Furry things, pretty things and growing things

I tried to do another post last night, but simply could not load the WordPress editor, our internet was so crappy. My husband tells me it was working fine when he got up at 2am, which suggested that their system was overloaded, on top of the weather wreaking havoc on our signal. Satellite can only handle so much traffic at once.

It seems to be working well now so, to start, here are the photos I meant to post last night. πŸ™‚

I just had to share this little cluster of family adorableness!

This is part of a strange thing that’s been happening lately. Nicco (the grey and white) is the cat all the other cats seem to bully all the time, poor thing. Including bullying by Beep Beep (at the top), her adopted mother, but Beep Beep is still very much a yard cat in attitude, so she bullies pretty much all the cats. πŸ˜‰ Lately, however, Beep Beep has been hunting Nicco down for aggressive cuddles and grooming. In fact, as I write this, they are mashed together, asleep on my bed, with Beep Beep using Nicco as a pillow.

The sudden love and attention is wonderful to see, but then there’s Turmeric.

If Turmeric sees Beep Beep and Nicco snuggling, she will go over and squeeze herself in between them. Sometimes, it’s to join in the grooming and cuddling session, but usually, it’s to try and nurse on Beep Beep.

Who is letting her!

The kittens are a year old now, and Beep Beep was never shy about weaning them. For the spice girls, they found solace in “grandma”, who would let them nurse on her.

Very noisily.

Irritating, but when we introduced new yard kittens as part of our ‘population control program’, and she let the new babies try and nurse on her, how could we stop it? She played a big part in getting the new babies settled into the colony. πŸ˜‰

Any that attempted to nurse on Beep Beep, however, would get smacked away. Eventually, they stopped trying, even on “grandma”.

Until now.

That Turmeric is trying to nurse again, after all this time, is maybe not that surprising, but Beep Beep allowing it certainly is! So is her sudden affection behaviour towards Nicco.

I wonder if it is some sort of reaction to her not having kittens this year, for probably the first time in her adult life? Normally, she’d be nursing a new litter right now.

Curious.

Meanwhile…

We had furry visitors last night, of the smelly kind.

After taking some pictures, I used the hose to drive them off. The big one went running to and under the storage house, but the little one disappeared around the cat house. I went around and fired the hose off at it again, and it ran off towards the storage house… then turned around and ran back! I got some video of it, but was never able to upload it (maybe I’ll succeed today). I kept trying to spray towards it, but it was willing to get wet, to get food. I don’t normally try to spray them directly, if I can avoid it, and this little guy was clearly very, very hungry, and I just couldn’t do it. I left it alone and let it eat.

Some hours later, I heard cats fighting, so I went outside to check. I never found what cats were fighting, but I did find this.

Two skunks in the kibble house!

Neither of which was the little one. That one was over here.

I have a container with water next to the steps that the cats like to use, and I think Little Stinky was drinking from it.

So, we’re now up to three skunks.

I did use the hose to chase them away. The two big ones in the kibble house did not get along, and as they ran under the lilac bushes over where they get under the storage house, I could hear one of them grunting and growling at the other. The little one by the stairs didn’t want to leave and tried hiding under the lilacs, but I think that has as much to do with the grumpy skunk as the water.

Hopefully, we won’t be getting more stinky visitors!

Meanwhile…

We had more rain during the night, but by this morning, we were bright and sunny again, though still quite windy. Of course, while doing my rounds, I checked all the garden beds and kept an eye out for more fallen branches.

The tomatoes are doing fantastic. I don’t think we could have picked a better spot for them! They get the sunlight they need from their southern location, while still getting protection from the driving rain from the trees above. They got plenty of rain, and are showing lovely new growth, with no signs of damage at all.

These roses were a surprise to see this morning. This rose bush is in front of the sun room, at the stand-alone rail between the door and the laundry platform. My mother had planted it there to help shade the sun room, but it keeps blocking our paths. When we were hauling loads of soil to the old kitchen garden, I tied the bush back, so we could get through without fighting it all the time. It worked out so well, I left it like that. It’s a mass of greenery right now, and these flowers are tucked away under the bulk of the branches, having burst into bloom overnight. The other flower buds I see are still quite small. There are more roses of this time in the old kitchen garden, and they not blooming yet, either, so these hidden roses were a pleasant surprise.

I had another surprise I didn’t get any pictures of. While checking on the Montana Morado corn (some of the smaller stalks look a little beaten down by the rain, but all still look very good), I passed the little kiddie pool we’ve been using to mix soil. There was still a bit of soil on the bottom I wasn’t able to get out when I was transplanting the Crespo squash. Just a smattering, sitting at one side. I’d added water into the pool, just to keep it from blowing away, but of course there’s more water in it now.

This morning, I found a frog floating in it.

We’ve found drowned frogs in the bird bath before, because once they get into containers like this, they can’t get out again, and that was my initial thought. Dead frog. I grabbed a garden tool to fish it out, only to have it dive down and try to burrow into the bit of soil on the bottom. I knew the frog wouldn’t be able to get out of the pool on its own, so I tried leaning a stick across for it to climb. That seemed too light, so I tried a brick. That would have worked, but the poor little frog looked like it was having a hard time, so I managed to get it out. I don’t now now long it was stuck in there, but it was looking really tired as it tried to get away from my hands, eventually letting me lift it out. I think it was quite happy to be on solid ground again!

I left the brick in the pool, leaning against the side, just in case something else falls in. We’ll bail the pool out until it’s drained enough to tip over without breaking it, later.

I like frogs. We’ve been seeing them in the garden, quite a bit. πŸ™‚

One of the last things I checked this morning was the potatoes, and found another garden friend.

A pretty little ladybug, on a potato leaf.

I’m happy that most of what we’ve been finding among our plants have been beneficial critters, like frogs and ladybugs, and not the problem critters! Even the skunks are good for eating grubs that would otherwise be causing damage, and so far, other than a tulip, they’ve been digging in the lawn, which does just fine when the divots are put back later.

Now that the weather is turning again, we’ll have lots of work to catch up on in the garden. Especially weeding, but we also have one last bed to build for the cucamelons and the late sprouting gourds, along the chain link fence. We also have pink celery sprouts, but they were started so late, and are so tiny, I don’t know that they’ll ever be transplanted outdoors. We might be able to grow them in containers, though. Then they can be moved into the sun room in the fall, to give them a longer growing season. We shall see! I definitely want to get more seeds for next year, though, and start them indoors much earlier.

Here we are, so early in our gardening season, and I’m already thinking of next year’s garden! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

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