Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
So, there is a pretty sizable stray/feral cat population in my neighborhood. Someone abandoned their house before being foreclosed upon way down on the other end of my street the year before last and turned out their unneutured female cat. Well, that year she had a litter of kittens under my next door neighbors' shed and while I was able to trap two of them and take them to the animal shelter, the other two got away. More cats showed up and now they are all breeding & out of control.
We used to have dozens of bunnies hopping through the yard everyday, now it's rare if I see a single one. I've also noticed a sad lack of bullfrog song at my pond this year- I usually can count on about 4-6 of them to call my pond home each summer. The last one was found dead this past Sunday belly up in my neighbors yard. Recently another neighbor complained of a stray cat that had a litter of kittens beneath his bush and showed them to anyone who would look until of course, the mother moved her brood to the property behind my house. I live behind a distribution giant and a long 14 foot high stockade fence seperates the residential properties from the commercial one. The strays have dug numerous holes to pass thru and in the past few weeks two of these kittens have hung around my neighbors porch since he keeps out cracked corn for the squirrels and the birds. Apparently small kittens will eat the corn as well.
To make a long story short, I caught one of the kittens. She's about 8 weeks old & well into eating solid food. I would dearly love to keep this kitten but I'm afraid I am fighting an uphill battle with hubby. Shhhh...don't tell him, but I've named her Zoey. She still hisses at me but I've also had her purring. And she does so appreciate the regular feedings : )
So here's where it got ugly:
I also managed to trap the mother with the idea of getting her neutered and releasing her as she is completely feral and unfit as a pet. Unfortunately she threw a monkey wrench into the works by giving me an unhealthy bite on the finger as I was trying to get food into the cage. I've just spent two nights in the hospital -not, mind you, to get rabies shots, but to have surgery performed on my infected index finger! In fact, the infectious disease doctors are not overly concerned with the possibility I may have rabies even though I told them the mother has a scabbed wound on her head. They are more concerned with me losing the use of my forefinger due to the nasty bacteria that resides in cats mouths. Since I have the cat in a covered dog crate on my porch I am able to observe her. If she not dead within ten days of rabies she was not transmitting...apparently the virus must reach their brains in order to be present in the saliva. I've had her since Monday and so far she is acting fine- xxx crossing fingers xxx.
So a delay in the plans and a word to the wise -Never, ever, handle stray cats with out heavy duty gloves or you may have an unexpected stay in the hospital.
Another sad note: when we got home from the hospital we were out back watering our gardens and this poor tragic squirrel was dragging himself past us to reach the shelter of the thick hostas at the base of our maple tree. My husband thought he might have been hit by a car but I noticed his legs were not smashed just useless and dragging and he was covered in green-headed flies so I expect he had a run in with a stray cat as well. At least wildlife management came & took it to euthanize it quickly instead of it suffering a horrible lingering death : _(
Saturday, June 20, 2009
WooHoo! My blog's been blinged-up!
Thanks to Annette of Huckleberry Arts, my blog sparkles!
And she was so tolerant of all my change/tweak requests I told her she could charge me a PITA fee (but she graciously declined).
She's very reasonably priced so if ya like what ya see - check her out at www.huckleberryarts.com
Sunday, June 14, 2009
For some reason all the bullfrogs have fled the pond and we are left with one lonely leopard frog so the crawdads are relatively safe & will help keep the pond clean. Most of them will live in the upper pond that is vegetative and is fish-free. The larger ones will live in amongst the rocks below the waterfall. Here is my big lotus sending up a few healthy arials. Got hubby in there to heavily fertilize yesterday (first time EVER for him). Last year I must've been too stingy with the tablets because we got NO blooms whatsoever so let's hope for a happier year so I can share those brief (3-day) but beautiful blooms with you.
The flower below is one of my favorite flowers in the world. They just make me all-around happy with their colorful little multi-color blooms and their quirky fragrance, I've heard some say they smell like gasoline to them but I hate the smell of gas & can't for the life of me associate the two. Do you recognize them? They are lantana of course! They are an annual up north here (PA). I've seen how they grow in the south and I am so jealous!
And I finally got a really good picture of my waterpuppies. Those two big white koi are about 14" and are original to the pond (spring of 2003). The koi bred for the first time last year so that went a long way to evening out the koi-to-goldfish ratio.
And one last pic: a blast from my past. The pond in its humble beginnings, dug Sept/Oct of 2002. And to think the digging-out of a washpole started it all.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
SCREAM!!! Did I get booty or what!?!
I did spend about $120 though : - (
Here is my complete stash: $41 worth of gourds -most were $2 apiece. 9 milk bottle, 8 penguins, seven banana, 1 cannonball and 1 warty. 4 of the penguins were 4 for a dollar for having damage or not being cleaned (see the one with the mousie hole and the broken necked one?). The damage doesn't bother me because I will incorporate that into the sculpt somewhere -like the broken neck one, I usually use these for bodies and cut the tops off anyway.
I have gourd holes for the brim of witches hats, the two oddball shaped ones will be the ears for a pink elephant ornie I'm making for a prize for the random winner of our Pink Elephant challenge in BWBA. The other round wooden things are bases for gourds that don't want to sit on their own.
I got a reprint of a 1956 book on gourds called The Garden of Gourds by LH Bailey and a saber saw for gourds, a tool I could have made myself but heck, it was only $2.50.
The rest of the stuff was the salty stuff. Two flocking kits, some braided cord, some (more) metallic pigments, wax sealer and two paintbrushes with parallel heads on them! One with two thin ones for straight lines and one with two thicker for checkerboards - who knew they made these things?? Not I!
And look, the gourd that is one the farthest right is not compleatly dried yet. I am guaranteed FRESH seeds for growing my own penguin gourds next year-YIPPEE!
Friday, June 12, 2009
WooHoo! It's time for the annual gourdfest at the local amish gourd farm so I took off work to attend. Gotta go see what goodies are hidden in those shapes, ya know.
It's awful though...like I don't have enough here to keep me busy for the next year but they're calling me so I gotta go!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Getting ready for my Spookytime Jingles debut - lots to do. Famous as I am for procrastination (my motto should be: "Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow") I do believe I'm in good shape. Here is a teaser on both my Halloween & Christmas page offerings...
A revisit to Jack the Pumpkin King...
And a Heavenly Angel...
Please be sure to check me and all the other fabulous and talented artists out on the 13th at Spookytimejingles.com! Lots of GOOD stuff!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Finally finished with the pond. We mulched on Memorial day as the last of the filthy whirligigs have just about fallen from the two remaining silver maples in the yard. Here is the view from my deck. I'm in a bilevel and our property is on a small hill so the deck off my kitchen is actually the second story (in the back).
This is the pond from the front. As the sun heads down, look how it lights up the hakone grass beside the falls.
A view from the side.
My husband was working part time for an alarm firm at the time and brought this home to me one day. This statue was part of a fountain at an estate in a nearby town that had been purchased by an organization to be used as a shelter for victims of domestic violence and the statue was not considered politically correct and so was free for the taking.
This is my birdpond. This was created from the depression left behind after grinding out the stump of a huge maple we had taken down. I'd been wanting one for awhile after seeing one at a garden place in Fenwick, Delaware a few years back and this seemed like a natural solution to filling in the depression. The birds absolutely love it & I am adding a feeder this weekend. If I can contain the mess, I'll keep it.
This is my favorite garden ornament - a 2 piece mermaid. She was a "have-to-have" some years back and luckily she was on sale! Isn't she fabulous?
And last but not least - my hubby insisted I take a picture of the columbine in the the front yard. Can't say I remember where this one came from, but it sure is beautiful!