable with each other. Here Paladout approaches Porcini fairly closely:

Porcini and Paladout

When she turns around, he backs off a bit, but they seems happy enough; not even a warning hiss:

Porcini and Paladout

Pumpkin arrival:

Pumpkin arrival

Using the back door:

Pumpkin arrival and exit

The twins on the deck:

Twins

Pumpkin is still using the cat house a bit, typically just before breakfast, while waiting for it to dispense:

Pumpkin inside

Our dog Rory inside, watching Pumpkin by the gate (look closely… and a hummingbird visible too). She can react to seeing cats on the deck by jumping up on the window, which is strongly discouraged; we’re worried that one day she’ll break it:

Rory watching Pumpkin

The cabins with their typical occupants, Pommie and Pumpkin:

Cabins

A twin on top of the camera housing, watching Paladout:

Watching Paladout

The cat house façade and signs:

Cat house signs

A fun detail; a cactus ornament in the feeder cupboard window:

Cactus ornament in window

When I do my morning rounds, and refill the bird feeders, Pumpkin often retreats, but sometimes he stays in the cabin and watches me warily; here he was slowly blinking (cat smile) while I reassured him he was safe there:

Pumpkin in cabin

Bella and Pumpkin really don’t get along.  Here she is entering the feeder, and Pumpkin is way over by the bird feeders:

Bella by feeder, Pumpkin by birds

As soon as Pumpkin saw her, he came running up:

Pumpkin running up

And they had a bit of an encounter in the feeder:

Bella and Pumpkin

Followed by a rapid exit out the back door:

Bella and Pumpkin

Bella and Pumpkin

A tail sticking out the back door:

Tail sticking out door

Two cats watching a bird:

Watching a bird

Paladout, with Porcini peeking around the corner:

Paladout and Porcini

Paladout eating, Porcini watching from the back door:

Paladout and Porcini

More Porcini peeking, this time on our main deck, watching me inside our house:

Porcini on deck

My first hint that it was snowing the other day was seeing some white flecks on a cat in the feeder:

Snowy cat

As mentioned, a twin has been spending the night in the cat house, but Pumpkin likes to turn up in the morning to wait for breakfast. That of course led to them having a face-off, with Pumpkin outside and the twin growling and hissing to defend the house:

Pumpkin and a twin

After a few minutes, Pumpkin decided to wait in the feeder instead:

Pumpkin and a twin

A sneak peek of snow:

Snow

Cat footprints in the snow on the bird box:

Snow

We’re expecting much more snow next week, so you can look forward to more snowy pictures if that eventuates.

Cat update for week ending January 4

Some more feeder back door tweaks this week, among other things.

The cats seem to be accepting Paladout; he has been hanging around pretty much every day, and they’ve walked by without seeming concerned by him:

Paladout

A different configuration of three cats:

Three cats

Porcini closeup:

Porcini

Pommie and Pumpkin at the cabins:

Pommie and Pumpkin

Pommie and Pumpkin

Poppy closeup. She always looks grumpy:

Poppy

Some birds making poor life choices:

Birds

Porcini not at all bothered by Paladout:

Porcini and Paladout

Graceful Pumpkin:

Graceful Pumpkin

A long-distance zoomed shot of Pumpkin in the house and two others on a rock:

Pumpkin in the house, two others on a rock

Me refilling the feeder; you can see the feeder drawer out, and I’m dumping excess food into plastic bins that get stored on the top shelf:

Refilling feeder

Pumpkin looking handsome:

Pumpkin

Puzzle time; there are four cats here; can you see all of them?

Four cats

A cat peeking out from under the house, while another cat scratched the tree:

Cat under house, cat scratching tree

The cat under the house reached out and tagged the tail of the other one:

Cat under house, cat scratching tree

The latter then jumped a bit:

Cat under house, cat scratching tree

Paladout eating in the feeder, and is blocked from leaving by another cat. He considered using the new back door, but wasn’t sure about it (which is strange, since he’s clearly a pet cat, since he has a collar; perhaps his humans let him out instead of having a cat door?):

Paladout blocked in feeder

He tried to get past, but couldn’t:

Paladout blocked in feeder

Paladout peeking from behind one of the twins, who was ignoring him; the twin eventually wandered off, so Paladout could leave:

Paladout blocked in feeder

So based on that, I decided to help them further, and attached a bungee to hold the feeder door open:

Feeder door held open

Didn’t take them long to investicat the opened door:

Investicating door

Peeking in the door:

Peeking in door

They seem to like it open; they can now freely exit and enter through the door:

Entering door

Pumpkin:

Pumpkin

Going out the door:

Going out door

The original reason for installing the door: escaping Pumpkin:

Escaping Pumpkin

It was still a big step, a bit awkward, so I then added a cinderblock to make it more comfortable to use:

Step

Two cats investicating the step:

Investicating step

Investicating step

Investicating step

Finally, a harder puzzle; again there are four cats; can you see all of them?

Four cats

Flock Friday for December 27

The pictures this week are pretty evenly split between hummingbirds, ducks, and chickens.

The hummingbirds have been very hungry this week; I’ve been having to refill their favorite feeder pretty much every day. There are 11 hummers on this feeder; can you see all of them?

Hummingbirds

Foggy pond:

Foggy pond

The chickens have mostly kept to their own coops so far, though Lola (the introverted chicken) did spend one night in the new coop:

Lola in the new coop

Lola in the new coop

Ducks:

Ducks

Pippin in my arms, watching hummingbirds:

Pippin watching hummingbirds

After refilling the feeder (yet again), I stood there a moment and captured them a couple of feet away:

Standing next to hummingbird feeder

Partially frozen pond:

Partially frozen pond

Ducks

More frozen pond; they struggled through the ice to come see me (or rather Gert struggled while Bert followed along behind; I’m sure one could have gender commentary about that):

More frozen pond

On rounds (see Rory by the coop), the chickens rushing to the new coop, where I was dispensing treats for the chickens there:

Chickens

Chickens

Flock Friday for December 20

Let’s take a look at the ducks, chickens, and hummingbirds over the past week.

Some pics of our ducks, Gert the girl and Bert the boy (mnemonic, see?):

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

A peek of Gert through the duck house:

Duck through house

The chickens in the veggie garden, coming to see me on rounds:

Chickens

Chicken treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Ducks across the partially frozen pond:

Ducks across frozen pond

Ducks

Lots of hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Did you see the slow-mo video of the hummers?

Another day, more of the chickens:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

It’s been rather windy last night and today. This morning, I found the chair next to the duck house had blown into the pond:

Ducks and chair in pond

Flock Friday for December 13

Some excitement with the chickens this week.

One of the chickens, Lola, was still outside when the pop door was closing:

Chicken outside when the door is closing

You may remember me describing her as the introverted chicken. She often hangs back, and on this occasion hung back too long, and got stuck outside.

I noticed her perching on the waterer when I checked the cams after I got in bed, so I got dressed again, put on a head-mounted light, and went out there to take her inside:

Lola on the waterer

Here’s me picking her up. I carried her out of the run and into the coop:

David picking up Lola

Another bit of excitement was that I opened the gate to the veggie garden, enabling the new girls to access that:

Opened gate to veggie garden

I also opened the hole in the fence between the two runs, so the old and new chickens can now mingle:

Opened fence hole

They are still laying eggs and roosting for the night in their own coops, though eventually I expect some will swap coops. Chickens are very slow to change.

A bunch of pictures of the chickens all together:

Chicken

Chickens by gate

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Let’s take a look at the ducks, too:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

But we’re not done with the chickens: a few days later, Lola did it again, outside when the door was closing:

Chickens outside when the door is closing

Actually it turned out that there were three chickens outside this time:

Chickens outside

Chickens outside

I realized that the pop door controller was closing the door too early, before it was dark, due to low hanging branches of the tree by the coop shading the light sensor. So I trimmed some branches:

David trimming branches

The tree fought back, whacking me in the face; fortunately only lightly bruising me:

David

As usual, I left the cut branches in the run for the chickens to play with:

Cut branches

So far the chickens haven’t been caught outside again.  I have a daily reminder to check as it gets dark, just in case.

Misty pond, with the ducks heading into the house for dinner:

Misty pond

Finally, some shots of the hungry hummingbirds on the feeders:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Flock Friday for December 6

A sad Flock Friday this week: we lost a duck, the female Cayuga (the dark one). More info below.

But first, happier times earlier in the week. Our pond mostly froze on several days, so the ducks got to experience walking on the ice:

Ducks walking on frozen pond

And eating treats on the frozen pond:

Ducks eating treats on frozen pond

Did you see the video of the ducks walking on the ice? And the second longer video?

Another day, waddling from a non-frozen portion to greet me:

Ducks walking on frozen pond

Swimming in a non-frozen portion by the pump:

Ducks swimming in non-frozen portion by pump

Duck tracks:

Duck tracks on frozen pond

Bert & Gert:

Bert & Gert

Ducks on the bank:

Ducks on the bank

Gert and Gill:

Gert and Gill

Birds in the duck house:

Birds in duck house

Treats on the bank:

Treats on bank

On Tuesday, I noticed the two female ducks in a somewhat unusual place, in the northeast corner bank of the pond:

Ducks on bank

Gill was nestled down on the bank, with the two buff ducks hanging around nearby, possibly confused or concerned:

Gill on bank, others concerned

I kept an eye on them, and later saw them all swimming, though Gill looked a bit withdrawn, her neck kind of hunched down:

Ducks swimming

She was barely interested in treats, acting rather listless:

Barely interested in treats

Later, she was resting on the bank again, and didn’t retreat as I approached to check on her:

Gill on bank again

I examined her, but couldn’t see any obvious injuries, so I put her in the duck house overnight, to protect her from predators. She had food and water, but mostly just settled down:

Gill in duck house overnight

In the morning, I checked on her again, and encouraged her to have some water, but she was still very withdrawn. I kept an eye on her on the camera, and noticed she hadn’t moved for a while, so went out to check her again, and (as suspected) she was dead.

I don’t know what killed her. She could have eaten something she shouldn’t, or got blocked up, or injured herself on something, or been attacked by something. Since I didn’t see any injuries, it was probably one of the former.

Anyway, it’s always sad to lose one of the animals. Having lost the male Cayuga when they were ducklings, I wonder if that breed just isn’t as hardy as others.

Now we only have two ducks, the two Buffs, Bert and Gert:

Bert and Gert

I hope they both survive! When Gert starts laying, probably in spring, we’ll likely let them keep the eggs, and hatch ducklings. Which has its own risks.

Sorry to bring you down with this sad tale.

Let’s end with a couple of pictures of the chickens. Them rushing over to greet me in the veggie garden:

Chickens in veggie garden

And waiting for treats in their run:

Chickens in run

Cat update for week ending November 9

Welcome to a Caturday uploaded from the road. A bit more difficult than on my Mac, but a good way to occupy myself as a passenger, and avoid missing a day or being late.

A couple of cats on the deck:

Poppy:

In the cabin:

Pumpkin peeking:

On the front garden:

Happy in the cabin:

Jumping off the camera housing:

Comfy Pumpkin in the house:

He’s such a pretty cat:

Three cats:

Pumpkin arriving at the feeder:

Snuggles:

Arrival at the cabin:

Pumpkin peeking at a possum in the feeder:

Big yawn:

Stretch:

Poppy:

Night Pumpkin:

Arrival at the cabin:

Three cats: