Tag Archives: Yard and Garden

01/27/2017 – Around Colehaus

The Big Melt - © Colehaus.com

The Big Melt – © Colehaus.com

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.

Stray (?) Teese - © Colehauscats.com

Stray (?) Teese – © Colehauscats.com

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…

The tease Teese - © Colehauscats.com

The tease Teese – © Colehauscats.com

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.

Z comfortable at her shelter - © Colehauscats.com

Z comfortable at her shelter – © Colehauscats.com

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.

Snowcat Z - © Colehauscats.com

Snowcat Z – © Colehauscats.com

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 out hunting -  © Colehauscats.com

W out hunting – © Colehauscats.com

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:

Native Ringneck Dove - © Colehauscats.com

Native Ringneck Dove – © Colehauscats.com

Ringneck Dove - © Colehauscats.com

Ringneck Dove – © Colehauscats.com

Varied Thrush - © Colehauscats.com

Varied Thrush – © Colehauscats.com

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.

W hunting again - © Colehauscats.com

W hunting again – © Colehauscats.com

01/16/2017 – Day Off

We’re taking the day off today. This was pre-approved by the Patrol Sergeant team of Sunny and Zuzu and authorized by Miss Newton… who then used it as an excuse to cross getting into trouble off her daily calendar.

Miss Newton up high - © Colehauscats.com

Miss Newton up high – © Colehauscats.com

Miss Newton crossing today's trouble off her list - © Colehauscats.com

Miss Newton crossing today’s trouble off her list – © Colehauscats.com

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What better way to celebrate a cat in trouble than by putting together a puzzle of said cat in trouble? Here you go, 70-piece Miss Newton on High Trouble courtesy of Jigsaw Planet.

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One boy who’s happy to have the day off is Quint who painted and painted last week and succeeded in not having a single photo turn out of twenty-two taken while he was painting. Really, how does that even happen? You’ll have to ask Mom who whacked something against the camera and sent it into some weird state. We’re saving one or two of those photos for a future bad-photography post.

Even so, he’s pretty smug about his latest painting series, both accomplished with a little help on the side. If you are so inclined, he’d love for you to see visit them at his art shop and perhaps welcome one or two of them into your home.

Smug Quint is smug - © Colehauscats.com

Smug Quint is smug – © Colehauscats.com

Quint’s second run of Snow and Cedars, a compliment painting to his original Snow and Cedars series that sold out before Christmas.

Something new showcasing a view from a favorite window – Winter Berries set against an early winter’s dawn.

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Snow Days continue - © Colehaus.com

Snow Days continue – © Colehaus.com

We’re still encased in snow and ice here and probably will be until Wednesday which just happens to be our Five Year Blogoversary day! We’re warm and toasty and doing just great! Hope you are too. See you Wednesday!

01/13/2017 – Lucky Cat Friday Fun

Olivia's watching you - © Colehauscats.com

Olivia’s watching you – © Colehauscats.com

I’m watching you, Friday the 13th, and all I see are LUCKY black cats.

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We had a major storm event here Tuesday evening in the form of record snowfall of 8-12 inches. The week before, we were in freezing temperatures. Our area hardly ever gets snow so we guess it makes sense that our city doesn’t have snowplows. That’s not to say none of the roads get cleared, it just takes a little longer and then, only major roads are cleared. Living half a mile from a major road means dicey driving to that main road using a car that can’t use chains, and why would we want snow tires for a car in a city that doesn’t get snow?

*face palm*

Here’s time-line photos of around Colehaus over the past two weeks:

Our backyard fountain - © Colehaus.com

Our backyard fountain – © Colehaus.com

Our backyard fountain coated in thick ice. Daily temperature from January 4th through January 8th sat between 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11.1 Celsius) and 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.7 Celsius).

Lower portion of fountain - © Colehaus.com

Lower portion of fountain – © Colehaus.com

Upper pillar encased in ice - © Colehaus.com

Upper pillar encased in ice – © Colehaus.com

Top of fountain iced over - © Colehaus.com

Top of fountain iced over – © Colehaus.com

When it gets this cold (again, this is very unusual for us but does happen every great once in a while), the water coming from the top of the pillars form an ice bubble. Water continues to flow out but down the rock under the ice.

Sunday night through Tuesday morning, things warmed up and most of the ice fell or melted off.

On Tuesday, our area was predicted to get a dusting-to-half an inch of snow beginning around six in the evening.

Our dusting of snow - © Colehaus.com

Our dusting of snow – © Colehaus.com

Here’s our dusting at 8 p.m.

More than a dusting - © Colehaus.com

More than a dusting – © Colehaus.com

By 10 p.m. we had four inches and still the snow continued.

WAY more than a dusting - © Colehaus.com

WAY more than a dusting – © Colehaus.com

Wednesday morning, it was still snowing and at noon, it let up enough for Mom to shovel the sidewalk and a path down the driveway in case Dad wanted to get the mail (he didn’t want to risk it). Mom said the snow was very powdery and was like shoveling fluffy mash potatoes. Mmmm….

No ice but lots of snow - © Colehaus.com

No ice but lots of snow – © Colehaus.com

The backyard fountain changed out of its ice dress and into a fluffy snow dress.

Feral shelters in snow - © Colehaus.com

Feral shelters in snow – © Colehaus.com

Mom also cleared paths from the feral shelters to the feeding stations, and checked the shelters. Both were toasty warm with beds hollowed out in the thick straw that fills each. A tuxie cat (possible feral?) was/is staying in Spitty’s shelter (against far fence) and two of our neighbor’s outdoor-only cats are staying in the one under the back porch steps.

Even though we can’t go anywhere, we’re having a very exciting week! Good thing our house is filled with groceries, cat food, litter, and lots of blankets. We’re set for the long haul!

Olivia is toasty - © Colehauscats.com

Olivia is toasty – © Colehauscats.com

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We’re taking Monday off because when we asked, reportedly, some of the Colehaus Cats said that would be okay. We’ll have a photo or two up, nevertheless. Have a great weekend!