Will you play with me?

I was returning to the house at the end of my morning rounds, when I found we had a visitor!

My brother’s dog had come by, and he really wanted to play with the kitties!

Nosencrantz set him straight with a half-hearted swap to the nose, while all the other cats stayed away. 😀

My brother’s dog wasn’t the only visitor. When I first came out with the kibble, I startled a deer that was in the south yard. It bounded through the snow a bit, then stopped to watch me for a while. Later, there were two of them that ran off as I went to empty the kitchen compost onto the heap.

They are so pretty!

As for out cats, we have still been trying to adopt out as many as I can, with no success. This morning… well, let’s just say I’m quite frustrated, but I’ll save that rant for my next post!

The Re-Farmer

There are those who prefer the cold!

What a difference between yesterday and today!

I took advantage of yesterday’s warmth with a trip into town. At one point, on the way back, I was driving through precipitation that couldn’t make up it’s mind if it was snow or rain! LOL We actually hit 3C/37.4F, which was a couple of degrees warmer than forecast.

Then the temperatures plummeted overnight. While the actual temperatures remained above -20C/-4F, the wind chills brought things down colder than -30C/-22F Apparently, there was even a storm last night, though it seemed to be well to the south of where we are. We got hit with high winds, mostly.

As I write this, we are at -17C/1.4F with a wind chill of -28C/-18.4F

While I was doing the cat stuff outside, most of them just stayed in the cat shelter and watched me though the windows. They still had lots of food in the kibble house, but I also toss some inside the entry of the cat house, where I have another food bowl. I don’t put much in there, since I don’t want to encourage other critters going in there. That food bowl was empty.

Some of the cats did come out for some warm water; the heated water bowl does the job, but when it’s cold like this, I like to give them water that is actually warm, and they really seem to appreciate it.

Then they all just disappeared! Not into the cat house, but running off around it, with some running under the storage house.

I discovered why when I turned around as saw we had a visitor!

My younger brother’s dog had come for a visit!

He just thrives in these temperatures! The colder it is, the more he loves it.

They have yard cats too, of course, so when he comes here, he expects to be able to come right up to ours and play! Butterscotch and Rolando Moon (and Beep Beep, if she were still outside) are more familiar with him, as he used to visit my late father all the time, but the other cats where born after we moved here, and the sudden appearance of a fluffy giant is rather frightening for them! Meanwhile, he just wants to play. 😀

As I was finishing my rounds, I managed to get him to follow me down the driveway and start heading home, but as I came back, he was suddenly bounding beside me, leaping and jumping in the snow, trying to get me to play with him!

Unfortunately, the winds made staying outside any longer than I had to, out of the question.

My goodness. I just glanced at my weather icon on my computer and noticed we’ve already started to drop in temperature. Looking out my window, it’s a clear and sunny day and looks like it should be quite pleasant out there, but we’re now -18C/-0.4F, with the wind chill down to -31C/-23.8F We’ve already hit the high of the day, and it is expected to keep slowly dropping from now on until tomorrow. We’ll have one more mild day tomorrow, then temperatures are supposed to plummet for a few days before getting mild again. With concerns over the vehicles, we plan any outings around the forecasts, which means quick run to check the mail and pick up more bird seed and deer feed will be done tomorrow.

Unlike our furry visitor, we do NOT thrive in this cold, and neither do the vehicles! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Photo(s) of the Day: headed for high ground

A while back, we spotted little Susan, in an unusual place.

The cats don’t typically climb straight up this dead tree, as there are many others with convenient branches that are easier for them.

She was, however, very determined to keep going higher. Something was off. What could it be?

Ah.

Our furry neighbour came to visit!

He just can’t seem to understand why the cats won’t play with him! 😀

As I write this, Susan is curled up and snoozing behind me, recovering quite well from her date with the vet!

I don’t think they like him

This morning, while doing my rounds, I had an unexpected visitor – my brother’s beautiful dog! He is usually very shy and tends to sneak up behind a person, and under their hand, for sneaky pets, but not today! He was quite happy to come right up for some attention.

While I was petting him, I heard a noise above my head.

As usual, the cats had followed me while I was doing my rounds. Butterscotch and Beep Beep will bully each other to be carried. This morning, Butterscotch came along, and she was not happy to see our visitor!

Sadly, when I paused to take the picture, my visitor went away.

As I started back, I saw Butterscotch was not the only one unhappy with our visitor!

Even Junk Pile cat had been following along and was up a tree, but before I could get a picture, he’d jumped down and bolted further into the grove.

I want a dog. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Visitors

I had a couple of visitors while doing my rounds this morning.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve heard one of these guys, and even longer since I’ve seen one.

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What I found interesting is that, when it saw me coming, it just walked away, then stayed to watch me for a while, before finally flying off. Usually, I don’t even know one’s been around until I hear it flying away.

At one point, I was under a tree when some bits of bark and debris began falling on my head.

Why?

Because of this little lady.

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Who was not at all happy to see our other visitor.

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My brother’s dog came by, and even came over to let me pet him, without doing the “sneaking up from behind” shyness he usually displays. He still played a bit shy, but he seemed more interested in getting pets, instead. 😀

I just adore that dog. He is so sweet!

The Re-Farmer

No escort this morning!

This morning, as I headed out to give the outside cats their food and warm water, I was very pleased to see that the water bowl was still on the warming set up!

It was completely empty, but it was there, at least!  Which meant no new ice on the concrete floor.

I think we’re still going to have to increase how often we bring water out for them, though.

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This is one of the water dishes we still use, outside.  You can see the holes made by little tongues, trying to get through the surface ice, to the water below, before it froze solid.

When I go out with their food, they are normally all over each other, trying to get at the bowls of food. 

Not this morning! 

Oh, look.  Fancy tree fruits.

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, hanging out in the ornamental apple tree.

Towards the end of my rounds, Butterscotch did try to join me, but soon, she was hanging out in a tree, too!

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So what changed, this morning?

This guy.

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My brother’s dog came over for a visit!

He looks so sad that Butterscotch won’t come down for snuffles.

He actually let me pet him, without much stand-offish-ness, this morning, which made me happy. 🙂

As you can see by the ribbon attached to his collar, it’s hunting season right now.  In fact, I heard two gun shots this morning, while doing my rounds.  Someone out there is getting meat for their freezer!

While doing my rounds, I went back to see the electric fence the deer broke.  I didn’t like all that wire tangled and looped up in one spot, so I found the broken end and started pulling it back.  The end was near the gate, so there were quite a few holders for me to loop it through, before I reached the full length.  I found an insulator on a post to loop the end through, so it wouldn’t spring back again, then found the other end and pulled that back as far as I could.

The break turned out to be right next to our septic outflow.

Which is looking pretty dramatic right now!

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The ground is too frozen to absorb the grey water, so the ice is extending quite far, already.

I’m guessing the piece of metal roofing was put where it is, deliberately, to prevent excess erosion from the water being pumped out the top of that pipe.

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There are quite a few willows here, including this one that used to be quite massive.  Which says something about how quickly willows can get huge.  My father planted these by just sticking branches into the marshy ground.  Which means these were planted in the early to mid 70’s. 

I am remembering something the younger of my brothers had said, shortly after we moved here.  Something about how he had been trying to kill off the Chinese Elm growing by the septic field, because they were planted too close to the outflow and the roots were causing problems. 

I’ve gone through were a few times over the past year, and there are no Chinese elms growing here.  Just the willows my late father planted.  He planted willows because they are good for taking up water, and would prevent the area from becoming too marshy.  Some of it is lower and forms a sort of pond, when there’s enough rain (which meant there was almost no water at all, this past year), but the outflow is closer to the barn and several outbuildings.

So… I don’t know what my brother was talking about, in regards to any elms in this area.  Odd.

The Re-Farmer

A fine morning!

Such a lovely morning!  Doing the morning check around the yard does have its benefits. 😀

With the chillier conditions, I’ll be taking on the feeding of the cats again.  The temperature change between indoors and out is not good on my husband’s back.  So I get to add putting out food and warm water to the morning routine.

I’m just not going to be doing it at first light.  The cats are going to have to put up with that! 😀

The nice thing is that, while I’m putting the food out, I’m actually able to pet almost all of them.  Even Rosencrantz or Guildenstern (but not both) will let me touch, for a brief moment, before moving away.  I don’t want to keep the shy ones from food, though, so I leave them alone and move on to the water.  Which now includes knocking the ice out, first!  It was while I was doing that, when all the cats suddenly exploded in all directions!

We got another visitor this morning.

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