Aerial snow

We recently had a couple days of light snow… a bit unusual for March, but not unheard of.

I always enjoy taking pictures of snow, but now that I have a nice drone, I was able to take some aerial photos of it, too.  The only downside was I needed to wait for the snow to stop falling, since the drone isn’t waterproof.

I’m looking forward to next winter if we get several inches of snow, for even better pics, but this is a nice start.

Let’s begin with an angled view of the snow on the flowerbeds, pond, back lawn, and chicken runs:

Back lawn etc

A top-down view of the field, flowerbeds, and pond:

Field and flowerbeds

A bunch of snowy trees in the mist:

Snowy trees

Just below the cloud layer:

Cloud layer

More snow-tipped trees:

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Our tallest tree with the double trunk (as featured in a recent post):

Snowy trees

From lower down:

Snowy trees

Not from the drone, the gazebo and grove (I love that you can’t tell a difference in quality between the drone and iPhone cameras):


The next day, it snowed a bit more, about an inch, so I flew again to capture that:

Snowy aerial

Snowy aerial

Snowy trees:

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Back on the ground, walking to the duck house:

Snowy bridge

Snowy trees


Ducks in the pond

The daffodils weren’t enjoying the snow:

Snowy daffodils

Snowy daffodils

I hope you enjoyed those snowy pics as much as I did.

Cat update for week ending March 14

While you could all use cute pictures of ducks and chickens this week, everyone knows that cats rule the internet for cuteness. On to Caturday!

Three cats in front of the cat house:

Three cats

Poppy face:


Three cats in the breezeway:

Three cats

Porcini and Pumpkin in the cabins:

Porcini and Pumpkin

An animated GIF of a bird landing:

GIF of bird landing

A new alien cat visited a few times, and menaced Pumpkin (giving him a taste of his own medicine):

Alien cat and Pumpkin

Alien cat and Pumpkin

He looks like one of our ferals, though larger, but doesn’t have the ear tip:

Alien cat and Pumpkin

Alien cat and Pumpkin

He went after Pumpkin in the shelter; Pumpkin stood his ground:

Alien cat and Pumpkin

Pumpkin was none the worse from that encounter:




A GIF of Pumpkin arriving, and pausing while another cat departed:

GIF of Pumpkin and another cat

GIF of Poppy slowly walking towards the feeder, only to be overtaken by two of her kits:

GIF of Poppy with two other cats

GIF of cats playing:

GIF of cats playing

Four cats outside; two in front of the bench, one only visible as a shadow behind the bench, and one by a rock:

Four cats

At the same instant as that photo, another cat in the feeder. I always enjoy seeing all five cats at the same time; a rather rare occurrence:

Cat in feeder

Pepper on her perch in the shop, watching me collapsing cardboard boxes:

Pepper in the shop



Porcini under the deck, looking startled when I was refilling the bird feeders:


Snow on a cat in the feeder:

Snow on cat

Two cats inside their house, taking advantage of the heating pads:

Two cats inside

Cat update for week ending February 8

This week, more snow and more GIFs, though half as many as last time.

Here are Bella and Poppy sitting by the breezeway cabin, from two angles:

Bella and Poppy

Bella and Poppy

You may recall that Pumpkin dislodged the decorative barrel on the cat house deck a couple of weeks ago; I re-glued it back in place:

Replaced barrel

Here’s a shot from a bit further back, including the door to the cat house:

Replaced barrel

Poppy hiding under the stacked furniture on our deck gazebo:


Porcini and Poppy:

Porcini and Poppy



Porcini pole dancing:

Porcini pole dancing

Derpy Porciini:

Derpy Porciini

Porcini looking at a bird:


GIF of Porcini playing, watched by another couple of cats:

GIF of Porcini playing

Three cats:

Three cats

Pumpkin (looking rather evil, but really just sleepy) watching the snow come down:

Pumpkin watching snow

Pumpkin walking in the snow:

Pumpkin in snow

Another cat in the snow:

Cat in snow

Cat prints in the snow on our driveway:

Cat prints in snow

The cat house in the snow:

Cat house in snow

Cat house in snow

Cats in snow:

Cats in snow


Pumpkin in snow

Watch a GIF of cats with melting snow:

GIF of cats with melting snow

Bella in the breezeway at dusk:

Bella in breezeway

GIF of Pumpkin arriving and startling Porcini; I think he was just as startled:

GIF of Porcini and Pumpkin

Breezeway snuggles:

Breezeway snuggles

GIF of a raccoon grabbing a few crumbs of food:

GIF of a raccoon grabbing food

Daytime in the breezeway; quite a contrast between the bright light outside and the dark of the shelves:

Daytime breezeway

Pansy reaching for food:

Pansy reaching for food



GIF of licks in the breezeway cabin:

GIF of licks in breezeway cabin

GIF of Bella rolling around in the cat house:

GIF of Bella in cat house

A twin on the kitchen lawn (I think Spud):

Twin on kitchen lawn

Twin on kitchen lawn

Porcini by the cabins:


One of the twins; I think this is Pommie:


This is definitely Spud (I saw his rear end, the only definitive way to tell them apart).  I can’t tell any difference in markings between the two twins, but Spud is a little skinnier:


Pumpkin hadn’t been hanging around for the last two days, so we were starting to worry something had happened to him, but he turned up again this morning:


Flock Friday for February 7

This week, some pictures of the chickens and ducks with a bit more snow, the fish a bit more active, and a bit of a dust bath.

Here are the three big koi swimming slowly about. They’re still very sluggish, since it’s still cold, but I haven’t seen much of them for a while:


The ducks are curious about the koi:

Ducks and fish

A duck in the rain:

Duck in rain

From the pond deck, the ducks swimming over to see me:




Two chickens in a nesting box:

Two chickens in nesting box

Chickens in snow:

Chickens in snow

Chickens in snow

Chickens in snow

Ducks with snowy pond banks:


Ducks with snow

Ducks with snow

I really like this shot from the hidden path:

Ducks with snow

A chicken having a dust bath:

Chickens having dust bath

Here’s a GIF version of the dust bath:

GIF of chickens having dust bath

February snow

We woke up to about an inch of snow this morning, with a little continuing in the early morning. It’ll likely be all gone by end of day, but let’s take a walk around the property.

Cat footprints on the driveway:

Cat footprints

Trees and bees:

Trees and bees

Greenhouse (more on the shelving project probably tomorrow):


Chickens (more pictures of them in the snow on Friday):


Gazebo and grove:

Gazebo and grove

Path to the duck house:

Path to duck house



East-side trees fading into the distance:


North-east trees:


From the pond deck — the ducks, pond, and snowy trees:

Ducks and pond

Reflection on the pond:


Gazebo and dormant flowerbeds, with the pond deck in the background:

Gazebo and flowerbeds

Finally, the cat house, with more cat prints (more of this on Caturday, of course):

Cat house

Recent dusting of snow

Now that the snow has all melted, and we’re probably not getting any more this season (though might), I thought I’d post some pictures of the light dusting of snow during the past week. The weather forecast was suggesting we might get several inches, but it was more like half an inch. A little disappointing, not enough to break out the snow shovel, but at least it didn’t outstay its welcome.

Here’s the brown gazebo, tree grove, and new chicken coop:

Brown gazebo and chicken coop

The mostly frozen pond, with duck paths through the thin ice:


Beyond the pond, with snowy trees down the bank:

Beyond the pond

Our back lawn, with the pond off to the left, and brown gazebo in the background:

Back lawn

From a little farther back, the path to the pond deck:

Path to pond

The stream (behind the shrubs, and currently off) and cat house:

Cat house

Fountain garden, with the white gazebo in the background:

Fountain garden

A bonus cat picture of Pumpkin drinking from the heated water dish:


In front of the cat house, with Pumpkin by the dish:

By cat house

The fully frozen pond, with snow drifts on top of the ice:

Frozen pond

Our front steps and driveway circle, looking towards the veggie garden, hoop house, and beehives in the distance:

Driveway circle

The beehives; the melting in the center of the roof of each hive indicates that the bees are still alive, at least as of now; still got a few months before they’ll be able to resume operations:


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:


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



Pumpkin watching me from under the main deck:


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


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:


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:



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


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:


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:


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.

Breezeway cat cabin

Since we’re having freezing temperatures at present, and Pumpkin has been hogging the cat house and cabins, I thought I’d get another heated shelter for the other cats, and put it further away.

At first, I had the notion and wrote up a design to build a shelter on top of a new enclosure for our well, since the current one is kinda ugly and falling apart:

Well enclosure

Here’s inside; the well head, plus an electrical outlet that powers the chicken coops and an Eero to help spread the Wi-Fi mesh (amusingly named “Well Actually”):

Well head and Eero

But I had some misgivings with that concept, as it’d take a while to build, by which time the worst of the cold would be past, and I’m not sure they would use it there anyway, among other issues. So I decided to put aside that concept for now; I might revisit it in the future.

Anyway, I thought that a more immediate, cheaper, and easier option would be to just buy another prefab heated shelter like I have for the cabins. And that I could put it in the breezeway next to our workshop, where the cats often walk, which would also protect it from the elements:


Some of the cats walk through there every day, on their way to other haunts in the trees on the east side of our property.

I put the shelter on the lower shelf of the (largely unused) heavy-duty shelving in the breezeway, and (me being me) also got a camera to watch it:

Cat cabin and cam on shelf

So far, the camera has shown only a couple of cats (one of the twins, and Bella) investicating it, including going inside, but nobody has stayed for long:

Investicating new shelter

Investicating new shelter

Investicating new shelter

Investicating new shelter

Investicating new shelter

Time will tell if that is a successful location. If they don’t end up using it, I could try putting junk around it to make it less exposed, or move it elsewhere. We’ll see. At least now they have the option of another heated shelter if they want it.