Monday, May 31, 2010

"Run, run, as fast as you can!"

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("You can't catch me! I'm the Gingerbread Man!")

And then, out of the blue......

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Oh, well.... Happy Memorial Day, everyone! :-)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just pretties

Currently blooming......

Irises:

Dianthus:

Violas (a.k.a. Johnny Jump-Ups):

Million Bells:

And those million bells have already taken a tumble from the deck railing to the ground!! Cats!!! I love these plants but have sure had a time keeping them nice over the last few years. I've had skunks(?) and/or raccoons digging in the soil in the planter so I've had to put it in the garage every night, then last year they were so infested with aphids that I ended up dumping them before the summer was out. (This year I put systemic insecticide in the soil to hopefully prevent that.) And now the cat problem. (I've seen one cat repeatedly walk on the planter to get to the birdbath for a drink. Sure, it could jump up onto the railing in a different place, but...) I can't even put them on the deck railing anymore unless I tie them down, which would be a pain for taking them in every night to protect from the 'coons. Ack. I want them on the railing so I can see them from inside the house. Any suggestions? (No, I will not do anything to the cats! ;) )

And of course we still have a plentiful supply of these lovelies:

At least they've hit their peak and are slowing down some. The last couple lawn mowings have been hard on the eyeballs, though, with all that fuzz getting into them.

I do have some other flowers beginning to bloom. I'll show you later when they're fuller.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hummingbird?

I have seen some hummingbirds (few and far between) this spring, but none of them looked like that!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And for those of you...

... who don't find soybeans all that interesting:

For Mark

:-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It was love at first sight

Courtney got to see two of the kittens yesterday (I couldn't reach the other two).

Those teeny tiny claws sure are sharp, though!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Evergreen beauty

I like the fresh new growth on the evergreen trees in the spring. Click on this collage to enjoy the greenness more.

Those protective little 'things' on the new buds are kinda cool.... till they get stuck all over me when I'm mowing around them. And boy, are they sticky... especially on skin!

We only had one evergreen tree that had much damage due to the snow on it last winter, which was kinda surprising considering the weight of those huge drifts. It now is sorta missing its middle, as those branches are hanging much lower.

They're still alive, but very damaged.

I wonder what will happen with them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dandelions are good for 'something'

They make little girls happy. :-)

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Friday, May 21, 2010

I found 'em!

And I'm back! Okay, maybe you didn't even miss me. After all, I guess I only missed one day on here. It seemed longer to me. The power supply died on my desktop computer, so I used the laptop the last couple of days. Unfortunately, I couldn't do a regular blog post, because all my photos are on this PC. But, I got the repair done this morning and am back in business, with only minimal catching up to do.

Here's a cute pic for you. These are Mama Kitty's babies. (Look a lot like Blackie's, don't they? Methinks they had the same daddy.) They're 12 days old, and have just gotten their eyes open.

I've known for a while where they were, but I didn't think I could get at them. Also I didn't want to disturb them and cause Mama to move them. However, my curiosity got the best of me. ;-) They were under an old overturned stock tank (great hiding place!). I couldn't lift the tank, but I decided to reach in the hole and see if I could feel anything. Lo and behold, they were right inside the "doorway"!

I knew Mama was out hunting, as I could see her out in the field patiently waiting for her prey to make the mistake of coming out. So I figured I had some time, and I took out each kitten and examined it. Two girls and two boys. Then I put them back in their nest. As I walked back to the house, I could see Mama was still 'waiting', so I ran and got the camera and took the babies back out and snapped a couple pics.

So CUTE, huh? Holsteins. Ha! Very healthy looking, too. I was hoping for a calico, to maybe tempt me to bring it in the house, but I was outta luck there. I can't tell if these are gonna have long hair or not. If so, that might present another temptation. ;-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another beautiful day

Lookin' up:

Gotta love that new spring green!

And down below:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Feed me x 5 live

Courtney and I checked on the baby blackbirds this morning. All five are growing and hungry! Turn up your volume!

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We had to leave shortly after that, though, because the mama and daddy birds were not at all happy with us.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The proud daddy

No... not Nate... although he's definitely a proud daddy, too!

The ROOSTER!! (Finally. Yeah, I'm pokey.) Here he is, in all his fatherly pride!

Looks a bit cocky, doesn't he?

See the whole happy family together:


And a closeup of the kids:


Uh oh! Maybe they look too "real"???


Yeah, right... ha! Just a nosey cat that was bugging me while I was trying to take pics. I was lying on the grass for some of the pics... and the cat made herself comfy on my back! Nice, but..... LOL

Oh, and the new "job" I mentioned... I'll occasionally be doing pattern reviews for Jess's blog. You can see the chicken pattern review here. The chickens are just the first of hopefully lots of patterns and fun new sewing projects. Well, actually they're the second. The chair was the first pattern, which turned out to be the spark that started the "pattern review" idea. Anyway, I wonder what'll be next! I'm open to suggestions if you've seen a neat pattern somewhere and are wondering how do-able it is. Of course, it's subject to my boss's approval for a review. ;-)

The chicken pattern was designed by LiEr of Ikat Bag. Her cute and funny post is worth reading even if you have no intention of sewing chickens.

Mysterious hole

Back between the garden and the evergreens to the north, I found this hole.

I have no idea what made it. It seems a bit too big for a striped gopher hole, and I've never seen any gopher... or any other animal, for that matter... around there.

It's about 3 inches across. There's no fur to be seen at all, but the hole seems to be freshly used, as there are no spider webs over it or anything. Take a closer look.

If you look really closely by enlarging the photo, you can see that there are bits of green grass down in the hole.

I have no clue what lives down there. What do you think? Courtney's daddy says it must be a cobra. Hmmm.....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Feed me x 5

Those are the blackbird babies. I believe all five eggs hatched. You can see the 5th one tucked down in the middle of the rest. It was kinda hard to get a good pic because I can't see into the nest, so I just had to hold the camera up there and guess. Of course they were moving, too, and I didn't want to disturb them for too long, so this is the best of the 2 pics I took.

As for the robin eggs, I'm afraid those got abandoned. Something had broken one of the eggs. Poor parents... all that work for nothing!

Speaking of baby birds, check out the 4 newly-hatched peregrine falcons on the live birdcam!

Friday, May 14, 2010

From a distance

I happened to look out the window just at the right time to see these deer Wednesday evening. I think there were at least 7 or 8 of them, maybe more. It was a misty evening, and the photos were shot from a long way away, so they're not the clearest.

Click on any photo to get a better view. Did you notice the rooster pheasant over on the right side?

Awhile later that evening, I happened to look out a window at the other end of the house, and there was one deer between my garden and the evergreens. No doubt it was waiting for me to get the garden planted so it could have a feast. ;-Þ

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ponytail and play doh

Courtney came with a cute ponytail this week. That was the first time I'd seen her hair with this 'do. Look how long it is!

She also came with a Tootsie Roll. Yum!

(Click to enlarge.)

She and Mommy made play doh over the weekend, and she also brought that along so Grandma could play with it with her. See below how to roll it out.

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:-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Better birdie pics

The window's still dirty, but at least it was a little brighter outside, and I was able to get closer to the window without scaring them away.

(Click to enlarge.)

Gorgeous fellows, aren't they? They were really busy at the feeder today.

On a brighter note

Look who's back! I was so happy to see him show up yesterday!

Do ignore the "creepy-crawlie" to the left of the feeder. Some bird smacked into the window awhile back, and I'm waiting for it to STOP RAINING so I can wash the windows. It did leave an interesting design, though! But OUCH!

Shortly after I took this pic this morning, I saw TWO male orioles on the feeder at the same time. That's a first.

Hopefully I'll get some better pics once the weather clears up, the windows get washed, and the days get brighter. It's been so cold, dark and dreary, that it's reminding me of last winter... aargh! CRAZY weather!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Look what I found!

There were 3 at the time, but I don't think she was done yet. I'll keep ya posted.

Update: Sad news. As I feared, Blackie is young, and this probably being her first litter, she didn't seem to know what to do with them. She abandoned them without drying them off or anything, and with her "nest" just out in the open in the machine shed and it being so cold outside, the babies didn't last long. If you're squeamish, don't read this next sentence. This morning there was only... well... half a kitten left. I suspect a 'possum. That's nature. :-(

And no, I do not bottle feed newborn kittens.

Spring is bustin' out all over

And will be here soon, too:

"Blackie" just appeared here one day last fall or winter, so I have no idea how old she is. But she's a pretty small kitty, so I'm guessing this is her first batch of kittens. I just hope she knows enough to take care of them.

And I'm not 100% sure, but I think Mama Kitty has had her babies already. She wasn't very big, but the last time I saw her, she was quite slim. She hasn't shown up for the last couple of feedings, so I'm guessing she's away feeding her babies and keeping them warm. Now if I only knew where or could find them before she brings them back wild.

I'll keep ya posted!

Update: Mama was there for breakfast this morning, and I was able to check her. She definitely has kittens. Can't wait to see what colors they are! (Yeah, I'm still a kid at heart, especially when it comes to cats. :-) )

Monday, May 10, 2010

It was COLD on Mother's Day morning!

How cold was it? Well, in the previous post you saw the frozen birdbath. As I was walking around outside, I happened to see a bit of a robin's egg on the ground, like it had been hatched and fallen from a nest. That made me think of my robin and blackbird nests, and I wondered if those eggs might be hatched, too, with the babies shivering in the cold while their parents hunted for food for them.

Of course I had to grab the camera to take with me, just in case. And then I thought maybe it was even cold enough to try out my new purchase that I'd made about a week before. I'd wished last winter that I'd had some fingerless gloves to wear when taking pics outside. I mentioned it to a friend, and she said she had some she liked and told me where she'd gotten them. I happened to see them when we were shopping, so I snatched up a pair... for NEXT WINTER. Little did I know how soon I'd be needing them!

They were great for yesterday morning! I really appreciated having them. Here's what they look like.

They have a mitten-type end knitted on that goes over the fingers, velcroed down when not in use, so it doesn't flap around. Nice! (Thanks for the suggestion, Lori!)

Courtney is here today (instead of her regular day tomorrow). She looked at the pic of my new gloves and said "No pinky!" :-)

Actually, the pinky is there, but it's just not long enough to show, since the gloves are a man's size medium. They didn't have any smalls, but these work just fine for me.

Oh, and the eggs in "my" nests were just fine... no hatchlings yet.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"MOM ! ! ! !"

"Something's wrong here."

"How come my drinking water's hard?"

Yep, there was ice on the "cat water bowl" this morning. Brrrrr!

So, being the good mom that I am (yeah, I'm mom to a lot of cats, too - ha!), I dumped it off and gave them fresh "soft" water.

It has warmed up quickly, though, to around 50° now. And Grandpa assured me that the corn wasn't up high enough to get hurt much by the frost.

Anyway, here's wishing a WARM Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! I hope you have a beautiful day... inside, if not outside.