Saturday, May 28, 2011

The loss of our cat, Ratch.

It was a hard day yesterday. Our dear old cat Ratch was euthanized. She had gone blind and was fading. No matter how many times you lose a pet, it never seems to get any better. She ruled the roost here and few of the others crossed her path without getting a slap across the head, lol. Aw, she was a good old soul and would cuddle on the chesterfield with himself every evening patting his beard, her way of saying "pet me". She will be missed.

Taken last summer.

This week has been stressful for another reason as well. We are getting an extension put on the house. The old bathroom has been torn out so a new one will be built plus a small pantry and a sort of sitting room. Since last Monday I feel that we have been living back a hundred years ago. No hot water, no toilet, boxes and bags piled throughout the house and just a pathway on the deck to get to the door. The lawn is still full of wood and windows, etc. They expect to be finished in another week and then there will be the inside painting to do along with the outside painting. I didn't realize how hard it would be to have my "nest" upset like this.

The first thing they had to do was move a massive boulder.

It took some struggling but they finally got it out of the ground. It's now placed under one of the trees. It's a lovely big rock.

It's raining here this morning but work is still going on outside. I'll be glad when it's all over.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I D confirmed.

It's a Grackle. It came back while I was outside so I got a few good shots.

Bird I D needed.

This bird was at the suet feeder this morning. I'd never seen it before and on looking at my bird book it seems it's a Grackle. And, as far as I can tell, it shouldn't be here. The picture is of very poor quality because there was a screen in the way and there was no way I could get a shot without the screen there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cats and other stuff.

May 10th. saw the first butterfly of the season. A Comma! I did run for the camera and chased it around, stumbling through bushes, plants and banging into the occasional tree trying to keep it in sight. But alas, it flew off and I didn't get a shot.

The old wooden fence we had built years ago to hold up the Bittersweet finally crumbled. Between the weight of the plants and the winters, it's a wonder it's held up this long. So yesterday we drove stakes in the ground as a new support and all I have to do now is haul the plants up and get them supported. A job that will have to wait until it warms up a bit. I thought I might get at it today but it's very chilly outside.

Word is out that there are a lot of Hawks and Bald Headed Eagles around. The hawks have been taking a lot of rabbits and I heard that people up the road are keeping their small dogs close when outside. I've seen an Eagle scouting out this property several times lately.

I haven't seen the grouse for a few days and then it was only the male hanging around. I got this shot of how camouflaged they are even when up in a tree.

Even this Fox Sparrow doesn't do too bad a job of it when near a birch.

Cats know the best thing to do on a cold day.....I just went in the bedroom and there were four cats on the bed and one on the chair by the bed. I had to get the camera and so.......

Five sleeping cats.

Now, who wouldn't want to go back to bed and cuddle with this lot on a miserable day.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Wasn't It A Party........

Easter weekend I decided to go into St. John's, mainly because my parents kept asking when was I coming in for a visit. As my birthday also fell on that weekend I thought it would be a good time to make the trip. I decided to spend a couple of days with my parents and a couple with my daughter. Laurie had planned a party for me on the Saturday night and I was looking forward to that. I went in on Thursday, spent Thursday night with the folks then went to Laurie's on Friday. Friday morning we were just coming down stairs from the studio when the door bell rang and rang and rang. Laurie commented that it must be Grandpa as he always kept pushing on the bell. She went out through the porch to answer the door when I heard laughing, crying, loud voices. Well, this was my Granddaughter, who had flown down from Ontario as a surprise for my birthday. And what a surprise it was, not a soul knew about it. There was lots of hugging, laughing, and crying I can tell you.

The party was great. Best party I've ever had. The kind I like as well where people were all over the house from the studio, the kitchen, dining room, living room, in groups chatting. And people were moving around joining conversations here and there. Lots of food and wine (too much wine) lol. Later in the evening a friend did Rune readings for whoever wanted it. It was great. Sunday we went to dinner at my parents and I spent the night with them coming home Monday morning.

Since then I've been very busy working outside. I re-did the small greenhouse with plastic and had to re-build the bottom door to this structure as the wood had rotted. I've been digging in the gardens and clearing them out. So much to do there. The mornings have been quite nice but nippy with a north east wind. The perennials are just starting to come up from the ground. No leaves on the trees yet.

I had a visitor this past week. A huge Raven, and I mean Huge. He landed on a Spruce branch and bent it quite a way down. It's only the second time I've ever seen one. The crows happened to be out at the feeders at the same time and not liking the new visitor, started attacking him and driving him off. Too bad as I would have really liked a picture.

We still occasionally get a little snow. As proof, this met my eyes one morning recently. My new fire pit that I had only just put together the day before, was white. Mind you the snow didn't stay for long. Just a brush of it really.

More birds are starting to come around now. I wasn't getting many there for a while so figure they must have been up to other things.

Male and female Downy Woodpecker. The male was quite interested in the little lady.

The Fox Sparrows are back. A sure sign of spring for me.

A couple of other spring visitors.

Well, time to get ready and put new screen in the screen door.