Turned out the pool filter was past its useful life, and the pressure therein caused the shrieking. New filter, all is well. We also learned more about the pool equipment that wasn't in the instruction books. Nothing like learning something before a repair is necessary.
I believe Alex has found something rather nasty to roll in. I picked him up this morning, and shortly after found a huge rash developing on both arms. We don't have poison ivy around here, so no telling what it is, but I washed my arms really well and while the rash is still there, it's not itching. 'Course, now I have the itchies everywhere else -- psychological reaction -- there's nothing actually there. Sheesh.
Spot followed the pool vacuum again, moving along the pool edge as it wandered up and down. He finally decided to go off on patrol after watching it closely for about fifteen minutes. Good thing: the vacuum runs for two hours, and he'd have been exhausted by then. He's "patrolling" the south porch right now, in a rocking chair.
The barn swallow gossip fest is in full cry. They come back to the nests and yak 2-3 times a day. Sometimes I join in, and they talk back (I'm sure it's not nice).
Just sitting here, waiting on the plumber to come fix one of the outdoor lawn hydrants. Seems to be clogged and has little pressure. Naturally, it's the one we use to refill the pool. Ah, the joys of home ownership.
"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
Bobbi Socks--tuxedo kitten who's missing, but we're not giving up yet
The boys spent most of today inside. It's really windy, which they don't like, plus we were gone several hours, working at our Harley Owners Group pig roast. Now that we're home, they're sleeping on my chair arm or in the rocker. Guess it's just one of those days.
WLToo is working on setting up a motion sensor camera by the hummingbird feeder, so we can actually document the types and numbers who feed there. Then we can actually see the colors and participate in the Texas Hummingbird Survey.
It's been so cool at night the last few days, that we've actually had to wear sweatpants in the morning, instead of our normal shorts. Even had to close the windows because the cool winds were making Alex very uncomfortable. Poor little guy couldn't roll up into a tight enough ball on my lap.
Today's warming up nicely, though, and he's sleeping peacefully in the spare bedroom, where it's warm.
I woke up this morning with Spot curled up against my leg. He didn't want to move, so each time I did, he swatted me. When WLToo finally got up to feed them, Spot left and I could wiggle out of the covers.
I had my nuclear stress test yesterday. Other than the IV insertion into my bitty little vein, the only stress was holding my arms over my head for 15-20 minutes twice while lying down, so the gamma camera could do its thing. The treadmill was not an issue; took until the last two minutes to reach the target heart rate, then my heart rate dropped right back to normal within two minutes of stopping. I'm in a lot better cardio shape than I thought, thanks to the swimming pool. I do have to avoid small children and pregnant women for a couple of days, though I don't glow in the dark...
A number of butterflies have found the hummingbird feeder. It's kinda funny to watch a hummingbird hover and get all frustrated at the butterflies, but they can't communicate, so the butterfly drinks until it's full, while the hummer loudly complains.
WLToo said he was kept awake last night by mockingbirds chirping away. Not sure what got them up and yakking all night, but each time he woke up, they were at it.
Mama Doe strolled past the south porch yesterday. She's getting anti-social, so she must be nearing birthing time. Meanwhile, Little Orphan Fawnnie is back in the meadow, sans mama as usual, and Mama Doe doesn't seem to mind her being here, while she's keeping her own outside. Solo is just about the same size as the twins. They all still walk the fence line to keep her in sight. We're assuming that Little Orphan Fawnnie is a doe, and that's why Mama Doe doesn't mind her in the meadow.
Spot appears to have decided sleeping up against my side is a good thing. Yesterday, he was stretched out by my side, and Alex decided I needed to wake up, so he started pawing me. Spot stood up, planted his front feet on my chest, and glared at Alex. Alex promptly laid down, and Spot moved back to his place. I slept a bit longer.
This morning, WLToo fed the boys while I was still deeply asleep. When I woke up, both cats had trapped me under the covers. I had to wiggle out from under the covers while they both insisted on staying right where they were. Spot stayed on the bed most of the morning. I guess he's figured out that he's welcome there.
Today was very long, so I'm headed to bed. Later, y'all.
It appears that Mama Doe is allowing all the fawns inside again. With Little Orphan Fawnie, that's five deer in the meadow.
The territorial hummingbird just allowed another of about the same size to eat from the feeder without a fuss, so I guess they're mates. Looking forward to new hummingbirds soon. WLToo ran the video camera for about 90 minutes the other day, so we should be able to identify the hummers who showed up -- as soon as he finds the cable so we can hook the camera up to the TV.
Alex has been driving us crazy, demanding food, then eating too fast, then throwing up, then demanding food, etc. So we put them on a 3 times per day gooshy food schedule. Calmed him right down. I guess he's not able or willing to eat the dry food anymore, and 3 oz per day of gooshy food was not enough. So he gets 4.5 oz of his own, and whatever else of Spot's that Spot didn't eat.
Spot's still figuring out the change; he knows when breakfast and lunchtime treats were, and now a meal instead of treats has him a little puzzled. He's never been fussy about supper, but he does know to come in before 10:00 pm to get evening treats.
I see the pool is up to 83.5 degrees. Time for a swim. Later, y'all.
A scarlet tanager just clung to one of our porch pillars and stared at us for a while. Why is a yellow green bird called a "scarlet" tanager?
The Commemorative Air Force is flying today. A P-39 Aircobra and a B-25 Mitchell flew over the house and circled the lake. I do wish we had a high quality camera with super zoom, so we can get photos of them flying over the house. Sigh, something else to save up for...
We have at least four baby barn swallows. WLToo saw their little heads just a few minutes ago. Hope we get more soon; we're having all sorts of flying insects this spring.
Spot is turning into a grass burr magnet. Each time he comes back inside, he plucks grass burrs off his fur and tosses them on the floor. He doesn't do so well getting them off his tail, though, so I do it with the Furminator. He and Alex both hate having their tails messed with, so I have to sneak up on him.
Sigh. Have to spray again. Pity there's not an insect or herbivore that relishes grass burrs. I wonder if grass burrs would make a good ethanol base? That and Johnson grass would be some serious reusuable energy...
Morning, all. It's an overcast day, with a cool breeze blowing through the house. I do like not having to run the air conditioner -- just open the right combination of windows and sliding doors, and it's just as nice inside as out.
Have to get more bug repellant spray for the doors and windows, though. Our insect crop is booming this year. Got some green hoppers in profusion -- no idea what they are, but all they seem to do is cling to the stucco, leave brown goo on the laundry room door, then drop dead right where we can step on 'em. Yuck. I think we might spray the concrete around each door, too, so they won't even go there.
Our Mexican hat wildflowers are just about to burst into bloom. We have a huge crop, bigger than the last two years, so it should be really pretty.
Haven't seen the deer much. They're all spooky right now, but they're drinking from the water trough and licking the mineral stone, so we know they're around. Probably about a month left before Mama Doe drops this year's fawn(s).
I went to the porch edge to open the gate (remote control), and all the barn swallows had a fit. How dare a human stand beneath the nest with the babies in it? It was rather humorous how they started to swoop at me, then realized I'm really big by their standards, and would veer off while no doubt calling me all kinds of names.
As soon as I got back to the door, I looked over and every adult had immediately roosted in the nests or on a door frame, and were looking at me. They are so much fun to watch.
I see a cricket. I hate crickets. Must go get the flip flop o' doom. Later, y'all.
It is fascinating the way animals will protect their nests and dens even against creatures much bigger. I know there is a fox den somewhere on my next-door neighbor's property and, when I walk the dogs, I often see one of the foxes shadowing us, following along in the trees along the street and watching us closely, but not approaching. Of course, the dogs, especially Molly, want to go after it.
Col. Dash - GSD, DOTL Rainbow Division, in my heart forever
Spc. Lily - 10-year-old Greyhound (Racing School drop-out)
Spc. Molly - 9-year-old Shepherd/Husky Mix (aka Honey Badger)
Shadow - 1 1/2-year-old Greyhound 2011 Georgetown 280DS Class A
We have a bit of a mystery. We've not seen Mama Doe in some time, but we have a very pregnant doe and two older fawns in the meadow with her. They run away when we say hello. I would expect Han and Spooky to have joined the buck herd by now, but Mama Doe and Solo should still be around. Instead, we have strangers. Interesting...
Spot isn't feeling good. He threw up a huge hairball at 0230 this morning, then a few minutes later, heaved some bile. When I went back to bed, he settled in next to me much tighter than usual. He's kept his breakfast and lunchtime treats down, but is sleeping mostly today. Luckily, he visits the vet tomorrow.
Alex is back to rolling in the dirt, so he's not real popular as a lap cat at the moment. He's also much too warm, in this very warm weather.
Sat on the porch and watched some ants haul away a green hopper carcass. Don't know where their colony is, but it's not right around the house, so they can live. Gives the horned toads some food -- their primary food source is red ants.
I do love to watch the critters around here. Later, y'all.