A time-lapse from the camera by the duck house, showing the ducks swimming around the pond and going in and out of the duck house.
I can’t believe it’s Friday already; it’s been quite a week, eh? What is time, anyway?
Since I’ve been posting hourly photos on my personal blog over the last few days, to help distract me and others from election coverage, you may have seen some of these pictures… but there are some new ones, too.
On Halloween I gave the chickens a pumpkin:
This is what a pumpkin looks like after they’re through with it; just the barest of shells:
Some pictures of the ducks on the pond:
This week I let the chickens into the veggie garden (video):
Lots of tomatoes:
Those recently planted lettuces never had a chance:
Digging in the potato planters is fun:
A wide shot of the whole veggie garden:
I went to the feed store, as I was out of duck food. The new coop storage area is rather full at present:
More pictures of ducks:
Chickens in the veggie garden again, a few days later; not much left of the green pumpkins:
Buffy jumping for high kale leaves:
The old chicken coop:
And new chicken coop:
The chickens waiting for me:
I discovered a soft egg, just the inner membrane, without a hard shell. Unusual, but happens occasionally:
Ducks on the lawn:
Finally, a GIF edition of the time-lapse video I posted yesterday:
It’s raining today, which doesn’t bother the ducks at all. This time-lapse covers two hours of the ducks swimming around the pond, going onto the bank, and inside the duck house, in just 22 seconds.
Firstly, a project to assemble an aluminum gazebo on our deck:
And another project to build a pool deck extension off our main deck, enabling easier access to our seasonal above-ground swimming pool:
So now my Projects pages are complete, summarizing all of the building projects I’ve done around the homestead, at least since I started this blog.
Over time, I will update those pages for any modifications as needed, and add new ones for new projects. These pages serve as useful references, more easy to find than searching through blog posts.
Once the first frost of fall brings the veggie garden growth to an end, we let the chickens in there, so they can eat the remaining tomatoes, kale, lettuce, etc, and have fun scratching in the beds for bugs.
As mentioned on recent Caturday posts, we’ve had a few incursions by raccoons and even skunks inside the feral cat house. While there haven’t been any cats home at the time, with them hanging out more in cold weather, I worry it’s only a matter of time.
My concern was that the front and back doors of the cat house were on the lower level, so if a cat was on the upper level when a raccoon came in, they’d be trapped, and would have to get past it to escape. Not ideal.
To solve this concern, I purchased another cat door like the existing ones to install on the upper level. I did that installation yesterday.
Here’s a photo of inside the cat house beforehand, after sliding open the front wall, that serves as maintenance access:
(If I were to build the cat house again, I would do a simpler design, with a swinging door on the side, instead of sliding the whole front wall, awning and all.)
Here is the back of the cat house; the new door will be above the existing one:
I started installation by cutting a small hole through the wall with my jigsaw, to check the positioning. The wall has five layers: batten boards, plywood, insulation, more plywood, and carpeting:
The small hole from inside:
I then incrementally enlarged the hole to the right size. Here’s a cam shot of me peeking through the larger hole:
Me mounting the inner frame of the door:
The completed inside frame (I planned to trim the loose flap of carpet on the ceiling, but forgot; no biggie):
(Another thing I’d skip if redesigning the cat house is the vents, which I keep permanently covered; I had thought I’d open them in summer, but the cats prefer a cozy house even in the heat of summer.)
The back view of the inner frame, before adding the outer one. The battens were removed with a hammer and chisel, and the hole cut with a jigsaw:
The outer frame and flap installed. I could touch up the paint to make it tidier, but probably won’t bother, since it’s sheltered under the eaves, and hidden behind shrubs:
A view from further back, of both back doors:
The new door is intended only as an emergency exit, so there isn’t a platform to jump onto; they can easily jump from that height to the ground.
To let them know that it’s a door, I temporarily propped it open with a bit of wood; I’ll remove that after a couple of days:
Porcini was of course the first one to check out the new door:
It didn’t faze them; the feral cats are cautious, but quickly adapt to changes:
Spooooky Halloween Caturday to one and all! This week, we were visited by scary raccoon monsters, and the scariest of all creatures, a skunk.
But fear not, much cuteness was also observed.
Such as three cats in the cat house, two in a pile:
A short GIF of a sun dappled Porcini:
And you thought a pile of two cats was cute… see if you can handle three:
Three cats on the edge of the field:
I took this picture of an old iPad stand to see if it’d work for modern ones (it won’t; designed for the original only), and incidentally got a picture of Pepper in the shop, looking rather concerned at my approaching so close:
Here’s Pansy in the back of the shop, in the center of the picture, waiting for her food to dispense:
Since it was below freezing earlier this week, I hooked up the cats’ heated water dish. When the temperature is below freezing, it gets just warm enough to keep the water liquid (I then discontinued the other waterer, filled with leaves here):
Three cats outside… or maybe four; I think one is behind the shrub:
A family of raccoons visited the cat house, including going inside; fortunately no cats home at the time:
An app screenshot showing raccoons on the awning and inside the feeder:
Close-up of a raccoon inside:
Later that night, a skunk also explored inside:
The scent of those visitors didn’t scare off the cats, fortunately (must be a bug on the ceiling):
Spud and Pommie in the cabins (Spud on the left):
A screenshot of Spud and Pommie in the cabins, Poppy in the house, and a very damp Paladout in the feeder:
Three cats in the house this morning:
Finally, the usual summary GIF of 74 photos this week:
Sound up! After refilling the hummingbird feeders, I stood nearby outside and recorded several of them arriving, with the lightsaber-like wing noises and twittering arguments.
Welcome to Flock Friday. This week, I am highlighting 20 chicken-related pictures plus 12 duck pictures, along with a summary GIF of 59 candidates.
What’s a more fun way to start the week than mucking out the chicken coop:
Fresh bedding in the nesting boxes:
And a pile on the floor for the chickens to scratch and spread:
A duck interlude — Betty in the grasses:
It’s a little warmer now, but earlier in the week it was freezing overnight, resulting in a frozen waterer:
The hose wand is actually dripping water to top up the waterer, which is what caused the big icicles (and helps stop the hose from freezing):
GIF of dripping icicles (as you may have previously seen on my personal blog):
On afternoon rounds, the chickens waiting for me:
They then all rush into the new coop to wait for treats:
Ducks in a leafy pond:
Also previously posted to my personal blog, photos and GIFs of ducks flapping wings:
Ducks on the lawn, hunting for worms and such (I like the peek of the white gazebo in the background):
A bunch of pictures of chickens; they’re all pretty much done with their molting and feather regrowth now:
Pecking at my boot:
More pictures of ducks on the lawn (the grass is a bit long, but I’m probably not going to mow again till next spring):
Finally, the aforementioned summary GIF, with the above and lots more photos from this week:
Fall is a colorful time of year, especially from the various maple trees we have around the homestead.
Here is a coral bark maple by the front of the shop, that turns all sorts of interesting colors; right now a sampler as some leaves are still green, some yellowing, and a few red:
A big maple near the fountain garden is well on its way to losing leaves:
Its leaves cover the ground all around it:
Plus decorating shrubby trees:
An October Glory red maple near the pool area; not a great picture, it can really glow in certain light:
As a bonus, some non-maple leaves covering the pond for the ducks to swim through: