Friday, February 24, 2012

The Week in Review

BobCat got sprayed by a skunk.  That's right.  We've got another skunk living under the barn right beside the house, and he or she is one of the biggest I've ever seen.  Maybe we'll have more skunk babies in the summer?

Thank dog for Thiotrol.  Bob now smells like flowers.

Bob and Tessie are very much in love:
These two are a scream.  Check out the patented simultaneous rear paw action.  I sometimes find them cuddling on a chair that is far too small for their combined heft, both enraptured in one another.  It's almost embarrassing, walking in the room and finding them snuggling.  One or both look up at me, somewhat disgusted, and I back my way out of the room, peeking in from the door frame, sorry to have disturbed them.

I saw my first robin yesterday.  This may or may not be a good sign.  I hope this poor bird hasn't spent the entire winter here, as they are sometimes known to do. Either our winter was warm enough and they did, or spring is around the corner and this bird knows something we don't.  Judging by the looks of the 15cm of snow we got today, I'd say spring's not around the corner, and maybe this particular robin is of the very hardy persuasion.

I also saw a ruffed grouse.   At first, I drove by, recognized what I thought was a grouse, and put my car in reverse to have a closer look.  He stood still and craned his neck, totally camouflaging himself.  I love these birds, they're just like transformers. You wouldn't have believed it was the same bird.  They are so invisible in the forest, blending in so exquisitely that you only notice them when they shoot up from the ground with loud flapping of their wings, heart-attack optional.

If the weather permits, I'm going snowy owl spotting on Sunday.  Rumour has it there's a pair close by.  I'll have to stake out the spot and keep my fingers crossed.  Eric saw one a few weeks ago, but he was in Toronto, and he saw it at the airport, hardly a choice area for bird-watching.  I was still jealous since I haven't seen one yet.  The other day, I thought I saw one, and excitedly grabbed my glasses, clutched my binoculars, and said a quick prayer that my dream-bird was indeed there.  Alas, it was a plastic shopping bag, hung up on a tree branch, moving gently in the wind.  The cruelty of it all.

On a completely unrelated note:  this winter, I thought I'd be ahead of the curve if I stockpiled dry cat food and cat litter.  Costco had one of these great offers - a 10 kg bag of dry Whiskas (the only dry food all our cats agree on) had one of those rebate coupons, so I optimistically grabbed 2 bags, saved something like 7 bucks, and hoped this would see Bob and Tessie through the winter.  One 10 kg bag fills the Rubbermaid bin I store in laundry room, and the other bag...well...let's just say I stored it in our locked storage shed, and periodically checked the bag.  It didn't SEEM compromised, until I went to pick it up and bring it in the house.  Yup.  Our mice must be the best fed mice in the area, because they stashed 5 kilos of cat food in no time at all.  The little buggers.  They beat me at my own game.


Miriam said...

This post is making me wonder whether we even have skunks on Vancouver island, because I can't remember smelling one since we moved here. (Not that I miss the smell, or anything - I'm just saying...)

Happy snowy owl spotting!

Shim Farm said...

Hi Miriam, hope you're on the mend! Actually, I checked, and apparently there are no skunks on Van Isle. The things we learn...

They're really pretty animals though, save for the smell, of course. I just hope Cooper learned his lesson, and that he stays well away. I am sure Bob surprised the skunk near our woodshed, since the cats and skunk live pretty harmoniously as a general rule.

I'll see what the weather brings tomorrow. Right now we've got lots of blowing snow, but things are supposed to clear up over night, and the wind is supposed to die down. It's just howling outside, and pretty miserable.

Hope you're faring better in the weather department than we are!

eagergridlessbeaver said...

yuck..skunks. Not many around here but we more than make up for it with porcupines. We saw a red-tailed hawk today..flying low over our property..the chickens saw it too and made a b-line for the coop! We did have owls here too until they were shot by some neighbors..too bad as they would come around almost every night to hoot..We had mice trouble in our shed too..until we bought a couple of metal garbage cans to hold feed/seed in..and it sounds like that early bird wants a frozen worm..a robin an feb? wow!

Shim Farm said...

Hi ya Beav, that poor robin was giving me the "stink eye", like, moves...maybe it's edible...I wonder if I can take it on? With all the snow we ended up with on the weekend, I sure hope he or she's alright.

That damn bag of cat food. We have one of those ultrasonic mouse chaser thingies in that shed. No need to tell you it doesn't work. (Hate the damn things anyhow, probably scaring the crap out of all the bats). What's worse is that I kept checking the bag, and it didn't look any worse for wear, until I went to pick it up and realized it lost half its weight. The joke is on me, I guess...

I never did make it out on Sunday to see if those Snowy Owls were there. The windchill was hovering at -22C, and I'm not that hard-core. Better luck next weekend, I guess.

We don't have porcupines, yet. They're making their way east from Ontario, but they'll be here in the next couple of years. I'm not looking forward to it. I'd rather the dog get skunked than 'pined, if you know what I mean...

Hope your place is drying out a bit. I'll take the snow over the mud, any day!

Robin said...

We saw a great horned owl a week ago near dusk about two miles from our place. Sometimes we will hear the owls talking back and forth near our house.

Our two cats just tolerate each other. Ok, so maybe Jack doesn't care but the old man Jasper cat decides he doesn't like the way she sleeps sometimes and tries to power smack her. He came declawed so its pretty ineffectual. She just looks at him, he gets yelled at to leave Jack alone, and she goes back to sleep. He is such a cranky old man and Jack never messes with him but he will still get a bee in his butt. Guess he wants to be an only cat.

Shim Farm said...

I haven't heard owls at night in years now, but I know they're around.

Jasper and Schatzie sound like they'd be perfect for each other. Can I FEDEX her to you? Kidding... (Well, only a bit).

I am just so amazed at how much Bob and Tess love each other. Tessie is such a busy-body, and whenever I let Bob in, she races downstairs and throws herself at his feet. She's his groupie.

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