Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Two Dogs

Amelia took this photo with my camera after John and I came back photographing bitterns, partridge, ducks and the waterfalls in town. It was a beautiful, warm day, a perfect spring day. Two of the dogs, Willow on the left and Scout on the right, were watching all of us from the sun porch window. Scout has her tongue out in this photo. John and I then mucked through the beaver bog and learned some interesting things about the beaver across the road (which will be in upcoming posts). That was Sunday. Monday was warm, also. Tuesday and today? Snow. All day. Over one foot deep. The trees in our woods were bent over so that I worried we would have more storm damage. We lost Internet for nearly the whole day. But it's going to be warm this coming weekend! The dogs (and cats and chickens) will be willing to go outside again!
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Weasel Trap

Catgirl and Ironman used John's scrap wood to make a weasel trap. They were not pleased that a weasel had killed one of the chickens. They were very ingenious and knew that if a pile of wood fell around a weasel, they could possibly capture it. There are real kill traps that use this idea of trapping an animal inside something so that other things fall on top of the animal to kill it. But I really doubt the kids knew about this. They baited the trap with chicken feathers, which you cannot see, inside the trap. Ironman told us that the feathers would then tickle the weasel and the weasel would then jiggle. The jiggling would cause the wood to fall on top of the weasel inside the trap.
They were somewhat successful! The next morning I watched as a flock of robins had a few fights. After the fights, the robins discovered the trap. You can see the robin above checking the trap out. The kids were not impressed with this result, so they improved their design yesterday. They built a walkway to the trap (below) so that perhaps the weasels would find it easier.And Buddy? He's just doing his own thing, leaving his bed twice a day to go outside and watch over the chickens.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Cats on Tuesday: Talkative Zorro

We moved back to Vermont! That's why I have skipped COT the past couple weeks — I've just been too busy. But I'm back! Here is Zorro back out in his old stomping grounds in northern Vermont near some things we unpacked. He's a pretty talkative cat. Here Zorro is complaining about the lack of chipmunks for him to hunt — they were his favorites in New Hampshire. He is trying to catch birds but thankfully is not at all talented at hunting them. He enjoys stalking the chickens in the barn but never attacks.

I hope you all have a wonderful week with beautiful weather. Now that it is spring in northern Vermont we are going to get a heavy snow tomorrow. Normal weather! You've got to love it because you can't fight it!

Thank you for stopping by!
To visit other participants, visit Gattina
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Before Photos

This is the "before" photo of the back of our home from the newly cleared field. The 100+ year old house needs more work than I ever knew because of one hundred years of additions. When the renovation is over, there will be dormers (front and back), an bedroom on the left side of the first floor of the house, a new kitchen, and renovation of all the rooms and bathrooms. John has already found evidence of a 100 year old attached woodshed and barn on the house.

The raised earth in front of the front porch was once a walkout basement.

The septic system design engineer pointed out that there originally was a walkout basement. Walkouts were used for wood delivery. There was a road that went under the house so that a wagon with horses could back into the cellar to deliver wood. Our walkout was under the front porch. Walkouts usually were lined on both sides with stone walls. When they were abandoned, the walkout would have simply been filled with earth, leaving the stone walls behind. I am considering excavating this walkout, but that would be a lot of work.

The fields have pretty much been cleared now. The barn will be torn down and rebuilt. I have many photographs of the work inside the house that has been done so far and you will see them regularly now.

So things are a mess here but we are busy (especially John who is doing all the work!), exhausted, full of plans and having dust induced asthma!
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Two New Meeyauws

My daughter Amelia loves Nate. Nate has two children. Catgirl, above, is 6. Ironman, below, is 4. John and I have a lot of fun with them. We go to the library, do chores, read bedtime stories, go shopping and cook together. I gave them the Olympus camera the other day, taught them how to use it, and let them go at it. These are all of their photos!
Below, Ironman took a photo of Nate as he came home with Catgirl from school.
Below: Buddy napping in the sun.
Below: Willow on the left, Scout in the far background. And Sophie on the right.
And below is my favorite photograph! Ironman took a photo of John as he was brush hogging. John played monster for the camera, which caused Ironman to scream with delight. The kids love John — talking to him constantly and climbing on him whenever he sits.
In the future, you'll be hearing out our adventures with Catgirl and Ironman!
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The Day Lilies

Using the telephone poles that were in the woods, John made a border for the high side of the driveway to prevent erosion (which is why the driveway is much narrower than when I bought the house). We then planted some of our day lilies behind the telephone poles and created a nice border. You can tell that we still have work to do on the far end of the drive.
It then rained and snowed for five days after we planted the lilies. They did just fine.
But then the chickens found the lily garden. They scratch in the soil, as I suspected they would. But they also take their little, no longer cute, dust baths there. And when the bath is done, they finish with nibbles of the lilies. Above you can see a large chicken dust bowl in the lily garden. Below you can see a chicken hiding behind a black tub while she makes a dust bowl. She knows she isn't supposed to be there. We run them off every time we catch them messing with the lilies.
Now I know why chickens do not usually have free range on a farm but are confined to a pen. I wish these chickens were confined.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 25, 2010

Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 25, 2010

Acts 9:36-43
Psalm 23
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30

Acts 9:36-43

36 In Joppa, tehre waz a laydee. Hir name Tabitha. She waz a good ppl! She helpd poor ppl.
37 'Cept she getted sick and dide! Oh noes! Hur corpz waz plaecd in a room in the uppur flor.
38 Lyyda, o'courz iz neer Joppa, so it waz not long 'till wurd got aroun to Peter.
39 So Peter wented to Joppa an went to teh houws whaer Tabitha was ded. Tehr waz widowz. tehy all crowdud 'roun Peter, and craid. Tehy also shoewd Peter closthez n' stuf tat Tabitha maded wen she wuz not ded.
40 Peter told teh widows to scram. So tehy did. Tehn Peter neelded down an praed. He lookd at teh corpz an waz liek, "Hay, Ceiling Cat makez u unpwned. u getz up kkthx!" Tabitha stopd beein ded and Peter help'd hir get up. Tehn he sed to teh beleevirz and widowz to come inz and see wut Ceiling Cat had helpd him do.
41 Noos of Tabitha's rezurrecktshun spred throo Joppa. Lotz of ppl starded beeleeving in Ceiling Cat.
42 Peter tehn lived in Joppa wit soem gui naemd Simon. He wuz a tanner.

funny pictures of cats with captions
Psalm 23

1 Ceiling Cat iz mai sheprd (which is funni if u knowz teh joek about herdin catz LOL.)
He givz me evrithin I need.

2 He letz me sleeps in teh sunni spot
an haz liek nice waterz r ovar thar.

3 He makez mai soul happi
an maeks sure I go teh riet wai for him. Liek thru teh cat flap insted of out teh opin windo LOL.

4 I iz in teh valli of dogz, fearin no pooch,
bcz Ceiling Cat iz besied me rubbin' mah ears, an it maek me so kumfy.

5 He letz me sit at teh taebl evn when peepl who duzint liek me iz watchn.
He givz me a flea baff an so much gooshy fud it runz out of mai bowl LOL.

6 Niec things an luck wil chase me evrydai
an I wil liv in teh Ceiling Cats houz forevr.

funny pictures of cats with captions
Revelation 7:9-17

9 Ai was laik, "O Hai, bazillion pplz!" Dey lookn at teh frone an teh Lamb, all white kittehs, wlv palms in their paws, and they had a flavor;
10 Pplz was shoutin laik "keep dat Ceiling Cat on teh frone!!" an "yah ok ai likz teh Lamb 2"
11 All dem Birdcatz round teh frone an teh old catz an teh 4 beasts, dem falled dwn rite on dem kitteh nosez! OWCH it hurty but not too bad. Dey worshipin Ceiling Cat.12 Sayed, Ramen: "cheezburgrs, an powr an all good stuffs. You can has Ceiling Cat 24 7 forevers, plz?. kthxbye."
13 One of teh elderz kittehs is laik, "What white kittehs? Were dey at?"
14 So I's sayed, dun u know lol. He was liek, "Dese workin hard, an have licked demselfs clean, maid dem white in teh icky Lamb blood. It taste bad!"
15 U see, dey'z befoar teh frone of Ceiling Cat, dey bring him catnip an treats in his catbox: an he dat get petted on teh couch is allowed to lie on couch forever and not get teh sqwirt gun.
16 Dun be hungwy and firsty no moar; noar shall teh sun be warm on dey bellies.
17 For teh Lamb shall refill teh food bowl, an shall lead them unto teh awe-toe-matic water fountains: an Ceiling Cat promises to wipe gunk from all ur eyes.

John 10:22-30

teh unbeleif of teh jewz
22 THeRe wuz a parteh in teh big city Juhrusailm, an evryone wuz NOM NOM NOM! It was cold krissmussy time.
23 Jebus wuz wlking in Solomuns Colo... Calon... he took a walk in teh tempel.
24 Teh jooz wah liek, "OMG JEBUS STOP TEEZIN US!!! If U teh messiah kitty jus SAIZ SO!!!"
25 Jebus iz all liek "I alrdy tellz you dat!! I duz amzing stufs w/ teh Ceiling Cat so u noes!!
26 But you no heerz, cause you no iz mai shep!
27 Mai shepz heerz me; i knoz dem, and they comez wit me
28 Cause of me, they no haz death; and noonez can taekz them! I holdz onto teh shepz RLY TITE!!
29 Ceiling Cat gavez them to mez, and he pwnz you all!! No one can takez them from Ceiling Cat. NOT WUNCE!!
30 Me and Ceiling Cat are teh same!! SRSLY!"

Weekend Cat Events

Get ready now cuz the wild weekend is coming!
Board the Friday Ark at The Modulator (submit your post here)

Weekend Cat Blogging
#255 Apr 23-25 Pam at Sidewalkshoes
(see the week’s host to enter your WCB post in the comments for the weekend roundup)

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos
Edition 115 | May 04, 2010 Nikita Cat
Optional Theme
(submit your post here)

The Carnival of the Cats
#319 – Kashim & Othello and Salome
(submit your post here)

Ree-purrted by KC

Visit the Pet Prayer & Praise Blog

Kitty Limericks

Technorati Tags: LOL Cat Church, LOL Cat Bible, Lectionary Readings, Prayer & Praise Blog, Weekend Cat Blogging

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Brush Hogging with Chickens

This is what it's like to brush hog when you have chickens. They quickly learn that you are digging up worms. Just for them. And then they follow the noisy, smelly tractor for more. They follow you everywhere. You can't even run them over because they are quick footed but you constantly worry that you might. The photo above is a normal shot from the back door. (Someday I may just persuade somebody to restore my cedar post clothesline so I don't have to use that awful plastic and metal whirligig one.) Below, is a zoomed in shot of John and chickens brush hogging the upper field.

By the way, just past John in these photos, he found a huge colony of trout lilies that I had never seen before! It's an exciting find and I can't wait until the thousands of lilies there bloom in a couple of weeks!
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Jumping Moose

This young bull moose was gallivanting all over Barton Village last week. Then he decided to come up here. He crossed the road from our land on the mountain side of the road and went through the beaver bog to the woods on the other side. He is probably now around May Pond or Willoughby Lake. These photos were taken on a sunny morning through the glass of the sun porch windows.

I am most proud of the photo below showing the moose jumping a stream in the bog. There was no skill involved in this, just pure luck. I'm glad the moose came by during John's first week here because no "outside people" believe me about the number of moose in the area (the NEK is over-populated with moose).

Click on either photo to see it full size in a new window.

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Dust Baths

As the mud from the water saturated land dries after brush hogging, the chickens, who now follow John as he rides the tractor, enjoy long dust baths. I found that chickens will roll in the dirt like dogs do! The chicken on the right with her leg in the air was rolling over and over for quite awhile.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brush Hogging

John's been pretty busy. He has drained the water from around the barn as you can see above. I always thought that the water was from underground springs. It is, sort of. The brooks off of the mountain go underground before they reach the barn and then go underground because of the willows and alders that have grown wildly around the barn and the edge of the small field. John brush hogged the brush and the water began draining through his newly excavated ditches. He is recreating the natural flow of the brooks.

The brush in the photo above obscured the end of the shed at the end of the barn. John has brush hogged the entire barn and about a quarter mile of the right of way that goes up the mountain.
Technically, brush hogging means that you use a brush hog. But the tractor is best for this job because of the size of the brush. John hauls it to the far edge of the property. He got a burning permit from the fire warden and it took a whole day to burn the brush that he pulled in only two days. There is no snow pack now, so unfortunately John had to wait for a snowy, rainy day to burn. He had to stay with the fire the whole time in order to prevent a forest fire. It was a miserable day for him!

Below, John is clearing brush from the upper field. Our views of the field and the wildlife that visit it have been blocked by the willows. John left all of the beautiful tamarack trees, which we both love.

Below is a view from the bottom of the upper field to the barn.

And finally, the end of the barn is nearly entirely cleared. This part of the barn will be detached and rebuilt for a chicken coop that is weasel-proof.

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