Friday, December 14, 2012

Patio and cats

We finally got round to pouring a concrete patio in mid October and we are very pleased with how it turned out and how it completes the front of the house.

We also adopted a little kitten in May who we named Pumpkin as that's what my wife calls all our cats. For obvious reasons (obvious to her anyway), now she insists on calling Pumpkin, 'Smallface'. Admittedly, he does have a small face, but still...

Pumpkin in May at 5 weeks old.
Pumpkin  at 4 months. Although he is posing next to protein powder, his rapid growth was purely down to him being a greedy bastard. :)

Pumpkin, Silka and Smokey. At 8 months, Pumpkin is now slightly bigger than both our Hong Kong cats, though he still has a small face.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


We bought a hummingbird feeder last week, hung it up on the tree by our patio doors and hoped some hummingbirds would find it. Luckily, it only took a couple of days - 'till we spotted them, that is. Now we catch a glimpse of them most days and they are surprisingly tame, only being slightly more cautious when we stand next to the tree to watch them drink.

We've also seen more of the doe and her young one. She makes an appearance most mornings, keeping a watchful eye out while the fawn scarpers about.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turkeys galore

After a great vacation in Europe visiting family, we arrived back to find the lawn (and driveway) wildly overgrown and the arrival of our first turkeys. We had seen tracks last year while we were building but this was the first time we'd actually seen the birds in the flesh. They turn up most days now, usually in the morning and evening and don't seem to mind us much.

Four young turkeys with their mammas

Two turkeys and a young lurkey

We've also been seeing some more deer - it's always exciting to spot them out of the corner of your eye when you're sitting on the couch. We were lucky to see a young buck who looked like he had an injured leg. While he was feeding on some leafy greens by the pond, a doe and her young fawn came out form the woods on the other side of the pond. They were  bit wary but soon came over and had a nibble.

The young buck with an injured right hind leg.

The doe emerges on the opposite side of the pond and the buck takes notice.

The doe and fawn make their way 'round the side of the pond.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Groundhog Day

Just after dinner we noticed this little guy foraging on the lawn and standing up every now and then to check for predators. It's the first groundhog/woodchuck I've seen and it was pretty comfortable with me following it around the garden to get some photos.

Groundhog on alert

Groundhog pulls 'Blue Steel' pose

We've had a couple of birds hit our windows this year, but luckily I've been able to revive both of them just by picking them up in some paper towel and moving them into the shade for an hour and then once I go back to check on them they quickly perk up and fly off. Apparently this one is a young 'Indigo Bunting', which if said repeatedly sounds absolutely bizarre.

Indigo Bunting.

Indigo Bunting, Indigo Bunting.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Loads of Wildlife and a Bed For House Guests

A family of deer make their way across our garden

This rabbit has been hanging around quite regularly. Here he is hanging out by the horseshoe stake.

One of the pair of hawks that hunts near the pond

Some butterflies mating

Woodpecker testing the willow trees by the pond

One of the resident turtles

A young deer at the back of the pond

One of the many Cardinals that live round our house.

In a previous post I joked that in winter, some trees have leaves and others don't. This one doesn't have leaves in summer either, because it's dead. It does make a nice home for loads of spiders though.

With family coming in the summer, I've been busy building a bed for them to sleep on. I designed it in Sketchup and went to a local sawmill to buy the wood. The sawmill was really impressive, a massive operation and a far better range and choice than is available at home depot/lowes, and much cheaper as well. Just the headboard left to finish and mount. I focused on showing the best looking wood grain on outside surfaces and hiding any of the wood screws from view making use of kreg jig pre-drilled holes. I managed to use up some older, less attractive wood for the slats as they will never be seen.

Queen bed design with storage underneath.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

George Nelson inspired table and odd jobs

Since I've started running again (training for a 50K in October -arghhh!) I've had far too much energy and so I've gotten round to finishing jobs and projects that have piled up.

In the past week I've cleared out and organised the storage shed, building in some shelving, a workbench and lumber racks.

 I've also installed a front door handle - for about six months we've had only the deadbolt lock in, meaning we had to lock it every time we went in and out or the door would swing open and the cats would make their break for the wild outdoors. It was very pleasing to reuse the old handle I found in the shed and for the installation to go well without ending up with a big hole in the door!

I also finished the table I mentioned in this post, building legs and finishing it with clear polyurethane. It measures 34" x 34" x 14" and was made from a single 2 x 6, using the table saw to rip the slat thickness. It will work well as a bedside table in our guest room. My other George Nelson bench is in this post.

 If you are interested, check out my mid century modern furniture business Trystcraft . I find, restore, refinish (no chalk paint!) and repair mid century modern furniture and ship it worldwide.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bluejays and (blue) grass

With the warm weather arriving early this year, spring is well underway with trees greening and plants blooming and animals busy nest building. The wooded area outside our kitchen window has become a favourite place of bluejays to gather nest material - I've counted up to 8 birds at one time picking up twigs and fighting over the best pieces.

The higher temperatures and frequent rain have also helped the grass germinate and thicken well.  

March 1st

March 17th

March 29th

We've also had pairs of geese and pairs of ducks landing on the pond in the mornings.

Gratuitous cute cat photo.