Community, Wildlife

Feral Kittens

I glanced out the window this morning to see five feral kittens examining my woodshed.  I carried the first load to the deck this past week, so for the first time, the woodshed is accessible.  It makes a dry place, sheltered from the wind and rain, where the five will probably cuddle together and shelter – being close to the house, it includes the safety of being in a spot safer from coyotes and cougars.  From a survival concept, they’re making a good choice.

I knew they were there.  I’ve watched their mother, in person and on game cams, as she has hunted in the trees and fields around the house for several years.  This long, hot, dry summer seems to have what she has needed to successfully raise a litter this year.  Now comes the winter – and the half-grown cats are exploring for options they may need in a season they have never experienced.

In general, I like cats – and these little ferals demonstrate their species’ self-domesticating behaviors.  While the wooded area is showing fewer squirrels, the hayfield and edges of the pond are a smorgasbord of mice, voles and frogs that have also moved into a niche where human habitation has made their existence easier.  The ferals, preying on the nuisance rodents, may well improve my life.  Still, my experience with domestic cats, living indoors and moving into a lap to purr and be petted, makes me feel that these ferals are missing an important part of a cat’s life.

I understand how the cuteness motivates people to feed the ferals. I’m a grownup.  I won’t do it.  But I’m tempted to put a couple of cardboard boxes in the woodshed.

Community, Wildlife

On the Road and Around the Pond

Oh the Road & Around the Pond

This is an exciting time of year as we await the appearance of babies. We have does with rounded bellies. We have yet to see a fawn.  The fall burning of tree stumps around the yard resulted in holes and burrows that were not always filled before winter set in.  An opportunistic skunk moved into a burrow created by the removal of a tree root. Looking out the kitchen window we spotted 4 baby skunks. The babies are really cute but not particularly welcome.

He goslings are starting to color.  The ducks paused to finally get their portraits. We have spotted only a handful of tadpoles. Those tadpoles are steadily growing. The turtles are on the move and on the road. We noticed a neighbor stopping to carefully remove a turtle on the road to the safety of a grassed area.

A pair of whopping cranes are occasionally stopping to hunt in the field. The coyote is hunting in the field and along the road. The feral cats are making regular treks along the road. -Patches

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Patches' Pieces, Wildlife

Game Camera: They are Back!

The Not So Perfect Game Camera: They’re Back!

Returning to the game camera line up for your viewing pleasure are striped kitties, otherwise know as skunks. Skunks have been absent for several months but have returned. Along with skunks featured this with week are feral cats and deer. -Patches