Our big ten-day stretch of snow and ice came to an end last weekend and we’re back to our usual rainy Pacific Northwest winter with patches of bright sunshine and cold east winds tossed in for the amusement of those who like it like that. We’re fans of rain and cold but up to a point. Around the first of March, Mom gets antsy to get spring cleanup underway and looks forward to working in dirt, opposed to mud.
Before our batches of snow, this winter brought a new visitor to Colehaus. One day, Mom looked out the back door and there, walking under the bird feeders was this kitty.
Naturally, Mom grabbed the camera and went out to call to it and it dashed away. A couple of days later, she saw it again, stepping out from behind the huge arborvitae and from the kitchen window, she clicked more photos. Only one of those photos turned out and as soon as the kitty saw Mom at the window, again, it darted away. Mom has started to call this kitty Teese. We told her she was spelling it wrong but she said for us grammar police to stop picking on her. O-Kay…
She’s seen Teese at the feeding station twice since, once during a snow storm, and one other time around the secluded feral shelter on the other side of the yard. Mom knows someone is staying overnight in that shelter but she doesn’t know who.
Zoey, or Z as we’re going to start calling her here for privacy reasons, weathered the bitter cold, snow, and ice great in the other feral shelter located under our back porch steps. She doesn’t always get breakfast outside the heated shelter but this was a particularly chilly day and she was being extra adorable.
She now wears a collar with a sensor for an automated food bowl her real humans set up. Apparently, the neighborhood raccoons were lining up each evening for dinner and probably getting spit all over the kibble and Z’s owner finally said enough of that. We know raccoons aren’t usually tolerant of cats and sometimes, not even with themselves, but we are fortunate in that the raccoons who visit Colehaus have all, but one, been kind and well-mannered. That one, well, Mom keeps a broom handy for the next time she sees him again!
Someone Mom still has a like/dislike relationship with is Z’s older brother W, who continues his hunting streak.
W has been teaching Z to hunt birds and Mom won’t have it any longer. So, after sixteen years of buying quality bird seed, she’s giving up feeding the birds. Once our stored seed runs out in February, she’s taking down the bird feeder. She’ll leave the suet cage up for the woodpeckers and the nyger thistle sock up until spring but after that, all she’s providing is fresh water from the big fountain and shelter in all the trees. She know she’ll still have bird bits to clean up from time-to-time, and then, there’s that whole baby bunny season coming up way too fast, but she says there’s no reason to be feeding birds only to have them feed the neighborhood cats.
Dad says he’s going to miss the birds but Mom reminds him he’s not the one who has to clean up the mess. Yeah, well, there is that.
Here’s a final few shots of birds we’re going to miss seeing:
We do live one block away from a big greenspace with pasture land beyond that. Most of our visiting birds come from there and undoubtedly, will still visit to drink and bath from the fountain. They won’t be out of food or shelter from their natural habitat. It’ll be an adjustment for them and for us and it will be for the better.