Surprise on the Porch

March 25th, 2008

There are always surprises in spring.  You wouldn’t expect one of them to be a snake in the house!  It seems one of the plant containers kept outside in the summer served as a nice little home for a Ring-necked Snake.  We noticed something near the carpet and thought it was a toy left out… but then it started moving!  These are harmless little guys, and quite docile- probably a Prairie Ring-necked Snake.  Of course it doesn’t generate near the excitement of the six foot Black snake I saw last year!  This week we’ll release it outside to find a new home.

Ring-necked Snake in the house

Someone enjoys giving the cats a lot of attention, and that’s okay with Princess.

Princess the cat

Raking the Garden, but Snow Coming!

January 31st, 2008

The other day we went from 70 degrees F down to 15 degrees in a matter of hours.  I was out working in a t-shirt, raking compost on the garden, and then the temperature begain dropping.  We even had snow for a few hours… and tonight we should receive 6-8 inches.  Looks like a snow day for the kids tomorrow!   But that touch of warm weather for a couple days was really nice.

 Sparky the cat loves to wander around while we work outside.  As I raked the mulch in the garden he “meowed” for attention…

Sparky the cat surveys the garden from the fence

In the morning it felt like spring, but by evening the snow began.  The garden will have to wait…

Rows of mulch in the garden before a snowfall



Can I Borrow an Extra Hour or Two?

November 26th, 2007

     A nice weekend and the season marches forward.  I’m a little under the water (not weather!) this week as I work to complete finals, projects, etc. for grad school.   Lots of little things always seem to come up… the dogs got into the trash the other day (all over the driveway), the Lab ate one of my $10 dollar bills laying around (I taped 6 little pieces back together and took it to the bank!), kid’s partys’ coming up at school, a birthday in the family, the car won’t start, etc, etc.  But we have our health, food on the table, and a warm fire!  All I need now is a little more time each day. :)  I wonder- is it just the season and end-of-the-year catching up?  Think I need to register a car, pay taxes, more bills coming due….  next year I swear I’m going to really  get organized.  Oh… that’s coming sooner than I thought- somebody told me Santa’s coming in a few weeks!  

Sparky the cat has been glaring at me recently… I think he’s protesting all the pictures of the Yellow Lab and wants a little more attention!

Sparky the Cat

Laundry Cats and Turtles

June 30th, 2007

A little more rain today, and generally cloudy. It was nice and cool- a pleasant change to early summer.  Tomorrow is July! Where the time goes I always wonder.  I was cutting the grass today, much without thinking- and realized it is days like this I truly enjoy.  When the temperature is 65-70 degrees F, one hardly notices the weather. 

I came in the house yesterday and found the cats snuggled in the laundry basket.  So they posed for a picture… they are siblings, although it doesn’t look like it. We have not let them out in a couple weeks while the “Princess'” leg is healed.  She doesn’t seem to mind, and hobbles about.  She did get out once, and when clattering down the driveway… freedom!  But we caught up with her, and back she went until her leg heals.  The cast will stay on her leg for up to 6 weeks according to the Vet.  But they sure do cry and “meow” to be let outside…

The cats snuggle in the laundry basket

 This morning I was looking at the pond and noticed two pond turtles on the surface. One was larger than the other, and they were about 15 feet apart.  If they are the same species, then the large one is a female.  But the little one swam quickly toward the larger, and they met briefly with a little splash, and then separated… I never saw that before.  They floated for a minute, and then sank into the depths.  I caught a picture of them when they met each other… I wonder what they were up to!

Two turtles meet in the water with a little splash what are they up to?


Afternoon in the Country

May 31st, 2007

The days have varied lately between warm and humid and cooler with rain.  I’ve planted grass seed in bare spots to take advantage of the spring rain.  If it grows without washing away I’ll be surprised, but it has a good start.  The animals love to wander among the grass and trees, and the pond has completed its spring “turnover.”  Previously the pond had a greenish coloration with algae growing with the sunlight.  Now it is becoming very clear and you can see the fish swimming in the shallows.  I’ll try to get a better picture this week to show the water clarity.  These pictures were taken last week before the turnover had completed. Thus far the algae has not been growing very much, and I think the Koi and Grass Carp are helping.  As the days grow hotter we may see more algae, but so far so good. 

The cats run and play wherever we seem to be, and the dogs playfully chase them.  In this picture Sparky ran to a large Oak tree and climbed half way up.  He hung briefly on the tree before dropping to the ground.  The cats love chasing butterflies and birds it seems, but I don’t know about mice or moles.  I would prefer the latter, but they sure enjoy being outdoors during the day.  I have found if we only feed them a little in the morning, then by evening they are more than ready to come indoors for the night, waiting patiently in the garage to be let in for dinner.  When it rains, we don’t let them outside as much, or we would have muddy tracks all over the laundry room.  But they meow and cry to be let outside… they love prowling around the house and garden.  Sparky follows me around half the day while working, and sleeps in the barn during the day when it’s warmer.

 Sparky climbs an oak tree

The pond is a quiet getaway under the shade and light of the afternoon sun.

The pond is a quiet refuge in the afternoon sun

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