Morning critters

I spotted this, outside our kitchen window this morning, while getting ready to do my morning rounds.

They were after that little strip of expose ground, for something to nibble on.

With winter dragging on, they are doing a lot more digging to reach any food at all. In the foreground is the pile of grass clippings for mulch they’d uncovered. Beyond that is the unfinished low raised bed. It had a trench in the middle with kitchen waste to be buried as we finished it. The deer dug it up and have eaten most of it. Thankfully, they have no interest in the two garlic beds beyond it.

I spotted only nine outside cats at first. I have not seen Tuxedo Mask, Chaddiccus, or Agnoos for a while. The older males seem to be gone, too – no more females in heat to keep them around, I guess.

Ghost Baby did eventually show up, though, making eleven (plus Potato Beetle in the sun room, who is looking quite well after his visit with the vet).

Before finishing my rounds, I had to chase a deer away from the shrine, where it was eating kibble, even though I’d already dropped seeds down at the feeding station. Then I had to chase a skunk out of the kibble house. Once it was gone, all the outside cats converged on the kibble house again.

I was just petting Potato Beetle before going into the house when I had to go back out and shoo the deer away again!

This afternoon, we’re looking at a high of 5C/41F, with no rain or snow before tomorrow morning. We’ve got seeds to start today, but first, I’m heading out to see if I can find some big bags of cat food somewhere! I did get some seeds scarified and soaking first, so they will be ready for planting by the time I get back.

Of course, I’m adding extra to what we’re starting. 😀 I’ll explain what and why, when I post about it later today.

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: moving into the sun room

You know how it gets, when you start one thing, then end up doing more, or go to check on something only to find yourself doing a bunch of other things, just because you’re there, anyway?

Yeah. That was most of my day. 😀

One of those things happened while preparing to write my previous post, and I noticed some deer on the security camera, running up the driveway. I went to check on where they were going and, sure enough, one headed for the kibble house.

The sun was blinding me while trying to take the photo, so it wasn’t until I went out to chase off the deer from eating the kibble, that I finally saw the skunk!

The skunk quickly ran off and, within moments, the cats were back in the kibble house, eating.

Then Potato Beetle politely asked for cuddles, so I stayed in the sun room holding him, which is why I was there to see the deer try and return, several times!

This deer was going for the kibble house because it had been chased away from the feeding station by the three deer I’d seen running up the driveway!

Then, since I was in the sun room anyhow, I started working on the shelf we’ll be moving seedlings onto. With Potato Beetle still being kept in there, I moved the warming lamp to the bottom shelf, which we will leave clear for him, then emptied and set up a higher shelf. That shelf doesn’t get as much light, so the little bins with the tulip tree and paw paw seeds in them got moved up (still no idea if those will ever germinate).

Once that was ready, it was time to go through the big aquarium greenhouse and the mini-greenhouse to collect the largest seedlings and transfer them to the sun room, using some of the bins I picked up.

The two Wonderberries turned out to be too tall for the shelf!! so they got put into buckets and joined the first one on the shelf. They are in biodegradable pots, and I didn’t feel like fussing with aluminum foil, like we did for the first one.

I also had to prune flower buds off the little Wonderberry plants!

It’s not in the photo, but while clearing the extra shelf, I brought down the pot that my daughter buried the cucamelon tubers in. I set it up in the window with the Wonderberry and watered it. Who knows. We might have some cucamelons this year, after all!

Here, the Canteen gourds, two of the Crespo squash, and three of the Cup of Moldova tomatoes got set up next to the trays with the onion seedlings.

A bin with all Cup of Moldova tomatoes got set up on the next shelf down. If they look all bent over, that’s because they were starting to get crowded in their shelves in the mini-greenhouse! A piece of rigid insulation that had been laying on the shelf next to where the bin was placed, got set up to create a wall.

Just in case Potato Beetle manages to get onto the other half of the shelf and decides to do a Susan on the seedlings, and try to eat them.

Hopefully, Potato Beetle won’t be in the sun room for much longer, and we’ll be able to use that bottom shelf, too.

This afternoon, however, he was quite content to watch the activity from the comfort of my husband’s walker!

Once everything was set up, the bins and trays got watered, the reflector was put back in position, and I turned on the shop light that’s hanging on the inside of the shelf, where things are in shadow. It was 20C/68F in there, so I left the warming lamp off. It’ll get turned on again when things start cooling down.

Hopefully, the seedlings will do well in the sun room. I’m still concerned about those overnight temperatures. There’s only so much that little light we’re using for its warmth (as is Potato Beetle!) can do, and there’s no safe way to set up the ceramic heat bulb without some sort of metal frame, since the frame of the mini-greenhouse we used before is being actively used as… you know… a greenhouse.

The mini-greenhouse now has two completely empty shelves and, after re-arranging things, there’s even room in one of the trays for more pots. There will be room for the next seeds we will be starting this week, though I think the Kulli corn, which will be in bins, will be going straight into the sun room. We’ll see how whether the bins can fit in the big aquarium greenhouse or not. There is also still the small aquarium greenhouse. Seedlings don’t thrive in it, but it should still be suitable to keep pots until their seeds germinate and, hopefully, we’ll be able to move any seedlings out to a better spot soon after.

It feels like we’re juggling pots and seedlings! Which I guess we are.

The Re-Farmer


Check out this screencap from my phone’s weather app.

Yeah. They’re predicting another 5-10cm/2-4in of snow in a couple of days. If I tap to check the “snowfall probability”, though, is says 1-2 cm, which is less than an inch.

My desktop weather app says Wednesday will be 3C/37F, with 2-4cm of snow, which is less than 2 inches.

Meanwhile, I’ve read that there is a possibility of another Colorado Low developing later in the month.


I’m trying to stay positive here. Appreciating the moisture and all, but could it please start coming as rain now, instead of sow? I mean, we’re still supposed to have highs above freezing, so you’d think we’d be getting rain, but apparently not. :-/


While I was heating up water for the outside cats, I spotted some activity out the kitchen window.

Cheeky buggers! 😀

Actually, they’re using the paths we’ve dug out, since all the other ones have been left snowed in.

I think I spotted 11 cats outside this morning. I’m not sure how many are at the kibble tray on the ground.

Things got weird with Ghost Baby, though. As I was pouring out the kibble, she actually ran right up to me, then backed off an hissed… then ran up, then hissed, then ran up, then hissed… Very odd. Especially having her run up close enough to rub against my leg! As I went around to put kibble on the tray on the ground, she came up and went for the tray, then hissed at me, then went for the tray again.

While I was putting seeds out in the feeding station, I could hear the yowling of cats. I came around to see what was going on, and pretty much all the cats had run off – except Ghost Baby. As I came closer, she went around the side of the kibble house, so I checked on her. I held my hand out to her and she actually touched my finger with her nose – which had a spot of blood on it! – and hissed again.

We were almost out of deer feed and low on kibble, so I decided to make a quick run into town. After popping inside for a bit, I came back out to discover 2 skunks in the kibble house – and Ghost Baby in the space between the kibble house and the cat house, screaming at them! The skunks saw me and tried to run away, but Ghost Baby was in the way, and even batted at them. The poor skunks where in a pickle!

No surprise when Ghost Baby got sprayed. The skunks got by here, but I could see she had a big, yellow splash right across her chest.

It doesn’t seem to be bothering her. She wanted that kibble!

The outside cats typically have their kittens around the end of April or beginning of May. It is very possible that Ghost Baby is due to have hers within a couple of weeks, which may explain her behaviour.

Rosencrantz, Broccoli and at least one other cat – possibly Junk Pile – are looking very, very round, too.

There are going to be way too many kittens this year – though there is always the question of how many will survive long enough for us to ever see them. Beep Beep and Butterscotch always stuck close to home, even when we didn’t manage to catch them to have their kittens in either the sun room or our basement. The other cats won’t have their kittens in the cat shelter – it’s far to busy in there and used by too many cats. We’ll just have to see how many there are, probably around June.

I think Butterscotch will be very happy to NOT be pregnant this year!

Meanwhile, Potato Beetle is still being kept in the sun room, though he did make his escape while my daughter tried to get the loaded wagon through the sun room door while I carried the feed sack. We left him be while things got brought inside, then the girls put things away while I refilled the bins of kibble and feed. By the time I got outside again, though, I couldn’t see Potato Beetle. It took me a while, but I finally spotted him, rolling luxuriously in the snow, then going around marking his territory on some trees. 😀 He finally came over for cuddles, and I was able to get him back in the sun room.

He still wants out.

Though he is still favouring his front left leg, he does seem to be better, and able to put more weight on it. Hopefully, it’s just a minor injury. We’ll find out when we get him to the vet on Wednesday evening (unless we get a call due to a cancellation).

Potato Beetle may be wanting out, but he’s also REALLY loving it when we visit him in the sun room. This cat loves his cuddles!

Now, if he could just learn how to use that litter box. This morning, I discovered he somehow managed to use a tall bucket to leave a “present” for me, without knocking it over. It’s going to be pretty unpleasant when it’s time to clean out the sun room, and we pull the swing bench out, because I’m pretty sure it’s behind there that he’s been making a mess. Until it’s warm and dry enough outside that we can empty the sun room and clean it out, however, we’re just going to have to put up with the smells.


At least it’s warm enough that we can open up the inner door to outside. The outer door lets in more sunlight, so it still stays pretty warm, but the window is open a few inches, so there’s at least a bit of air circulation.

Whether or not we’re getting another Colorado Low or now, we’re going to have to start using that sun room as a greenhouse for more seedlings, and today was the day for that.

Which will get a post of its own. 🙂

The Re-Farmer


Man, monitoring this storm has been just a wild world of confusion.

I have a weather widget on my phone that has animated weather in the background to match current conditions. When I looked at it, first thing this morning, it was snowing. Opening the app, there was a message saying heavy snowfall will continue for at least an hour and a half.

What was out my window?

Nothing. Not a flake in the sky.

The edge of the storm was supposed to reach us around 3am, with blizzard conditions by 10am. We had no snow at all last night.

Looking at the weather radar, we had that remarkable bubble over our area again. The storm’s edge was swirling around us, but not on us.


So I quickly bundled up and headed outside to do my morning rounds – spotting two deer walking through the West yard when I got into the sun room.

The sun room seems to have stayed just above freezing overnight. The Wonderberry, which is by itself at one window, where it’s colder, seems to be doing just fine. I did move it away from the window a bit more. It’s not going to get much light today, anyhow, and the closer to the window it is, the colder it is.

By the time I got outside, the first flakes were starting to fall. The winds were already quite high, though, so it was no surprise that only a few cats came out for food. I did move a small dish of food just inside the entrance to their cat house, though. Potato Beetle was the only cat in there when I started putting the food out. As overcast as it is, the light sensor on the timer should be triggered to turn on the ceramic heat bulb, so it should be nice and warm in there.

In the time it took me to put feed out for the birds and deer, put the container back in the sun room, and come back around the corner on my way to the sign cam, there were at least 4 deer at the feeding station already. They got startled and ran off into the trees, so I’m not sure, exactly.

It didn’t take them long to come back!

Snow was starting to come down a bit harder by the time I very quickly did my morning rounds. Those winds, though! We’ll have to keep an eye out for falling branches and trees. As I sit here, writing this post, I can watch the snowfall increase and the visibility drop on the garage cam live feed. The driveway and paths that had been exposed ground are now white with snow.

The weather alerts have changed, of course. The south of us is getting the brunt of the storm. The system is splitting up and swirling in two directions; the snow is being pushed to the northwest, across Manitoba and Saskatchewan, while the rain is being pushed to the east, across Ontario and Quebec. The rain part of the system looks like it’s going to be more severe than the snow part.

The alert is now saying that south of us is getting the brunt of the storm basically now, but not as much snow as expected. Our area is supposed to now get the brunt of the storm tonight and into tomorrow.


As I watch the weather radar, it looks like we’ll still be getting the brunt of the storm… now, bascially, and over the next couple of hours. Then it looks like it’s clearing up. The system should be clear of our area, continuing North and West, by about 3:30pm.

If I look at the hourly forecast, this afternoon will actually have wet flurries, but where I earlier saw predictions of 5-10cm/2-4in in one hour, over a couple of hours, I’m now seeing ~1cm or >1cm every hour through Thursday.

That’s with The Weather Network.

AccuWeather is telling me we are having “heavy snow” right now (it’s snowing, but I’d still call it flurries at the moment), while the hourly forecast is saying much the same as the other; about a centimeter – less than half an inch – per hour. The “looking ahead” note says “A snowstorm continuing into Friday morning with blizzard conditions today and storm total accumulations for 40-60cm.” This is supposed to be for our area, not the entire region the storm is crossing.

A lot of mixed messages.


I look out the window, or watch the garage cam.

The snow is definitely getting heavier, though still nowhere near what I would call “heavy snow”. In past storms we’ve had this winter, when we have heavy snow, the garage cam gets whited out. We’re not there yet.

I’m watching the maple branches outside my window, and when those gusts hit, you can really tell!

But we are safe and warm inside, the outside cats are fed and should be cozy in their favorite hidey holes about the property by now.

Yesterday, we started pickling eggs for our Easter basket. Today, my goal is to bake the Easter bread.

For now, though, it’s a good time for another cup of strong, black tea!

The Re-Farmer

Morning Critters

Evening critters, too!

It’s getting to the point where I can start doing my evening rounds again, if in a limited way, since most of the places I check are still inaccessible. Last night I heard a noise when I came out and spotted a deer, in the outer yard, out by the collapsing log cabin, getting up from where it was lying down. After watching me for a bit, it ran off.

Later, I also heard the sounds of what I at first through was a cat fight. Nope. It was one of the ‘iccuses, busily getting pregnant.

Which is probably why Sad Face cat is back and hanging around.


I saw these two out my bedroom window this morning. While checking out the one deer that was just standing there, chewing, I realized I was seeing the ears of a second deer, lying down!

They clearly feel pretty safe over here.

Which is probably not a good thing, but… ah, well.

This morning, Sad Face was around, but would not come closer while I refilled the kibble trays. The boys in the above photo were getting along this morning. Nutmeg and The Distinguished Guest actually booped foreheads affectionately. He even let me pet him.

I suppose the Distinguished Guest isn’t a Guest anymore!

The ladies seem to prefer to wait until I’m away before they’ll go into the kibble house, and would rather all crowd around the tray on the ground, instead.

In the above photo, we know that Ghost Baby and Caramel (next to each other in the middle left, and Broccoli (on the right) are female. Bradiccus, with the white tail tip, in the front, is male. The ‘iccus next to him, and the one in the back left, I’m not too sure of, but one of them is female.

Altogether, I think I spotted 13 or 14 cats this morning.

After feeding the cats, including the kibble tray out by the shrine, I realized I had what was either a cut or a sliver, so I went in for a while to get my husband to take a closer look. It turned out to be a sliver. In the time it took to get it out and bandage it up (it was rather large!), then grab the last of the deer feed from the bin, I came out to find two deer at the shrine, with one of them eating the kibble! There were about 6 cats surrounding them, watching the deer stealing their food!

What cheek!

So I chased them off, then poured the seed at the feeding station (still feeling a little miffed that we can’t use the new bird feeder because the deer just pull it down). The ran off across the road as I walked that way to get to the path to the sign cam.

Sometimes, when checking the files, something dark will trigger the motion sensor, but is too close to know what it is. Usually, it’s a bird or a squirrel on the fence post it’s attached to.

This morning, I confirmed the most recent of such files was a squirrel.

It enjoyed a nice spruce cone on the post, triggering the camera with its tail! LOL

One my way back, I could see the deer watching me from the spruces across the road. As I continued on to the driveway cam, I could see them running over to the feeding station, looking so excited!

When my morning rounds were done, I made a quick trip to the post office/general store to pick up more deer feed. I had expected to be switching to the black oil seed by now, but decided to stick to deer feed for at least one more bag.

The frustrating thing is that, over the next couple of days, we’re supposed to get more snow. Not a lot, but it should be rain by now. At least, that’s how it feels. If I look at the historical weather data, though, we’re actually supposed to be warmer than the 30 year average, and getting snow is not that unusual. Just as it’s not unusual to get one last blizzard in April. We’re supposed to warm up for the next week, then drop down to just above, or just below, freezing, depending on which weather app I’m checking. I feel like I’m gnawing at the bit, because we need to be starting more seeds indoors, but it’s still too cold to move seedlings into the sun room to free up cat-proof space. Even just yesterday, the sun room only reached 10C/50F. Pleasant enough, but too cold for seedlings that have only known the warmth of their cat-proof set ups.

Though I was happy to finally see some new eggplant seedlings in the large aquarium greenhouse beginning to emerge this morning. Still no new peppers, though. At least we do still have some survivors of both n the mini-greenhouse, but I don’t want to chance killing them by moving them to the sun room too soon.

I love the cats. Really, I do. But having to keep them from destroying our plants and seedlings got real old, real fast!

The Re-Farmer

Brazen visitors!

Spotted some company out our kitchen window this evening!

The one deer walking on top of the snow really shows how hard and solid of a crust has developed on there, with our melt/freeze cycles lately.

Seeing these two had me looking, and sure enough, I spotted the piebald, too.

In the kibble house, eating the cat food.

Yeah, I chased them off. I’m not buying cat kibble to feed deer! 😀

What cheeky little buggers!

The Re-Farmer

Morning critters and… *sigh*

Well, I guess it was too much to hope for.

The cats got into one of the aloe vera we moved out of the large aquarium greenhouse, to make room for seed starts.

They even went after the one that was the most barricaded! As you can see by the aloe looking like it was carefully set aside, it’s not the plants they want. It’s the dirt!

Repotting that and figuring out how to protect it, is a job for later today.

The new location for the mini-greenhouse seems to be working well. It was getting direct sunlight this morning, on all levels. With the aluminum foil around the sides and back, the seedlings were getting light from all sides. I’m rather pleased with that.

We had a much warmer morning today, almost no wind, and lots of sunshine, so I took advantage of that.

So did the outside cats! I counted 17 of them outside, plus there was one in the sun room, so they are all accounted for.

I startled our usual 3 deer away from the feeding station, but they were running back almost before I finished putting out the seed.

I then took advantage of the conditions and got the burn barrel going. It’s a lot harder to burn off the wood pellet cat litter, when it it’s too cold for it to dry out.

Then, in between tending the burn barrel, I started clearing out the paths that were blown in by the high winds we’ve had recently.

I actually enjoy shovelling, so I just kept going, and ended up clearing all the paths, in both the inner and outer yards.

I found Potato Beetle enjoying his sun spot, when I cleared a path to the front of the garage. 🙂

I even took the time to break up the ice and snow near the cat’s house to haul it away. There was no more room for the ice from the metal water bowls anymore. With things warming up as they are, I also cleared the roof of the cat house of most of the snow, and even the snow overhang on the kibble house. I considered clearing the kibble house roof, too, but by then, I was done for the day!

The problem with doing all the shovelling is that, once I stop, that’s when things start to hurt! As soon as I sat down, my entire body started to stiffen up and ache. *sigh* Thankfully, though, there was a hot breakfast and a pot of tea made. Between that and some painkillers, I’m going all right. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Morning critters

We had another colder than predicted night, with a bitterly cold wind chill. It’s supposed to warm up quite a bit today, though not until this evening. After that, things are supposed to keep getting warmer.

We’re also supposed to be snowing, as I write this, and it isn’t, so… yeah. We’ll see.

I counted 14 or 15 outside cats this morning. Then I spotted Ghost Baby later on, so we had a headcount of possibly 16 of the outside cats.

They are most definitely appreciating having access to the heated water bowl in the sun room. As you can see in the above photo, the outside bowl is completely empty. Likely, the piebald visited the kibble house again, and finished off the water, too.

Speaking of which…

The three regulars were at the feeding station when I came around with seed. They ran off, but almost immediately started to come back. So I paused to see what they would do.

As usual, the piebald would chase off the other two, but they kept coming back.

They came within 20-25 feet of me!

I’m happy my phone was able to pick up that huffing sound the piebald makes.

I was making them nervous, though, so I moved on and let them be.

Chadiccus does not approve of my taking his picture, instead of petting him!

Oh, what a loaf Rolando Moon makes!

They keep breaking and knocking out the rigid insulation. I’ll have to think of something better to use, if we are going to keep using this old shelf as a cat shelter.

I had been talking about doing our Costco trip today, but one of my daughters has been suggesting that Costco on a Saturday might not be a good idea. Looking at the weather, we might not be snowing here, but it’s sure to be snowing to the house of us, and I’d rather not drive in it, if I don’t have to. So that will probably wait until Monday, then.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the seedlings, and today we’re going to be doing some major changes, from re-planting to replace losses, to physically re-arranging a whole bunch of things. I’ll post about how that goes, later.

The Re-Farmer


Today was a deceptive day. Beautifully bright and sunny – and colder than forecast! As I write this, we have warmed up to -19C/-2F – with a wind chill of -30C/-22F.

Oh, look at that. We’re supposed to warm up a few more degrees, but as I typed the above sentence, my weather app’s desktop icon just dropped to -20C/-4F, with a wind chill of -32C/-26F

We’re supposed to warm up over the next few days, until we reach above freezing, where we are supposed to stay for almost a week before dropping a couple of degrees below freezing again. Considering how off the forecasts have been, with the cold hanging on longer and colder than predicted, I’m not holding my breath.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to going out today.

The outside cats were happy to see me. Or at least the fresh kibble I brought out for them! Even the kibble in the sun room was all gone. As cold as it got, the outside heated water bowl still had liquid water, and not even a layer of ice over the top. I’m not sure if that means it started working again, or if there was simply enough water in it to keep it from freezing over.

I left really early to go to my mother’s, giving myself time to shovel away the small snow drift that formed overnight, in front of the garage doors where her car is parked. I wanted to make sure to get to the post office before it closed for a couple of hours for lunch, as my daughter got notice that a parcel was delivered.

It wasn’t there.

Then I went to my mother’s town with plans to get some gas and pick up some take out chicken and wedges for lunch. Had a small heart attack when I saw the gas prices had gone up another 10 cents per litre, to 174.9. That works out to Cdn$6.63 per US gallon, or US$5.21 at today’s exchange rate.


My mother doesn’t do meat on Fridays for Lent, so we shared the potato wedges for lunch, and she saved her chicken for tomorrow. I gave up most social media for Lent, which is a heck of a lot harder for me than giving up meat!

With the lockdowns, a lot of the social activities my mother so loved about where she lived had ended, but after a while, people started just making their own coffee nights in the lounge on their own. Which may be why events are starting up again. (We’re supposed to open up completely in a few days, but the powers that be are already talking about locking down and imposing restrictions again.) Today, the social workers from the senior’s centre were going door to door (happily, I didn’t see a single mask in my mother’s building. What a relief that was!), letting people know there would be coffee and cake in the lounge this afternoon. My mother was quite excited about it, so we headed out as soon as we finished lunch. Once her errands were done and her groceries put away, it was early enough that she still had time to watch Mass on TV before her coffee date, so I didn’t stay very long. She was in very good spirits, and was even moving around better on her bum knee than I’ve seen in a while. So that was encouraging.

This meant I was on my way home a lot earlier than I expected, giving me time for a quick stop at the post office/general store again, to pick up more deer feed. A full bag is more than fits in the bin we use for the deer/bird feed, so I put an extra bucket of feed out. I’d startled a deer in the yard when I got home, so I figured it wouldn’t be long before I saw one or two out the window once inside.

It was more than one or two! We had five of them out there, in no time at all!

After taking a few pictures, I sat at my computer to upload them when my daughter called out, asking me if I saw the seven deer outside the window.

Seven? No I hadn’t! So I grabbed my phone to get some pictures and…

There was a LOT more than seven.

Where did they all come from?

This is our fifth winter here. The most deer we’ve ever seen outside our window at one time has been seven. Today, we counted at least fourteen!

I’m guessing some of them came from my brother’s farm, across the road, as he puts a bale out for them. He’s had as many as 30, during some really severe winters. I’ve driven by and seen as many as eight that I could count while driving. But fourteen? Wow! The down side of that is, the coyotes start coming in, and he’s seen them take down a deer, right by his house.

I only scoop out enough feed to fill a 1 gallon container at a time. That’s barely a snack for the few deer that usually show up, minus what the birds manage to eat. I’m not sure how this tiny bit we put out has managed to lure so many deer!

We are definitely going to have to take this into account when we plant our berry bushes this spring. The buggers are doing a number on the chokecherry and Saskatoon bushes we found between the spruces near the feeding station, after cutting away some self-sown elm and maple, and the invasion of spirea. They never went for the spirea twigs and branches. Berry bushes must taste better!

Once we start cutting down all the dead spruces, that whole area is going to open up quite a bit. We want to get rid of all the spirea in there, allow the wild roses and red osier dogwood take over as undergrowth, reduce the chokecherries, and increase the Saskatoons. We also intend to plant fruit trees that require more protection from the winds in there. It’ll all be a waste, if the deer just come in and eat them! We’ll have to figure out the best way to protect things, while still following our plants to turn some of the tree stumps into benches, seats and tables. My long term goal is to create a little park-like sanctuary in the area behind the stone cross, surrounded by rose bushes and dogwood, and whatever wildflowers re-emerge once things are cleared out and the ground starts getting more sunlight again.

So… deer, racoons, groundhogs, squirrels and birds are all critters we’ll have to take into account. Probably black bears, too. They haven’t shown up in our yard, but one of my neighbors about a mile away from us had them raiding and destroying his bird feeders all last summer. With the drought, they were pretty desperate for food.

More reason to plant forage trees, well away from the house. Near the newly dug out gravel pit, which should be able to hold a lot of water for a much longer time now, would probably be a good place. If they have enough food and water elsewhere, they won’t have reason to come close to were people are.

Much to think about and plan around!

The Re-Farmer

Deer visitor, and seedling status

I guess I was just too disruptive this morning, because I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the outside cats! We’re expecting another warm day, so I wanted to make sure the sidewalk was scraped and cleared, so the concrete can warm up in the sun and melt away any remaining ice and snow.

The deer didn’t seem to mind! I saw a group of three, before I headed out, then my husband saw the usual pair, before the piebald finally came around. We are definitely seeing a lot more deer lately, all over. Sadly, that also means we’re seeing more on the side of the highways, that had been hit by cars. I’ve lost count of how many bald eagles I’ve seen, scavenging the carcasses. I’ve never seen as many bald eagles as I have this year – and it’s only the beginning of March!

While checking and tending our seedlings, I was happy to see the 4 new Canteen gourd seedlings are growing very quickly. I had been wondering about the on luffa that started to sprout, but hasn’t gotten any bigger, so when I had the chance, I checked it out.

Oh. This would be why it’s not growing.

That little bit of seedling had been right against the side of the pot, but when I touched the leaves, it fell right out.

So far, there’s just the one luffa seedling we have, which seems to be surviving the cat damage all right. I’m not as sure about the one Canteen gourd in that tray, but with that one, we at least have 4 new sprouts. Aside from the one seedling that did not succeed, there is no sign of more luffa germinating. We still have luffa seeds, so I’m thinking of adding more to the pots to try again.

The seedlings in the mini-greenhouse seem to be struggling, and not just the ones with cat damage. I suspect part of the problem is that we have to keep the plastic cover on it, to keep the cats out. I’ve put the little fan we’ve got, inside the mini-greenhouse, so there is at least going to be air circulation. They may be getting over watered, too. We’ll have to watch out for that.

In other things, I got word from the garage about my mother’s car. It’s ready to be picked up. He checked it over, reset the codes and found nothing wrong with it. Most likely, the check engine light and codes were triggered by changing out the battery. Which is a relief to hear, but I still don’t know what made that “pop” noise when the car died! We’ll head in this afternoon to pick it up and hopefully, I’ll have a chance to talk to him about it.

It’ll be good to have the car issues over and done with for a while!

The Re-Farmer