Morning finds, and a majestic visitor

There’s always a little something, when I do my morning rounds! 😀

My husband had been able to take care of the cats earlier, so when I got out, I just have to put out feed for the birds (and deer). By the time I came out, however, I found the new heated water bowl had been knocked over. There had to have been some sort of altercation at the entry of the cats’ house, because even the brick supports around it had gone flying, and the power cord to the bowl had been pulled out.

Not only was the new bowl empty, but the water in the other bowls was frozen solid!

Something better had to be found.

I quickly went to feed the birds, thinking about it, and noticed the chimney liners along the side of the house. Since cleaning up the pile behind the house, we’ve been using these to hold the insulation that gets put around the house every winter.

They were just the right size and shape. Was there one we could spare?

Not on that side of the house, so I came back around and looked at the ones along the back of the house. We have other things set up against the house to help keep the insulation from being blown away, so I was able to find one that looked like we could spare.

It’s the perfect size and shape!

The bowl is so big, I added bricks as spacers between it and the shelter. The cats immediately were all over it, until I refilled the other water bowls, too. They were very thirsty!

We will have to plug the bowl back in later, once there are two people available. With the snow accumulation, the counterweight doesn’t quite reach the ground, so one person has to hold up the roof while the other does what needs to be done, inside. When we do our monthly shop, we’ll pick up a short, appropriate extension cord that can be safely used, so we can at least not have to worry about the cord being unplugged. Not too short, though. I want to run it along the frame of the shelter, just under the roof, so there will be no issue with the cats knocking it about, and no critters chewing on it.

Thanks to my daughter digging out more paths, I was able to get at the back of the garage and the outhouse. To clear access to the outhouse, my daughter had to break up that fallen piece of tree. It was warm enough to no longer be quite frozen to the ground, but that’s as far as it’s going to be moved until, most likely, spring.

When switching out the memory card in the trail cam by the new sign, I noticed these tracks. Something had walked towards the corner, stopped, then turned around. At first, I thought they were foot prints, they were so big. That didn’t seem likely, given the piles of snow from the plow. Not even our vandal is that dedicated to causing problems! The question was, did whatever made it go far enough to trigger the motion sensor on the trail cam?

The answer is, yes!

Would you look at that majestic beauty!!

While doing my rounds and seeing deer tracks, I had been noticing some hoof prints much larger than the others. I’d say, we’ve captured the beast that made them! And what a handsome fella he is!

I’m pretty sure we’ve been seeing this same buck visiting our place since we moved here. If it is, this would be the fifth winter of visits from him. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

A deer appearance

It’s been a while to see deer in the trail cams, but this morning, I saw a whole bunch!

These were the first to come by.

It’s really hard to tell, but there is a third deer on the other side of the fence. They like to slip between the barbed while in this spot.

The little one nearer the fence, which would have been born this spring, went through, but the adult in the foreground ended up waking off towards the driveway.

Then this guy showed up…

A handsome three point buck!

What a catch! I rarely use image enhancement on my photos (mostly because I don’t know how and don’t care enough to learn), but I did use the auto fix in my software on these ones, so you could better see the deer jumping the fence.

The “light” behind him is actually a reflection. That’s our driveway marker, which shows up in the infrared flash looking like a bright light.

In previous years, we would be buying deer feed and including it with the bird seed at the feeding station outside our living room window, but with our mild temperatures this year, there has been no need. We’ll probably start supplementing them once there is snow on the ground that stays. Which may not be until mid-November, if the long range forecasts are right!

The Re-Farmer

Critter of the Day: Hello, Buck!

While I was doing some clean up well away from the house, my daughter spotted a buck visiting our feeding station and got some awesome pictures!

Now that we’ve got the tripod back in the living room, I will try and revive out Critter of the Day/Photo of the day posts. I might not get them out every day, but I’ll try.

For now, please enjoy our gorgeous visitor!

The Re-Farmer

What a surprise!

This time of year, we pretty much never see deer at the feeding station. If they’re coming by, it’s typically when we’re all in bed.

Except tonight.

My daughter happened to be in the living room, with the lights out, escaping the heat of the second floor when she glanced out the window to see this.

The other surprise is actually getting a half decent photo. We didn’t even try to use the DSLR; moving to adjust the settings for a night shot would have spooked the deer away, so this is just using auto on my phone’s camera!

You’ll notice the antlers look very thick and fuzzy. That’s because they are! I have actually never seen a buck with the velvet still on his antlers like this, before! (not counting photographs, of course)

I’m glad he was able to enjoy the seeds I’m still putting on the ground for the birds. Right now, I’m just using black oilseeds – a type of sunflower seed. The grass covers most of the seed on the ground. Not just grass, though. With the rain we’ve been having, there are quite a few sprouted sunflowers in the area, and I can see quite a few other things growing from the mixed bird seed I’d used before. I’m pretty sure a lot of the grass in that area is actually oat grass, too. The birds can get through it to reach the seeds well enough, but it would take more effort for a deer!

Of course, the deer can graze on the seedlings, too, and I’m much rather he eats the sunflower seedlings here, than the ones we deliberately planted in the garden! 😀

What a majestic animal! I’m so happy he came by!

The Re-Farmer