Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The last of Winter... a photo journey

Peeking out from one of my canvas carryalls is Dinah. Tiny Dinah as she is known here, doesn't get much respect. She's very small, difficult to photograph being a black cat - and she tends to be very busy except when she's hogging Freda's dog bed. Poor Freda is completely intimidated by this tiny dynamo - and will come and stare at me to do something about Dinah being in her bed.

Dinah was one of two kittens found on a highway dehydrated and near death from upper respiratory disease. She and her sister Winkle (the Blue Siamese) spent six weeks in quarantine. My vet said that even though they were tiny as eight week old kittens, in reality they were five or six months old. They finally got well and grew a little - but both maxed out at about five pounds. Five pounds of Dinah-mite!! Dinah is of course named after Alice's cat in Alice in Wonderland.
What do you do when you are iced in and out of birdseed? My poor birdies couldn't believe that the feeders were empty what with the freezing temps and the wind blowing snow. I felt so guilty that I rummaged about to come up with something to get them by. I had whole corn that I mix into the horses' feed and actual horse feed - which is pelleted grain and alfalfa along with cracked oats.

The bits were way too big for the small songbirds, so into the Oster for a grind. Then I added Kasha and barley and bread crumbs to the mix, and got out the Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter to slather onto the suet feeder and some pine cones that I wired to the old pear tree. What a feast!! This buffet drew cardinals, bluejays, doves, nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees, red-winged blackbirds, several different sparrows, phoebes, tufted titmice, juncos and of course, starlings. I'm pretty sure they like the Jif better than the generic stuff I usually give them!! (But then, so do I)

When I ventured outside with my camera, I found this imprint of wingtips and little bird feet and got this photo right before Elvis obliterated it in an attempt to ambush Madeline...
If you look closely for click for enlarging, you can see the imprint here ... and then...
I think he's trying to lick the snow or just make a face at Maddy

And finally - Here's Claire. She may not look it, but I know she was thrilled to finally get some Pyrenees-suitable weather. These dogs begin to pant when it is over 50 degrees. That's why I have them shaved every spring.

Today it is nearing 70 degrees and it's my turn to be thrilled!!


  1. Well there you are! I was beginning to wonder where you'd gotten to. Welcome back!

    Good thinking on the improvised bird feed! I'm sure they appreciated it.

  2. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Isn't the warm weather wonderful! The 'local' forecast around here, though, is another batch of snow.

  3. love this! i've had similar experiences both with kittens with URI's and being short on bird seed. in the first case, i had a feral family, a queen and 4 kittens, i'd been feeding and trying to bring inside, and all of the little ones were sick. we put antibiotics in their food, and all recovered except this one little tortoiseshell girl, who wasn't getting the medicine because she wasn't eating. they foiled every attempt at trapping, though we kept trying and coming up with raccoons and skunks. finally this little one was so sick that she just couldnt run away fast enough and we got her. she was truly near death, and her eyes were badly infected too. but after two weeks of intensive care, medicine and force-feeding, she got well and blossomed. we caught the other ones in a staggered way, over the next month, and two of them ended up with the herpes rhino thing (drippy eyes, one has to give them lysine regularly, but they are ok) i have also seen very young ones perish from URI's very quickly, they can't suckle because they cant breath and eat at the same time so they just fade away, and it happens so quickly medication is often not fast enough. so glad your Dinah got through! that is great.
    i am so glad to see i am not alone with the issue of running out of birdseed in bad weather. and suet too. the peanut butter tip is a great one, thanks!

  4. There are advantages to rarely posting. First, your fans all jump to see what's been happnin'. Second, you have a life, one that's not overrun by an - okay- addiction, or worse, a perceived obligation to one's blog.

    As usual, there's no disappointment here. Great photos and great stories.

    P.S. I've thought of you every time I hear them hustle the census.

  5. wonderful post - even though you don't seem to post here often, this is one of my favorite blogs in blogland :)

  6. Love the snowy photos of the kitties, especially the third on with them both on the concrete pipe...one on top, one inside! And very sweet of you to concoct something for the birdies--very inventive!

  7. Great photos. Love to your animals... and to the wild birds too.

  8. hello Patrice, I have been out of town teaching a workshop and am slowing getting back to the blog world. thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I see you have several blogs- don't know which one to follow but I like the name of this one- The Rabbit Hole and you have such cute cats and pets. I have a cat-Suki- and a dog-Kobe-- so I know what is like to have pets you love.

  9. As always, a loving and tender paean to your companions!