The watchers, and critter damage

This spot is, hands down, a favourite of pretty much all the cats…

There had been three of them here, all sitting with their front paws at the window, watching the activities outside. Susan took off before I could get her in the picture. 🙂

They have plenty to watch out there! Butterscotch’s kittens like to play on the concrete steps below the door. Recently, I moved their food and water bowls to the steps, partly to get them used to being closer to the safety of the house, and partly to have them spending less time at the junk pile, now that a grog – my daughters’ word for the woodchucks – has dug a den under it.

One time, the cats suddenly became very alert, so I went over to the living room window to see what they were looking at.

There was a grog, standing up like a little man, next to the lilacs!

Unfortunately, our hanging bird feeder got broken yesterday. I had refilled it that morning, but didn’t notice that I hadn’t hung it properly on the hook. That time of the morning, this time of the year, I get blinded by the sun when I hang it back up, and I keep forgetting to move. 😀 I noticed it out the living room window, with the hanging cable sitting on top of the hook, instead of in it. For some reason, the hook is wrapped in electric tape, and that was keeping it from sliding off. Then I promptly got distracted and forgot to go outside to fix it. A few hours later, my daughter noticed it was gone completely. We spotted it about 15 feet away, in pieces, and the seed reservoir had a chunk broken off.

Though it had been refilled this morning, there was no sign of the birdseed that was in it! It was already all eaten up. My guess is, some larger bird landed on it, it slid off the hook, cracked when it hit the ground, and then a grog dragged it off and broke into it to get at the seeds. Just a guess, but a likely scenario.

When the girls were done the evening watering and went to shut off the back tap, they found another watcher.

This adorable BIG tree frog, just hanging out on the wall. 🙂

Anyhow…

With the hanging feeder broken, I finally got around to attaching a piece of wood to the bottom of the big feeder, reattaching the metal fixture, then setting it back up on its post. The fixture is larger than the post, so I found some foam covered wire I had left and wrapped it around the post. It still wobbled a bit, but not as much as before.

The birds were happy to have the big feeder back up.

So where the raccoons.

I happened to pop outside some time after midnight and startled at least two of them. One ran off into the darkness, while the other ran up the tree outside our kitchen window, and just stayed there, frozen, until I left.

Unfortunately, they came back.

*sigh*

This is how I found it this morning. I’m going to have to find me some longer screws. Most of what I have are actually too long, and would go right through the base of the feeder.

I was heading to the city today to do our monthly shop, so I had to do a quick version of my morning rounds, which is when I found this.

Three sunflowers in one row, and one in another row, have lost their heads! The three with the twine around them were the larger, transplanted ones.

Given the height, I would say this was done by a deer, but when I finally got to check the garden cam, whatever did this did not trigger the motion sensor. I would have expected something as large as a deer to trigger it, but if it were something smaller, like a grog or a raccoon, it would have eaten the bottom leaves, or broken the stem, pulling it down to reach the heads.

The plants are far enough along that they will grow side shoots to replace the missing heads, but it will certainly slow their development.

The critters invading our yard this year are causing some issues of their own.

Having moved the kittens’ food bowl closer to the house also means the skunks will be coming closer, too. Which I’m not too worried about. They just eat the kibble, not our garden. When my daughter came around the house on her way to the garden, she startled a skunk at the steps. It ran off and went under the old garden shed.

Then suddenly began chittering like crazy, ran out and ran off.

The garden shed began making grog noises.

It seems the skunk ran to hide under the shed, only to run face first into a woodchuck.

I’m amazed it didn’t spray!

In other things, I’ve hit a bit of a delay in working on the bench I was doing to make, over the pair of stumps near the garden. I brought out the electric chainsaw to cut the stumps flat across the top, and to even heights.

The first curiosity was finding the chainsaw’s oil reservoir was empty. I’d only used it once since we had it services, and even then, just for one cut, before moving on to other tools. Once that was refilled, it was doing the job all right – until it wasn’t! The chain stopped turning. It didn’t stop running, though. After fussing with it, the chain started turning again, then would stop soon after.

I’ve had this thing services twice, and no one spotted anything that would cause this.

I noticed the chain was really dry, too. I don’t think it’s getting oiled as it runs, the way it’s supposed to. It has a button to push to oil the chain, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.

I don’t think I’ll bother getting it serviced again.

I’m hoping to be able to use our reciprocating saw to do that job, instead. The last time I used it, however, it was having issues, too. It’s a cheaper brand, and has seen a lot of use, so that doesn’t surprise me. It does, however, have a blade on it that’s longer than the bar on the electric chain saw, so if it does work, it’ll actually be easier to use on the larger stump than with the electric chain saw.

I think it will wait until tomorrow, though, which is supposed to be a bit cooler.

For now, I’m going to start the evening a bit early, since I wasn’t able to water the garden beds this morning.

The Re-Farmer

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