Thursday, April 17, 2014

Herding Cats

In this case, it's herding 'cat'.
My friend Carson has an orange cat.
He is just like Hobbes in every way except having his picture taken.
Hobbes, not so much.
When I'm outside, my terribly aloof cat becomes a love bug.
Purr, purr, purr.
Rub, rub, rub.
Meow, meow, meow.
He turns it all on.
His love and admiration for me outdoors does not make for a good photographic subject.
 This is the best one of the bunch.
Hobbes: "I'm gonna sit right up against you, I'll keep you warm"

Me: "Hobbes, look at me.  I just want a picture of your face."

Hobbes: "Ooo, what's that in the weeds?"

He looked at me and looked down just as the camera clicked.

Hobbes: "I see something"
Hobbes: "It smells like a rabbit right here.  Do you smell it?"
Me: "No, now will you please just look over at me?"
Hobbes: "Seriously, I smell something.  Come sniff and see if you think it was a rabbit."
Me: "No thanks"

Hobbes: "You still cold?  I'll sit right here for a minute and warm you up."
Me: "I think it's you that's cold."
Hobbes: "Well, that hurts my feelings.  I was trying to be nice."
Hobbes: "I shun you."  "However, I'll sit right here and do it."

I finally gave up and just laid down in the grass.

Me: "Hobbes, PLEASE just look this way one time."

Hobbes: "Hang on, I think I see something."
Me: "Nevermind.  I'm going inside.  I'm cold."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Official--At Least on Paper

This morning, I used this
to pay for this

so these could come home.

The fence will be delivered on the 22nd.
My wonderful fence guy will start sometime after that.
Right now, he's installing 800 feet of fence in what is nearly all rock.
My job will take 2-3 weeks.
Which turns out to be fine because Finn and Oliver won't be coming home until the end of the month; and then they'll be going to my neighbor's barn.
They'll need at least two weeks of constant positive attention in an enclosed area.
They're used to seeing humans, but not being handled by them.
If I let them out in her pasture, I'd never catch them again.
My neighbor's barn has enormous stalls and a small turnout area attached to each stall.
I plan on taking a chair and book and a bag of carrots to begin our 'getting to know each other stage'.
All horses, donkeys, mules are curious by nature.
Me sitting, ignoring them, will be irresistible.
Their reward for coming to investigate me will be a carrot coin.
Next will come halters and brushes and more carrot coins.
I'm hoping the end of May will be when they come to my property for good.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hi, I'm Carla and I Collect Dead Things

Yes, I'm one of those people.
I am just as fascinated by dead animals as I am of live ones.
I am equally as fascinated by the garbagemen in nature.

Large carrion eaters--coyotes, raccoons, opossum, skunks and vultures
 Medium carrion eaters--mice and rats
 Tiny carrion eaters--all manner of insects, both adult and larval stages.
 Microscopic carrion eaters--bacteria
All those things make it possible for humans to not be walking around in sea of dead things.
Just imagine the stink if these creatures didn't do their jobs.

The bones you see in the first picture are of the only deer I ever let myself get on a first name basis with.  We called her Momma (very original, I know).  She was hit and killed by a car last summer and died on my property.  I have Momma's skull, spine and scapulas (shoulder blades).  I don't know why I felt compelled to collect them. Maybe I belonged to some tribe in a past life that collects bones of creatures that meant something to them?  
On a more practical side, I certainly didn't want to run over them with the lawn tractor.

The skull you see is of a house sparrow.  It killed itself on one of my windows.
As soon as Hobbes the cat hears that familiar 'thud', he runs to find out if the bird is dead. 
Free food!
He ate all but the head and I discovered the skull a couple days later.  It was covered in tiny garbagemen--ants.  
Within two days, it was completely clean.  

Two days!
Cool, right!?

Being the weirdo that I am, I brought it in the house to take pictures.  
Being the forensic junky that I am, I deduced that the bird must have broken its neck because the skull wasn't broken at all.

I flipped it over to get a picture of the bottom of it, and out came a couple little ants.
Cool, right!?

Momma's skull is tucked in a cubby hole in my chicken coop.
The bird skull is sitting in my office window, next to a female Rhinoceros Beetle--dead, of course.

My name is Carla, and I collect dead things. 
Can we still be friends?