Cat update for week ending April 24

Welcome to Caturday. Some cute pictures of Porcini (shocking, I know), plus I lift the fog on the cabins cam.

Porcini relaxing in the kitchen garden:

Porcini in the kitchen garden

Porcini in the kitchen garden

The cabin cam has gotten quite dirty from rain splashes; like looking through a fog:

Dirty camera

So I gave it a bit of a clean:

Wiping camera

Ah, much better!

Clean camera

Hey Spud:

Spud

Two cats greeting at the cat house:

Two cats

Pommie:

Pommie

Now that the weather is warmer, I’ve discontinued the heated water dish, and gone back to the higher capacity unheated one:

Drinking

Porcini on the right of the cat house, watching me walk past in the field (just visible on the left):

Porcini watching me walk past

Porcini in a cabin:

Porcini

Porcini and Pommie:

Porcini and Pommie

A day later, them again:

Porcini and Pommie

Flock Friday for April 23

This week one of our ducks, Betty, started sitting on the dozen or so eggs in a nesting box in the duck house. So we may have ducklings in a few weeks time!

But let’s start with some pictures of the chickens, the first of which you may have seen on my personal blog:

Chicken

Chickens

Chickens

Chicken

Chickens

Here’s Betty by the eggs, not happy that I was peeking in at her:

Betty on eggs

A couple of pictures from the duck house cam of Betty in the nesting box:

Betty on eggs

In this one, you can see Sonja joining her; she might be laying too:

Betty on eggs

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Jays grabbing peanuts from the feeder tray; I put out a handful of whole peanuts each morning for them:

Jays grabbing peanuts

Jay grabbing a peanut

Jay grabbing a peanut

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

Betty on the eggs again:

Betty on eggs

A time-lapse GIF of Betty in the nesting box, and other ducks coming in to eat:

Betty on eggs

Beehive inspection and mite treatments

Yesterday we did a beehive inspection and mite treatment.

But before that, I assembled a honey extractor that we’ve had for several months, since we still have some honey from last year that we haven’t gotten around to extracting yet. Unfortunately the handle was broken. It’s still possible to use it, though we might see if we can get a replacement:

Honey extractor

On to the inspection. Here’s the Yellow hive, with some drone cells:

Yellow hive: drone cells

A brood frame:

Yellow hive: brood frame

A honey frame:

Yellow hive: honey frame

We removed the top feeder, and added a Flow honey super, since they were getting a little full:

Yellow hive: added honey super

For the Turquoise hive, there were plenty of bees, but didn’t see any brood. So it’s possible those bees are just robbing. This hive probably won’t make it:

Turquoise hive: bees but no brood

The Cedar hive was doing well… a little too well, building brood between the boxes, resulting in broken brood cells when separating them:

Cedar hive: broken brood cells

They also built some honey cells above the top box, into the gap below the top feeder:

Cedar hive: honey cells above the box

A brood and honey frame:

Cedar hive: brood frame

Another brood frame:

Cedar hive: brood frame

We added mite treatment strips to the Yellow and Cedar hives:

Cedar hive: mite treatments

A look at the current state of our three beehives; Flow supers on the Cedar and Yellow:

Beehives

The Cedar hive (you can also see lots of cell building on the bottom of the top feeder, left out there for them to evacuate and salvage any honey):

Cedar hive

The Turquoise hive, that probably won’t be long for this world:

Turquoise hive

The Yellow hive, also with a Flow super:

Yellow hive

About an hour later, while I was mowing the lawns, I noticed a bunch of bearding on the Cedar and Turquoise hives:

Bearding bees

On the Cedar makes sense, as the treatment strips are pretty nasty smelling, so they might want to air out the place. Not sure why on the Turquoise, as it didn’t have treatments:

Bearding bees

Bee shed: door

It’s been a month since I last did work on the bee shed project, due to a vacation and rainy weather, but yesterday I made more progress.

The project of the day was the door. But first I tweaked the doorframe a little, adjusting the boards on the left side to make the frame more straight, and adding some bracing to help hold the frame to the posts, and provide more support for the corrugated cladding:

Bracing

Then I built the door itself. I did so on top of three sheets of plywood (that will be used for the shelving), to help make it flat:

Door

I added self-adhesive foam weather stripping around the frame:

Weather strip and hinge

The door mounted on hinges:

Door mounted

From further back:

Door mounted

The door (mostly) closed; the two middle cross-pieces are lower than the wall ones, to allow for where the corrugated panels will overlap:

Door

For the door handle, I added a 2×6 block backer and a 2×4 on the left, to protect the hand from the corrugated panel:

Door handle area

Here’s the door handle and latch installed; it’s a bit close to the left, so can only be opened with a right hand, which isn’t ideal; I think I might tweak this to add another board between the left one and the handle, to enable left-handled opening too (nice thing about assembling with screws, easy enough to tweak it):

Door handle

The latch on the inside; I chose this style latch as it can be opened from inside. I think I’ll add a handle on the inside too, to make it easier to pull the door closed from inside if desired:

Latch

The current state of the door; it looks like it sagged a bit while installing the latch (it’ll be braced by the corrugated panels when finished), so I might see if I can fix that too:

Door

We need to do a beehive inspection, and I need to mow the lawns, so it might be a week or so before I can do more work on this. Next up will be the tweaks I mentioned, then I’ll be ready to add the corrugated cladding on that wall and the door.

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

Flock Friday for April 16

Some quite nice pictures of the ducks and chickens this week; sunny weather helps get better photos.

Some ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Duck butt:

Duck butt

Ducks on the lawn; I love Rémy’s shiny green head:

Ducks on the lawn

Betty peeking at me around the duck house:

Betty peeking

Chickens with treats (apple and kale this day):

Chickens with treats

Chickens

Chickens with treats

On another day, chickens expectantly waiting for treats:

Expectant chickens

Chickens with treats (cauliflower, grapes, and Brussels sprouts, in order of their preference):

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

Chickens with treats

The ducks continue to lay eggs in the duck house, but nobody sitting on them yet; we’re leaving them there for now, just in case:

Duck eggs

Bert on the duck house ramp:

Bert on the duck house ramp