What’s My Line?

February 13th, 2009


Yellow Lab and Cat

“Um…you know I’m a dog, right?  No, really… I am!”


Country Critters and Friends

April 8th, 2008

A few days of beautiful weather really brought out the spring. We’ve been busy moving plants, and generally tidying up the place. And there’s always something happening to get your attention. Usually I wander from one project to the other, often pulled by the “Daddy come here!” calls of the nearly wild youngster. Later he led the family on a hike through the woods to his secret spot and he was so excited to show us the big spot of pretty little flowers in the grass. He asked me to put this up here to show everyone.

Flowers in the grass

We didn’t find any morels, but saw lots of lush green moss.

Moss in the forest

Of course later I remembered that I left Sparky the cat in the barn. The cats will follow us everywhere and they have no idea about predators really. So I locked him inside while we went hiking around. We came back and found the cat nosing around a workbench. I didn’t think we had mice in the barn this winter, but apparently Sparky begged to differ.

Sure enough upon looking between some boxes on a shelf, two little beady eyes peered out at me. Cornered by the cat in back and me staring at him in front, the mouse didn’t want move from his hideaway. In a moment of unusual inspiration, I grabbed a large bucket and scooted the mouse from behind. The little guy thought he could outsmart me and leapt off the shelf making a perfect plunk! noise in the bucket, after which time he hunkered down realizing he was caught.

Naturally the young boy admired this mousy cuteness and wanted to keep him for a pet… not! And of course Sparky the cat glared at me after taking his prize away. So after much deliberation, and with the boy’s earnest concern, we took our friend for a walk across the pond and let him go.

A lucky country mouse

Be free little mouse! He was lucky I was delinquent on setting the mousetraps this winter. But the experience of helping the little critter and letting him go was important to the boy. I remember years ago when I was about his age, and catching my first trout with my Dad and brothers in a lake in Oregon. We fished all day to catch just a few for dinner, and then I pleaded to let my fish go back in the water. He helped me do that.

The weather warmed up enough to bring the turtles out. I think that’s why I like a few stumps and logs in the pond, as it makes for perches and hideaways for the critters.

Pond turtles in Missouri

Late in the afternoon yesterday I found two friends walking home together. Justin the Basset Hound and Sparky the cat.  Justin likes to follow the cats around, and they seem to enjoy his gentle disposition. He’s over 10 years old now.

Two friends walking home, Basset Hound and Cat

Changing Colors of Leaves and Sky

October 17th, 2007

     Another windy day, with a little rain and cooler weather.  And yes, the leaves are most definitely changing from day to day.  Here’s a branch of a Red Oak tree this morning- I love how the leaves begin changing color at different places on the branch, with green leaves mixed in between.  Sometimes the entire tree will blaze with red or orange brown colors.

Red Oak leaves in Autumn

I couldn’t resist another sunset picture of the sky the other evening.  It seems like fall and winter offer the most beautiful sunsets, or is it just that the path of the sun through the sky is different now, and as it sets earlier in the day we notice it more? 

Pink sky in October

Princess the Cat loves exploring around the house and barn.  After healing from breaking her foot this summer (really it was all her little toes!) she is none the worse for wear.  She “meowwls” to get outside and explore with her brother Sparky.  She’s the wary one and an excellent hunter.  He seems to enjoy chasing grasshoppers and lying on the window sill!  And yes, they have bells on their collars, which is a whole different story.

Princess the Cat

Colorful Sky and Snuggling Cat

October 2nd, 2007

     The weather forecast says we may have frost within the week!  Hard to believe the first frost of the year is almost here.  I always enjoy the last of the annual flowers and outdoor plants, yet the frost will snap most of them for the year.  The leaves have begun falling from the trees and slight color changes are beginning with sumac and maples.  It seems the grasshoppers are the most abundant insect around.  I cut the grass this evening and hundreds of them were jumping and flying as the mower passed.  Tonight we have rain, and I hear the steady falling of rain as well as the roar of heavy downpours as the thunderstorms pass.  We need the rain so much, it’s nice to finally know the ground will become saturated as we head towards winter.  The sky always amazes me… we were having dinner as I glanced outside last night.  “Look!” I said as I saw the clouds turning pink and red.  I grabbed the camera and raced outside to get a picture of the sunset’s painting in the sky, knowing it only lasts but moments.

 The clouds glow red at sunset

And here’s the young one curled up with Sparky the cat… he loves the kitties!

Boy and cat snuggling together

Kids and Cats

May 13th, 2007

There’s something about cats… they are nice to have around.  They don’t ask for much, but enjoy being part of the family.  I’ve written about our cats before… Princess is the wary hunter.  She spends all day stalking critters and wandering around.  Sparky is the kind of cat who enjoys just hanging around, and being wherever people are.  He likes exploring, but more often than not can be found perched on a window sill enjoying the day.  He is also much more tolerant of being picked up and hugged!  The young one loves to pick up the cats… and they endure his loving hugs as if to say… “Oh well, he feeds us… sigh…”   It’s fun to have the different personalities of the animals, they add character to the home.  Kids and cats… what a mix!

The six year old with Sparky the cat

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