Flock Friday for June 18

Happy Flock Friday! We’re still waiting for Sonja’s eggs to hatch; based on when she started full-time nesting, they’re due around today, though could be a few days away.

Here is Sonja on her nest last weekend:

Sonja nesting

A peek at her eggs; I see 15 there, but there could be more hidden under the straw. As with Betty, probably only a few of those will hatch:

Sonja's eggs

Our pond, with Betty flapping her wings on the island, and her ducklings barely visible:

Pond

A closer look at Betty and her ducklings:

Betty and ducklings

Did you see my blog post about adding more dirt to the island?

Ducklings and ducks on the far side of the pond:

Ducks

A snake taking a swim; don’t see them often:

Snake

Ducks on the lawn by the brown gazebo and grove of trees:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Sonja taking a break on an upturned pot island, along with Betty and her ducklings:

Betty and ducklings

Betty and ducklings:

Betty and ducklings

Betty and ducklings

They’re getting so big already!

Oh, I suppose I should include some token pictures of chickens too; the chickens are characters in their own way, but for some reason I take way more pictures of the ducks:

Chickens

Chickens:

Chickens

Chickens:

Chickens

Cat update for week ending June 12

Some pictures of cats in the cabins and their house, and outside. And one not-a-cat.

Sleepy cabin cat:

Cabin cat

Inside the cat house:

Cat inside house

Two cats inside:

Two cats inside house

Pommie watching Paladout in the tree (behind the timestamp):

Cat watching another in tree

Not a cat; unusual to see a possum in daylight hours. Watched by a cat behind the house:

Possum and cat

Porcini enjoying a cabin:

Cabin cat

Two cats:

Two cats

Spud and Porcini:

Two cabin cats

Sitting in front of the cabins:

Cabin cat

Porcini watching me:

Cabin cat

Relaxed:

Cabin cat

Cat-loafing outside:

Cabin cat

Unusual to see Bella in the house:

Bella in the house

Cat update for week ending May 29

More duckling pics later, but it’s Caturday, so tradition dictates that we start the day with some cute cat pics.

Here’s Bella by the cabins:

Bella

And Spud:

Spud

Spud and Porcini:

Spud and Porcini

Spud and Porcini again:

Spud and Porcini

Bella:

Bella

A GIF time-lapse of the cabins:

Timelapse

A real-time GIF of three cats at the cabins; watch as Pommie sneaks in the back door of the right cabin, hisses at Spud sitting out front, making Porcini run off:

Three cats

A squirrel visits the feeder:

Chipmunk

Porcini and Pommie watching me approach; Pommie retreated, but Porcini just stayed there:

Porcini and Pommie watching me approach

Paladin watching Porcini from the window:

Paladin watching Porcini

Porcini

Flock Friday for May 14

On Flock Friday this week, we’re visited by a heron a couple of times, a second nesting duck, and more.

Firstly, a couple of chickens in the new coop, one emerging from a nesting box:

Chickens

An animated GIF of a heron landing on the pond island:

Heron

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Chickens in their run, and ducks on the lawn:

Chickens and ducks

We evicted the chickens from the veggie garden, and closed the gate into their run:

Chickens with closed gate

Another GIF of the heron, this time flying from the island to the edge of the pond in front of the camera:

Heron

A GIF of Betty arriving back in the duck house after taking a brief break, drying herself off, then heading to her nest, and Sonja going to hers:

Ducks

Lots of finches on the bird feeders:

Birds on feeders

Betty on her nest, and Sonja laying an egg on hers; not on it full-time as of this date:

Nesting ducks

Chickens with treats:

Chickens

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

A nice circle of eggs in Sonja’s nest; about nine there:

Eggs and nesting

Ducks on islands:

Ducks on islands

This morning Sonja seems to have started sitting on her nest full-time, like Betty is — we’ll see if she stays there, or is just spending a longer-than-usual time (apparently common to gradually increase the nesting time):

Nesting ducks

Here she’s pulling some straw into the nest:

Pulling straw into the nest

The ducklings hatch in about 28 days from full-time nesting, so Betty’s are expected within the next week, and Sonja’s will be around June 11. When they hatch, I’ll be sure to do a special post with the news.

Cat update for week ending April 17

Not many pictures of the cats this week, as my cameras were having issues, but some nice ones.

Firstly, two cats in the garden by the stream (which was off at the time; I just turned it on yesterday):

Two cats

Porcini on a path:

Porcini

Paladin doesn’t like the pâté wet food, so I’m giving it to the ferals; they’re not as picky. Here’s Spud enjoying it:

Wet food

Porcini asleep inside the cat house:

Porcini

An animated time-lapse GIF of several hours inside the house, showing her movements:

Porcini

A skunk visited the house too:

Skunk

Porcini is an expert at relaxing:

Porcini

One more picture of her, outside this time:

Porcini

Finally, Pommie oozing out of a cabin on a warm afternoon:

Pommie

Cat update for week ending April 10

This week on Caturday, various feral cats, several watching me, plus a GIF of a possum at the cat house.

Comfy Porcini in the cat house:

Porcini in the cat house

Cats greeting:

Cats greeting

A GIF of a possum climbing onto the awning of the cat house (no cats home at the time):

Possum

Spud relaxing in our kitchen garden, watching me watching him from a window:

Spud

Spud

Porcini in a cabin, watching me walk past:

Porcini in a cabin

Paladout watching me refill the cat feeder:

Paladout

Paladout and Porcini:

Paladout and Porcini

Porcini on a bench by the fountain garden:

Porcini

Porcini

And Bella watching me from under the bench:

Bella

Finally, three cats at the cabins:

Three cats at the cabins

Cat update for week ending March 27

This week marked the passing of Poppy, the mother of our other outdoor feral cats. She wasn’t a pet cat, but it’s always sad to lose a cat of any kind. We were also visited by a bobcat for the first time (or rather, the first time I’ve seen one on my cameras).

Let’s start with some pictures of Poppy before her death; here she is with Porcini (left):

Porcini and Poppy

And with Spud on the deck:

Poppy and Spud

Here’s a cams app screenshot showing four cats; one in a cabin, one in the feeder, and two in the house:

Cams screenshot of four cats

Porcini looking out the upper back door, and Poppy below:

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy:

Porcini and Poppy

The last ever picture of Poppy, about the time she died; at least it was in the comfort of their heated house:

Poppy

In the morning, Spud discovered Poppy’s body; it’s good that her offspring saw that, to help them understand that she had died, rather than just mysteriously vanished:

Discovering Poppy

Porcini also saw her:

Porcini seeing dead Poppy

Rest in peace, Poppy.

For the others, life continues. Here’s a cat in a cabin on a rainy morning, watching me walk by:

Cabin cat

Porcini outside the cabins, with Spud and Pommie inside:

Porcini, Spud, Pommie

Porcini joined Spud in the left cabin:

Porcini, Spud, Pommie

Porcini, Spud, Pommie

Porcini scratching a tree:

Porcini scratching a tree

Porcini again:

Porcini

And again, watching me from a cabin:

Porcini

A bobcat visited our homestead; this is the first time I’ve seen one (GIF):

Bobcat

Bobcat

Another GIF:

Bobcat

I wouldn’t want to encounter this suddenly:

Bobcat

Bobcat

The bobcat also checked out the cabins, with nobody home (GIF):

Bobcat

A still from that; so tall:

Bobcat

It was a busy night at the cabins; a few minutes later, a possum went into the left cabin:

Possum

Yawn, feeling sleepy:

Possum

It curled up and slept in there for a couple of hours:

Possum

The possum leaving:

Possum

A cat checks out the cabins, but decides she doesn’t want to stick around:

Cat

Good thing, since a raccoon also wanders by a few minutes later:

Raccoon

Finally this week, Porcini sniffing at the kitchen garden this morning (a sunny day, so bright reflections off the window):

Porcini

Cat update for week ending February 27

It’s Caturday.

Let’s start with a GIF of a cat climbing a tree:

GIF

Pommie and Bella:

Two cats

Porcini and Poppy watching me from a safe distance:

Two cats

They were a little concerned when I walked past, on the way back inside:

Two cats

(This little patio area is quite nice, though we don’t use it. It used to have a fire pit, before we bought the place, but we’ve never used it for that, as there is too much foliage around it now.)

Two possums in the feeder; unlike with raccoons, it’s unusual to see more than one at a time:

Two possums

Poppy, Porcini, and Spud at the cabins:

Three cats

(I really need to clean the cabin cam, but there’s pretty much always someone there, so I don’t want to disturb them.)

Three cats outside their house:

Three cats

Cat prints in the snow:

Cat prints in snow

Poppy watching me walking past from the comfort of a cabin; you can also see the cabin cam in its little shelter (the cam is waterproof; the cover is to stop cats rubbing on the cam and making it askew):

Poppy

Two cats with some snow:

Two cats with snow

Spud by the cabins:

Spud

Porcini and Poppy:

Two cats

A couple of cats in the feeder:

Two cats

Porcini looking concerned as I approach the cat house to attend to the food dispenser, with Poppy below:

Two cats

Porcini stayed inside, but Poppy left; she can be seen near the center of this picture, with Bella nearby in the grass:

Two cats

That picture also gives some context around the cat house — a peek of the cat cabins in the upper-left, the aforementioned old fire pit patio, the bird feeders, the small pond, and the cat house.

Bella in the grass on the edge of the field:

Cat in grass

Poppy watching me from the path by the bird feeders:

Cat on path

Finally, a random shot of the high shop ceiling, from the cam there; it is an old pan-tilt model, that rotates when it resets, but is getting stuck at weird angles:

Shop ceiling

Cat update for week ending February 20

For Caturday this week: cat food, cabin cats, a raccoon, a possum, a GIF, a Paladout, and more.

As mentioned on my personal blog, the feral cat food dispenser was running on batteries during our big power outage, and reacted badly to low battery capacity by continuously dumping all of the food from its hopper:

Food dispenser

In that picture you can see the empty hopper and the top of the feeder tube, full of food (the dispenser is on a drawer I can pull out to make it easier to refill). Below, you can see the rest of that tube, and the big pile of food it has dumped:

Cat food

I scooped the excess back into the hopper after I replaced the batteries. It’s nice that it has a battery backup when not receiving power, but running continuously might not have been the best way to preserve battery capacity.

Here are Porcini and Poppy watching me approach on a rainy morning:

Porcini and Poppy

Poppy didn’t bother retreating; she knows I’m not a threat, so long as I keep my distance:

Poppy

A raccoon briefly visited Porcini in the cat house. She informed the raccoon that it wasn’t welcome there:

Cat and raccoon

The raccoon was just waiting for a possum to get out of the way:

Raccoon and possum

Bella in front of the feeder. I do wonder where she sleeps; she doesn’t avail herself of any of the heated shelters, unlike the rest of her family:

Bella

A cat in each doorway:

Two cats

Poppy arriving, with Porcini and Spud in cabins:

Poppy, Porcini, Spud

A GIF of Poppy going into a cabin with Porcini, Spud in the other cabin, and Bella walking behind the cabins:

GIF of Poppy, Porcini, Spud, Bella

Do you see three cats?

Three cats

Hint:

Cat jumping down from tree

Poppy and Porcini inside the cat house:

Poppy and Porcini

Doing my morning rounds, having visited the ducks, I noticed Paladout on the hidden path by the pond:

Paladout by the pond

Closer:

Paladout by the pond

Paladout by the pond

Three cats inside the house this morning:

Three cats

Finally, Poppy watching me from under our main deck:

Poppy

Cat update for week ending January 30

The last Caturday for January… or is it March 335, 2020? What is time?

We start as we often do, with cute Porcini and Poppy snuggles in their cat house:

Snuggles

Poppy and Porcini on their deck:

Poppy and Porcini

Spud, Poppy, and Pommie at the cabins:

Spud, Poppy, Pommie

Poppy has been spending a lot of time in the cabins; here she’s in the left one, with Spud behind her, and Porcini in the right one:

Poppy (Spud behind), Porcini

Poppy returning to the cabins, with Spud and Porcini still there:

Poppy, Spud, Porcini

Spud sleeping on top of the ever-patient Poppy, and Porcini still in the other cabin:

Spud, Poppy, Porcini

Pepper watching me in the shop, while I was working on the duck island project:

Pepper in the shop

Pepper in the shop

Cat

Cat

It snowed a bit on Sunday night; here’s Porcini with a bit of snow on the cat house awning (the ground in front is fairly sheltered by trees):

Snow and Porcini

Porcini, Poppy, and Pommie at the cabins again:

Porcini, Poppy, Pommie

Spud arrived too:

Spud, Poppy, Porcini, Pommie

A glimpse of Poppy and Porcini in the cabins while I walk up the path to the bird box (visible on the left). This picture is useful for context, too — our main deck and gazebo is above the cat cabins, with the bird feeders off to the right:

Poppy and Porcini

Porcini leaving:

Porcini leaving

Poppy thought about leaving as I got closer:

Poppy

But returned to the cabin and watched me cautiously while I refilled the bird feeders:

Poppy

As a feral cat, she’s cautious of all humans, but I think she recognizes me as not a threat.

Another busy day at the cabins, with Spud & Poppy in the left one, Pommie between them, and Porcini in the right one:

Four cats

That evening, a little more snow, and two cats:

Snow and cats

Pansy trying out a different chair in the back of the shop:

Pansy in the shop

Spud starting to throw up:

Spud yawp

A possum was happy to clean up the mess (time-lapse GIF), supervised by Pommie:

Possum and cat GIF

Spud was fine, he just ate a mouse or something that didn’t sit well. Here he is in the breezeway this morning:

Spud in the breezeway