We're back from Comicpalooza. Got to interact with actors from science fiction movies and TV, fans of various science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and comics genres, and a few authors (like Larry Niven). Had a lot of fun, and WLToo's book sales appear to have been significantly increased.
Alex likes the KD dry, so now he gets both dry and gooshy and seems ok with it. Spot thinks both are nasty, so no chance of him eating Alex' food.
They both clung to us yesterday and today, but this evening seem to have settled back into their routines.
We have two fawns in the meadow that we can see, and one of Mama Doe's twins from 2010 is now a velvet spike, still staying nearby.
The hummingbirds appear to be down to two - haven't seen any others in quite a while.
Our baby barn swallows are almost too big for the nest, so we should see them start flying anytime now. There are only three or four in one nest; all the other nests failed for some reason. Hopefully, the parents will try again. Meanwhile, they're helping the current parents feed theirs.
The katydids are finally fewer in number -- I can now hear the tree frogs.
Keeping this one short; the cats want my attention. Later, y'all.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -- Mahatma Gandhi
DOTL Spec. Alexander the Grrreat--tuxedo cat, Rainbow Division
We think Mama Doe lost her fawn. She slept on the south lawn next to the house last night, sans fawn, and looks awful -- not sick, but like something's wrong.
The only fawns we see in our meadow now are another doe's twins. That doe came up to the house this evening and ate some celery. She looks very good. We're not sure if she's Snort, though -- we seem to recall Snort being a lot bigger.
All of Mama Doe's fawns from 2010 and 2011 are still nearby, just on the other side of the fence. I hope they are some comfort to her -- she's such a good mom.
Something's going on. WLToo noticed a bunch of vultures in the meadow. He went out there and found a dead fawn. Looked like it curled up to sleep and did not wake up. A doe was near it, occasionally driving off the vultures, but it's not Mama Doe.
That mother doe looks ok. The twins and their mom look quite healthy. Haven't seen Mama Doe since Saturday, and she looked bad. The carcass wagon came through the neighborhood yesterday, looking for carcasses by the road; I wonder if there's an illness affecting the deer herd.
I took some peelings and such to the "compost" pile, and Twin Mama was laying beside it. She didn't move as I walked toward the compost, but instead became very interested in what I was doing. I tossed her a bit of romaine lettuce, and as I left, she was heading for the compost pile. Looks like no compost this year, either... She and her twins are staying very close to the house, in the trees by the garage. It's fun watching the twins climb in and out of the foot-high stone wall around a tree copse in the driveway.
Alex, meanwhile, decided black kitty was definitely not welcome here. As black kitty came up the slope by the pool, Alex jumped off the pool deck and landed on black kitty's back -- rode him like a horse. Spot, who has come to some accommodation with black kitty, just sat and watched. Alex wound up with a damaged back claw, so has been very quiet the last couple of days. Sigh -- he's way too old and too small for this nonsense. Meanwhile, he's eating his KD quite nicely (and sometimes Spot's food, too).
Once again, the dead katydids are everywhere; our porches look like a scene out of Starship Troopers. One took issue with Spot sitting on it, and climbed on his back, shrieking the whole time, until I swept it off. Spot's skin is still doing the creepy crawly. Poor guy has such sensitive skin.
We don't seem to have a big hummingbird flock this year. We just see the two now and then. Will keep both feeders out, though, just in case there are more who haven't yet discovered them.
The katydids all just stopped singing. I can hear the tree frogs. Think I'll go outside and enjoy the evening. Later, y'all.
Mama Doe's back, and looking better, although her ribs are still too prominent. She marches up onto the south porch and almost sticks her nose on the sliding door glass, looking at the black box (refrigerator) that she knows has fruit and vegetables in it. At night, she sleeps in the grass beside the house.
Solo, her 2011 fawn, keeps pace with her outside our fence. Her 2010 twins appear to have joined the buck herd; we don't see them much anymore, but they still respond to our greeting when that herd passes by.
All the deer are miserable, what with the huge biting insect population we have this year. The horseflies are particularly nasty.
The baby barn swallows have taken flight, and one nest on the south porch is newly occupied. I doubt we'll have 25 swallows by migration, but it will be nice to have more than the 7 we do have. I only wish the barn swallows could eat horseflies.
Alex' back foot is swollen and tender, so he's off to the vet tomorrow. He still goes outside and sits on the porch, so it's probably not too serious.
Spot found the box in which we toss papers to be shredded, and made a nest. He does love a good box. Unfortunately, he doesn't shred the papers quite as well as the shredder....
I see it's time to remove the pool vacuum. Later, y'all.
We haven't seen the doe that used to cross our property in awhile. Last summer she had twins, one slightly larger than the other. Our cats would run from window to window to watch her and the fawns, until the went around the fence and disappeared into the forest behind our house.
Did you check your cat's foot to see it it was bitten or is swollen?
WandaLust2, Alex climbs on me, plants that foot in my hand, and sits there purring. But if I try to get a good look at the foot, he resists. It is swollen, so some kind of damage happened. He'll see the vet this afternoon.
I gave Mama Doe my last two pumpkin empanadas this morning. They didn't taste all that good to me, but she enjoyed them. She then followed me around the yard for a while. I wonder if she's not really part of the big herd and is lonely, since she's spending so much time with us humans. Alex and Spot are part of her herd; wonder if she's trying to include us now. She does listen closely when I talk to her, and seems to understand when we tell her we don't have a handout for her, or we've given her the last bits of whatever. Well, as long as she doesn't try to touch us, or we her, I guess it's ok. Weird herd she has, though...
The turkey vultures and black headed vultures stripped the dead fawn so thoroughly that we never smelled it. It's still disconcerting to have 10-12 vultures hanging around one's property.
Had a young hummingbird show up at the feeders yesterday. The green tried to drive it off, but it wouldn't go until it had enough nectar. The green was terribly frustrated -- and it doesn't even use the second feeder, where the young one was perched. Couldn't see what colors the young one was - light was too flat.
It's past lunch time, and Alex is bugging me for it. Later, y'all.
We try not to encourage wildlife to come close to the house. As it is we get raccoons and possums wandering around the property at night and drinking from our small lily ponds. In the day it's turkeys, quail, rabbits and squirrels. They (not the fowl) carry fleas and our cats have a safe enclosure on the deck. We don't want them going out on the deck and picking up fleas even though the enclosure is screened in. We had a severe flea infestation one year that was so bad we were about to sell the place and move somewhere else. That was when we had the three dogs. We had them in a safe 1/4 acre fenced in area and they went in and out so picked up fleas from something. So far no fleas with the cats. We finally bought a GHR spray and that worked on the fleas where nothing else did. We had to spray every inch of the house and the entire fenced in area. They were all dipped in Paramite. That killed the fleas on them and kept most fleas off them until the GHR (Growth Hormone Regulator)started to work. What a nightmare summer that was.
Fleas are developing a good resistance to a lot of the products out there.
Also, we don't want wildlife to get too tame as when hunting season comes all the rifle toting yahoos will blow them away.
Let us know what the vet says regarding the cat's foot.
I'm new to this forum, and just found this thread today, and spent the whole afternoon reading all 48 pages of it. I have to say, you are an excellent writer, and have a wealth of critters to write about. Your pal Spot is a handsome fellow, and reminds me a lot of a very good kitty pal I had some years ago named Bebe. Just a big ol' sweetie.
Thanks for a great read, and I'll be among the many who are reading regularly.
'93 Dutchmen 18' TT, pulled by '02 Dodge Durango 5.9
Thanks, Al. Nice to know my little scribbles are entertaining.
Alex' claw was broken into the quick, and the hair between two toes was so matted that a little skin came off. The vet and techs got it all cleaned up, then he got a new antibiotic shot that's good for a week, called Convenience. More expensive than pills, but since Alex just vomits up the Clavamox, this was a great idea. Within a day, he was feeling infinitely better. He's lounging on the north porch now, something he hasn't done for a week or so.
Spot has been feeling a little punky, too, but we couldn't see or feel anything specific. I did notice the fur on his back was matted up, and with such sensitive skin that has to be uncomfortable, so WLToo held him while I used the Furminator in those spots last night. Got most of it cleaned up before Spot showed signs of going psycho. Today, Spot is all perky, going on a long patrol, chasing Alex, and really wanting to play. Could have been the mats, could have been something else. But he's all better now. I think we'll comb some food grade mineral oil into his skin next, and see if that helps his creepy crawlies. He's back in the "to be shredded" box, napping. Spot does like a good cardboard box.
I think we've figured out why Mama Doe hangs out so closely. We use an insect repellent spray around the house exterior, spraying it anywhere there's an access point. We do it to keep the scorpions and giant red-headed centipedes out of the house, but it also appears to keep flies off the porches. So she's getting up close, where the flies don't bother her. Since the latest spray, I've noticed fewer flies -- probably a combination of the spray and the barn swallows eating the flies while they're tiny.
One nest of barn swallows is feeding unseen babies. Excellent - the more barn swallows, the better.
WandaLust, we don't have near the fleas and ticks problem y'all have in Tennessee -- you have a more verdant climate than do we. We also have fire ants, which eat ticks, as do the centipedes and scorpions. Alex and Spot get Advantage Multi each month, to ensure they don't get fleas (haven't seen any since we got here in 2010), ticks, or resultant heartworms. As long as the centipedes, scorpions, and fire ants stay away from the house, they're welcome to eat all the insects and each other that they find.
Our biggest challenge is grass burrs, and this year cockleburrs. The Image spray is doing a good job of keeping them under control right around the house and garage, but we'll likely never get rid of them completely, as we can't afford to spray the whole meadow. At least we don't have goatheads (knock on wood)...
'Tis true what someone once said about Texas: everything here bites, sticks, stings, or burns, requiring us Texans to be pretty hardy folk. Which reminds me, I have to finish digging up a prickly pear and toss it in the burn pile.