Some unexpected things

Oh, how lovely today it feels outside today! As I write this, just before evening, we are at a lovely -8C/18F. the wind chill is -13C/9F, but the wind is from the north west, so the yard is well sheltered from it.

The outside cats were quite enjoying the warmer temperatures!

Creamsicle Baby even followed me when I went to change the memory cards and frozen batteries on the trail cameras.

With the cold and snow, I hadn’t gone to the corner camera in a while, but today was nice enough to finally get out there.

Oops.

Well, that wasn’t going to be much use.

The last time I’d changed out the card and batteries, I’d noticed the nut at the plate was getting loose. I also noticed a lot of thread showing. The fixture has a nut on the inside, which is supposed to be threaded as far as possible, but these are not lock nuts. Every time I had to tighten the nut on the outside, that meant the nut on the inside was getting closer to the end of the threaded post. With that in mind, I made sure I had the tools I needed to fix it. After removing the camera, I had to take the plate off completely, tighten the nuts as they needed to be, then put it all back together.

Before I could check the files, though, I had some errands to run. I discovered the end of the driveway not only had a plow ridge at the road, it was drifted over from about the gate to the end of the road. I knew I’d have troubles if I stopped in the driveway to lock the gate behind me, and I didn’t want to stop on the road, so I asked the girls to shovel out the end of the driveway while I was gone, and just rammed my way through with the van!

The dump is open only for a few hours on Tuesday mornings, so that was my first top. We were also running out of dry kibble. The outside cats are going through it a lot faster, and I was only able to get three big bags the last time I bought any, so a trip to the smaller city was in order. The difference in price is enough to make the drive worthwhile, even though gas prices jumped 12 cents per litre since the last time I was out!

Dry kibble is still in short supply. It’s been like this for months, now. I got the last two big bags from these shelves, but even the smaller bags were getting low. The really expensive brands in the big bags were almost out, too. There’s lots of wet cat food, cat treats, etc. in stock. It’s just the dry kibble that’s low in inventory.

My sister works at this Walmart. I think I should ask her to keep an eye on the inventory and, the next time a shipment comes in, maybe pick up a few bags for us!

After the shopping was done, it was one more stop to pick up some packages at the post office – and my letter from the Court of Queen’s Bench, with the conference call information I need for our vandal’s vexatious litigation against me – before I was finally able to settle in and check the trail cam files.

The corner cam had 160 files on it. Only the first 4 were right side up! Most of the others were triggered by moving shadows and branches blowing in the wind.

There is a slight down side to having the camera set to take three still shots, then video!

Still, I did find some fun shots. I flipped the images to make it easier to see. This camera goes pink when it gets cold.

I think that’s a chickadee that triggered the camera in this shot.

The internal thermometer in the above shot reads -25C/-13F, which would be a few degrees warmer than outside.

Squirrel butt!! 😀 Too funny!

The camera even caught it in mid jump. 😀

There were a whole bunch of files of the squirrel moving around on the ground before it finally ran off. The next files were of me, moving the camera around to fix it. I’m actually surprised it was still recording. The frozen batteries were so low, there were many files that were completely black, except for the red text saying the batteries were too low for the infrared flash.

Oh, sweet. In the time it took me to write the above, we actually warmed up another degree. Nice!

Well, yesterday, my daughter did a whole bunch of bread baking. Now it’s my turn.

I think I’ll start with muffins. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Critters, yesterday and today

No, not the nasty critter that’s eating our summer squash!

Pleasant critters.

Like Nosencrantz, who was very curious about me as I was checking the cucamelons.

She still won’t come close enough to touch, but she very deliberately came to check me out several times, while I was topping up their food and water, and checking the south yard garden beds.

Such a cutie!

Meanwhile, yesterday, I heard a distinctive and familiar thumping on the dining room window. I immediately went to check, and found this bird, stunned on the ground.

It’s a fledgling robin, and I’m guessing it was testing out its wings when it hit the window, because this little guy couldn’t fly yet!

With so many yard cats around (even if they were smart enough to not be out in yesterday’s heat!), I wasn’t going to leave it on the ground. When I first picked it up, it fluttered out of my hands, fell to the ground and basically somersaulted onto it’s own head. It was still too stunned to even stand up on its own. I picked it up again and put it on the platform of the big bird feeder, hoping it would just stay there until it recovered.

Nope.

It fluttered right off the edge, hit the ground and somersaulted onto its head again.

So I picked it up again and just held it. It made an attempt to bight the palm of my hand, but not with any real force. Then it sat there and glared at me! I kept a hand over its wings for a while, until it seemed calmer, then took a couple of photos. Eventually, it hopped out of my hand, fluttering its wings enough to land gently on the ground, then started hopping across the yard.

Unfortunately, it was hopping right out of the shade and into the baking sun – and out of the yard, away from safety!

I followed at a distance until I saw it hope into the shelter and shade of some trees near and old shed. At that point, I could be sure it was okay.

Meanwhile, it’s parents were squawking up a storm the entire time!

Poor thing! I’m glad it wasn’t injured.

And that there were no cats around, to get to it before I could!

The Re-Farmer

Stunned

While in the dining room, I heard a familiar thumping noise from the living room window.

The distinctive sound of a bird hitting the glass. 😦

I took a look and saw Junk Pile cat wandering by, so it looked like she had startled the birds. It took a while, but I eventually saw a bird lying upside down in the snow.

I figured it was dead, but decided to check, anyhow, because if it was just unconscious, either a cat would get it, or it would freeze to death in the snow.

I’m glad I checked.

It was definitely very stunned when I picked it up, but after a few moments, it lifted its own head, so I ducked around the house, out of the blowing snow, and kept it warm in my hands.

Poor thing lost a few feathers!

After a while it start to stand up a bit more, but made no effort to leave my hands.

After a while, it got more active and looking a bit anxious. I would have preferred to keep it warm in my hands for longer, but I didn’t want to scare it too much, as that could be harmful as well.

Once it seemed like it was able to stand up and move around better, I tucked it onto the bigger bird feeder, where it would be sheltered from the wind.

Checking on it after going back inside, it was still there, with juncos and chickadees fluttering around to get the seeds. About fifteen minutes later, I checked again and could no longer see it. I am hoping it fluttered away to a nice sheltered spot to recover fully!!

Such a cute little thing. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

This and that, and… why have my fonts changed?

I did some unexpected running around yesterday and didn’t have a chance to post. Now that I am, I’m seeing that the title font in my editor has changed. I did not change the default font. I’m not even sure how I would do that!

Well, we’ll see if anything is different after I hit “publish”. So far, it looks the same as always when I hit “preview”.

WordPress gets weird at times!

Anyhow.

For the last couple of mornings, I have been happy to see that the outside cats are using the cat house again. When I head out, I’ve been seeing a big mass of orange in the window and, as I come closer, three heads will pop out to look at me! Unfortunately, when I try to get closer to get a picture, Creamsicle Jr. gets spooked and runs off.

I’m still heating up water for them, which they really seem to appreciate!

Yesterday, the plan was to drive my husband to the clinic to get some blood work done. Unfortunately, he had another really bad pain day, and could not handle the trip. I should see if they will fax the requisition to the lab in the town closer to us. I think he would better handle a 15-20 minute drive, over a 40-45 minute drive!

I still wanted to take the van out on the highway, though, and see about blowing more carbon out of the lines at highway speeds. So I headed out to the Walmart in the small, nearer city to finally pick up the rest of the month’s supply of cat litter and dry kibble.

You can tell that spring is in the air, though, when you start seeing birds in the Walmart!

This little guy was checking out the bird seed aisle, and finding stray seeds to eat! 😀

While there, I hoped to pick up more 750ml canning jars, but there weren’t any. I’d picked up the last one, previously, and it doesn’t look like they got more. So I got more wide mouth 500ml jars (2 cups/half a quart). I think these are the two sizes that will be the most useful for us. The plan is to pick up a case or two every month over the summer, so that we’ll have a good stock available by the time we are harvesting from the garden. Assuming everything goes well and we actually have enough to preserve. I usually go with “hope for the best, plan for the worst” but in this case, we’re also planning for the best!

The van, I’m happy to say, ran well. I even loaded the heavy stuff in the back, rather than the middle, and didn’t feel any of the issues I’d noticed before, that had us splitting our trips and loading the heaviest things in the middle of the van.

Later on, I made sure to call my mother to arrange a grocery shopping trip for her. That was set for this afternoon.

If all had gone to plan, I’d be on the road to her place right now.

Does anything go to plan? 😀

It was quite late when I got a call from my mother. She had suddenly developed pain in her bones. Especially her already damaged knees.

My mother had received the vaccine for Schrodinger’s virus a couple of days before.

She was obviously quite concerned, but as we talked I suggested it might also be because of the fluctuating temperatures. That calmed her down, and she decided she would take some Tylenol, bundle up for the night, and keep the cordless phone by her bedside, just in case.

I’m happy to say she was feeling better today. When she got the shot, she had the usual adverse reactions everyone seems to be getting; her arm was sore, redness and swelling. Fatigue, as well. No allergic reactions, but I wouldn’t expect any from her. She has an iron constitution. Muscle and joint pain, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting are all on the list of adverse reactions that are being reported. We will have to keep an eye on her after the second shot, as reactions are reportedly worse after that one.

Though she was feeling better, she wasn’t up to actually going out, so I was going to do her shopping for her. We had a bit of a snow storm happening this morning; not unusually cold, but colder, with blowing snow, low visibility, etc. It was supposed to get worse in the afternoon, so I headed out in the morning. I popped in to go over her list with her and be really clear on what she wanted. I noticed things that were not on the list and asked her about them. It’s always hard to shop for someone else. Especially when shopping is often a “see what’s good” or “whatever’s on sale” situation.

There were a few things on her list she would have picked up at the pharmacy, but the pharmacy kicked me out because they don’t honour medical mask exemptions, so she said she would get those items, later. She’s not willing to pay the grocery store prices for the same things. 😀

Just me and her list did make for a very quick trip! I was even able to stay for a short visit, which I haven’t been able to do for a while.

So she is doing all right, but is very tired and will be getting lots of rest for the next while. My siblings and I are going to have to watch not to pester her with phone calls to check up on her! 😀

Thankfully, the local weather has actually improved; whatever was being forecast for this afternoon seems to be missing up.

I’m good with that.

😀

The Re-Farmer