I ended up doing my morning rounds later than usual today, but I sure had some beautiful views!

We got another frost last night, and the trees look just stunning!

I had a pretty frosted morning, myself – frosted at Nosencrantz, mostly! Way too early in the morning, I heard a strange scratching sound in the shelf behind my night stand; there is a wall of shelves behind my bed that can’t be taken out of the room without somehow dismantling it, so I have my bed frame up against in, blocking some of the shelves. The one behind my nightstand is only half blocked, and it usually the place Nosencrantz hides in when some of the other cats decide to go after her.

The scratching I was hearing?

Yeah. She decided to poop in the shelf, rather than one of the freshly cleaned litter boxes. In the farthest corner, of course.

Then, after I cleaned it up and went back to bed, Nosencrantz started scratching again.

In a litter box.

She wasn’t using it. Just scratching in it.

And on it.

And the floor around it.

And the baby jail walls next to it (yeah, we still have that set up; Butterscotch loves to nap in it!)

She eventually stopped, but then Butterscotch tried to make a jump onto the window ledge, failed and somehow managed to knock over the small food bowl I’ve got tucked in the corner, partially blocked by a shelf specifically to prevent that from happening!

After cleaning that up, I tried to get a bit more sleep, but then Leyendecker and Cheddar started scratching at the door, wanting in.

I finally gave up and got up, heading to the kitchen to start the kettle going to heat water for the outside cats. It was still kinda dark, and I didn’t have my glasses, so I was perplexed by a glowing blue box in the wrong spot. The Cat Lady had given us their older water fountain for the cats, and it’s plugged in and set up in front of a shelf in the dining room. It has a blue light that makes the base glow, and you can see the water level. Well, the base was several feet away, in front of the entry to the kitchen – and the top part, with the fountain, was gone! I found it pushed up against another shelf.

I’m blaming Susan for this. She has a thing for digging in water bowls and splashing all over. I’m guessing she must have pulled the top right off – then kept splashing in the water, from the looks of the floor!

Still better than having to crawl on the floor to reach and clean up poop, though!

Nosencrantz just climbed onto my chest as I write this, and is getting all cuddly.

As if I could forgive her that easily!

Awww… she’s curling up and settling down now, purring like crazy.

I am such a suck for the cats.

The Re-Farmer

Clean up: dead spruce, so far

It was too dark to take progress photos last night, so this is how the dead spruce tree I took down looked when I was done for the day.

When I get back to it later today, I’ll be using the mini chainsaw (cordless pruner) to finish de-branching it. Depending on how things go today, I might even be able to break the trunk down more with the electric chainsaw. I’ll have to watch myself, though. My body is already warning me not to overdo it. Power tools will help with that, at least, but it was quite painful getting up this morning. 😦

This is the larger of the vine pieces that were still wrapped around the trunk.

After fighting off the Virginia Creeper since we moved out here, it actually stuns me when I go into garden centres and see it for sale. People actually pay money for this invasive plant! I get that they’re pretty, but my goodness, do they ever kill off anything they wrap themselves around! I’m still pulling it from areas I cleared two summers ago. Any little root left in the soil will keep trying to sprout.

Speaking of invasive, you can see in the background of the above photo, how the chokecherry tree is trying to spread! Gotta get that under control, too!

The Re-Farmer

It’s a fluffy day today!

The temperatures have gone up quite a bit today, and the outside cats are quite appreciating it!

I was very happy to see Rosencrantz this morning! I haven’t seen her in a couple of weeks.

Butterscotch also made an appearance this morning. I didn’t see her yesterday.

Her babies were just loving the new snow, running around a chasing each other in it. 🙂

Butterscotch, however, would not come anywhere near me this morning, so I wasn’t able to check her wound at all. She seemed to be moving around fine, though, so that’s a good sign.

Nostildamus made up for her lack of interest, wanting all sorts of pets and attention!

He has such soft fur.

Today was a day when everything looked soft and fluffy. Even the trees.

The warmer temperatures brought with them the softest, fluffiest of snow. We got about 2 inches of it by this morning; two inches of mostly air!

The Potato Beetle is not amused. The kittens might be enjoying the snow of their first winter, but the adult cats seem much more ticked off about the whole thing! 😀

We’re supposed to drop to more normal, chilly temperatures after today, so I think I will take advantage of the day and make a trip into town to pick up a few things we are starting to running low on.

Just glancing at my weather icon on my toolbar as I write this, and see that we have reached 0C! (32F) The wind chill is at -6C/21F, which is still quite balmy! A wonderful day to get outside. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Destructive cats, and a winter tree casualty

So… that didn’t take long.

In re-arranging the living room, the girls and I also moved around the plants. The living room is the only space we have for our bigger plants – and some have gotten very big since we’ve moved out here! – so it’s a bit of a challenge.

One of the things we have a lot of is jade plants. The jade plant that we thought might not survive the move is now a massive, healthy beast of the tree. We also have lots and lots of aloe vera. I knew that aloe propagates itself easily, but I didn’t realize how easily jade plants do as well. It turns out any leaf that breaks off can grow into a new plant.

Leaves break off easily. Especially with our cats. They keep trying to get into the pots, lying in the dirt, and generally wrecking havoc. I recently ended up using the extra legs of the plastic utility shelf we got as supports for the big one, because it was almost completely flattened. (As a bonus, because these are tubes, I can now water the plant through the tops.) This is not a good thing, since jade plants are poisonous to cats.

One of the treats I’ve started to get at Costco are these large plastic containers of Cheese Balls. I’ve been keeping the containers because I thought they’d make great cloche coverings in the garden at some point. When the cats were determined to use one of the plant pots as a bed, mashing the jade plant flat, I put one of these over the plant to protect it. It worked well, but when we arranged things, I figured the plant was big enough to not need it any more and took it off.

Well… they did leave that one alone.

Another smaller one, not so much. The pot was knocked over, the poor little jade plant was on the carpet, and there was soil all over.

I’m glad we thought to put that plastic over the shelves to protect their tops!

I put the soil back and replanted the jade plant. It should actually survive this, but we’ll see. Meanwhile, this and another pot are small enough that I cut the tops off of two of those plastic containers, so that they are not straight sided, and they can completely cover the pots and their plants, with room to grow.

This morning, I ended up using the cut off tops to put over a couple more plants that showed signs of cats bashing their way through them.

Meanwhile, while doing my rounds this morning, I remember to check on the pair of trees my mother planted right against the chain link fence. One of them had looked like it was dead, but I wasn’t up to slogging through the snow to check it. The snow is mostly gone now, so…

Yeah, that is one very dead tree. Both of these were fine in the fall.

I had wanted to transplant them away from the fence, but my mother demanded they stay right where they are. When I pointed out that they would eventually grow big enough to damage the fence, and were too close together, she said they were exactly where she wanted them to be, and she didn’t care if they damaged the fence.

Now that one of them has died, knowing my mother, she’s probably going to think I killed it because I didn’t want them there.

Ah, well. I’ll deal with that when the time comes.

One of the things that has really hit home for me as we’ve been cleaning up around the yards, is how incredibly important it is to think years ahead when planting trees. We intend to plant many, many trees, with a focus on food trees, and this gives us an opportunity to learn from what my parents did 10, 20, even 40 years ago.

The Re-Farmer

Morning company

I admit, my morning rounds are not as consistent as they should be. Some mornings, when my daughter has a shift, it’s earlier – and this time of year, pitch black, still! Others, like today, I can wait until there’s actually light out.

Which means, I can get pictures of the company I get. 😀

I always do the cat food and water first, then do the feeding station. The cats will happily abandon food and fresh water to come join me.

Because, apparently, bird bath water is better.

They also like to use the bird feeder pole as a scratching post. 😀

Creamsicle was all set to jump on me!

I didn’t let him.

As I finished up at the feeding station, I realized I had an audience.

Gosh, they are so funny.

Also, that aloe vera behind Dave is the baby of one we had before our move. It’s about half the size of the mama was. We called it the sarlacc, so I guess this is sarlacc junior. 😀

The frost covered spruces were very pretty this morning. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Two more down

Between the high winds and rain we’ve been having recently, it’s been a while since my rounds have included all the perimeter of the spruce grove.

The predicted storms have, once again, passed us by – this time to the south – but we have been getting rain almost constantly for the last while.

Which would have been wonderful in the spring. The farmers in the middle of harvesting their crops are now being hit with a triple whammy. A cold late spring followed by a hot dry summer, and now when hot and dry is what the crops need, it’s cold and wet.

That’s the reality of farming, though, and everyone just goes with it. What else can you do?

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