Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Feral Cat

Knucklehead- Posted by Hello
Last August, one month after our mountain lion sighting, found me digging in a natural rock semi-circle toward the edge of our clearing. The intent was to plant iris and foxglove, two plants the deer seem to avoid.
Suddenly I heard something moving through the undergrowth. I stood tall, wielding the shovel in what I hoped was a threatening manner. The movement sounded much like a deer, very tentative yet heavy.
Out of the brush strides the skinniest kitten I've ever seen.
NO! We can't have a cat, not with three large dogs! We can't have a cat, we're planning on purchasing a leather sofa!
Well, now we do have a cat.
In fact we have two.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Feeling Neglected

No traffic- Posted by Hello
Browsing other blogsites this weekend I found little activity on my 8 favorite sites.
Well duh, it was a holiday weekend! Most folks were busy.
I, however, am feeling neglected. There was only one comment made on any of my blogsites, and no change in the tally of visitors to my profile.
I used this downtime to check out a great number of previously unvisited (by me) sites, finding only a couple that I intend to visit again.
I also tried to figure out how to add links to my pages, failing miserably. I'm terrified of messing with my template. I'm surprised I was able to even post my own photo on my profile.
I'm planning on opening a nice bottle of Merlot as soon as this posting is finished.
And I'll be back, maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Neighbor's Dog

Just one of our dogs, Tasha, as a puppy- Posted by Hello
Our town has an ordinance requiring a 5 acre minimum on land parcels. Many people erect fences to contain livestock. Most people put up deer fencing to enclose gardens, and to protect young trees. A few (especially those who venture up only on weekends and vacations) fence to keep their usually empty homes safe.
My husband and I choose to have no fencing, other than the animal pen and chicken coop which came with the property. Both are empty. We enjoy seeing deer, rabbits, foxes, coyote, and even that mountain lion previously mentioned.
The only unwanted visitor (aside from the religious fanatics who ignore the NO TRESPASSING sign) is our neighbor's dog Murphy.
We love dogs, and have three of them. They're mutts, a mixture of Rott, Dobie, Shepherd and Great Pyrenees. They're large.
We allow them outside to do their business, take walks and romp with us, or to lay on the deck with supervision.
Murphy, on the other hand, is allowed to roam.
We didn't mind (much) when he ran alongside us, barking, when we passed his house. We didn't complain until he began visiting us, up to 10 times a day, beginning about 6am. His visits set our dogs to barking, not a pleasant sound as there's the three of them.
The neighbors built a pen, which he seems to be inside of less and less.
Murphy's latest trick is to stop in front of one's vehicle, barking, and refuses to move. He pulled this new trick yesterday. The neighbor lady dragged her lazy butt off the porch, having one hell of a time getting him away. Meanwhile, the dog jumps on the driver's side door, leaving several scratches. We just purchased this brand new car last September!
The scratches don't bother me that much. I believe the vehicle one drives isn't a measure of your affluence or penis size. It's purely functional.
What bothers me is the owners. We've heard they're planning on getting rid of the dog, and getting another. If they can't train this poor creature, how do they expect the next one to learn?
So what's our next move? We may not have to make a decision as things have been painfully quiet next door since the incident.
I sure hope we don't hear a new puppy yapping away over there anytime soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Downpour

Going up the road in the rain- Posted by Hello
Finding myself in need of some groceries I headed off to the local market. Since I'm now retired I could choose any day of the week, but being the Einstein that I am, I opted to head out during some of the heaviest rains I've seen to date.
This brilliant mind also chose to bring along the camera.
My husband was kind enough to only admonish me to drive carefully, after all I did have his beer included on my shopping list!
I did get several photographs, nothing to write home about, and mostly shot through the blur of the rainy windshield. Although not technically good, today's picture is one of my favorite places, the road heading back home.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Another overcast day

Oak trees mirrored on the hood of my vehicle- Posted by Hello
I thought to escape the house for a while, before the next rain storm arrives.
My poor azaleas were damaged by the recent hail, therefore not worth the bother of attempting a shot.
The skies are a dingy grey.
Passing my vehicle, I caught my own reflection- here was a possibility! At that point I noticed my ensemble; cobalt blue thermal pajamas and a maroon vest stuffed with down. I'd hastily thrown on a pair of sandals, as I hadn't been planning to be walking far, thereby making even my reflected image a definite no-no. I looked like a character actor from the movie "Deliverance." I'd be appearing along with the guys who wanted the Ned Beatty character to "squeal like a pig, boy!" Burt Reynolds would have been within his rights to shoot me with his bow and arrow too.
The photo I finally took is all you 'git' for today.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Mountain Lion Revisited

Redwood Recluse commented on a recent posting, and asked several questions.
To learn about the animals I simply Googled "mountain lion" + "Calaveras County" as I wanted to learn the population density in my region (to begin with.) Interestingly enough one of the first hits was a Big Foot website! Fun reading, especially as it was getting close to Halloween.
Changing "Calaveras County" to California brought up a number of interesting sites.
The common thread of information states you must not ever run from a mountain lion, and if confronted you are not to make direct eye contact. They feed from dusk through dawn generally. Our sighting was at dusk.
They are a protected species, so unless you or your livestock are being attacked it's best not to shoot one.
I've spoken with a number of people who have lived up here much longer than I, and the concensus is that we're extremely lucky to have actually seen one.
Last but not least- if you have deer, you have predators, so beware.

Pink Clouds

Clouds above the cedars- Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Spring Is Near

Azalea beginning to bloom  Posted by Hello
Today was the first time I've been able to walk the property in several months, and the very first time I felt comfortable in doing so alone since the 4th of July last year. That was the day I was relaxing in front of the TV, when my husband (who was sitting at the dining room table)said "Hon..." in a hushed voice. I turned my head, knowing by his tone that something unusual was happening. Not twenty feet from the dining room window, just the other side of the maple tree (see the earlier posted photo) was a large mountain lion! The lion paused and looked in at my husband, then ambled up the gravel driveway towards the nearest neighbors. I opted to call the neighbors to warn them, rather than grab the camera, as they have small children who were likely to be outside playing on the holiday. Since the sighting I've read everything possible about the animals, and feel I know what to do if confronted; however it is a scary probability.