Random firings

September 22, 2020

Here’s a picture of the cardinal I managed to get a shot of the
other day. Looking through the pictures we noticed a picture of
another cardinal also. Not as close as this one though.

This male cardinal flew to a tree in the neighbors yard and he can
be seen between the leaves. They didn’t used to be so skittish but
then again we didn’t used to have so many cats around either.

The sunrise looked different with all the smoke in the air from
the fires out west. The weather guy said that although it is hazy
there isn’t a health threat from the smoke. If said smoke changes
the way things look I’m thinking it isn’t good for me.

Growing up we used to call these foxtails. I suppose there is an
official name for them and if I’ve heard it don’t remember. Just
think they make an interesting picture.

Since the computer is back up I’ve been searching for the joke I
thought the wife sent me. So far no luck so have to go with my
original thought that I either dreamed it or entered the Twilight
Zone. Worse case, I’ll just type up something and see if looks right.

Called this picture ‘Mother’s Love’ as I caught the moment on
camera. There are also times the mama rolls her eyes and tries to
run too. It’s part of what makes them so much to watch.

Enjoy our Tuesday as it’s here anyway. Now for some coffee and
leftover pizza.
Comments are always welcome.

What a difference

September 17, 2020

When I went out yesterday morning this critter looked like he was
getting ready for a race. And he did take off like his tail was on
fire so who knows. This morning was a different story.

Yesterday morning the birds were singing, squirrels were getting
ready for winter, and the feral cats were out in force. This
morning, not so much. Went out to feed and water the cats and it
didn’t take long to notice that it was at least 20 degrees cooler
than yesterday.

The weather person on TV said a cold front was moving in but we
don’t pay much attention to what they say. We just go out and find
out for ourselves. Little early to get out the long sleeve shirts
but I’ll be getting them out later.

This kitten was not a happy camper as Little Bit was picking on her
and wouldn’t let up. Little Bit has grown some, is now bigger than
the kittens and, has turned into a bully. Trying to keep them apart so we’ll see how that works.

The sibling to the kitten under the car just sat at the neighbors
with a look that said ‘I feel your pain but am not getting involved’.
This one is smaller than the sister so I don’t blame them. Today
when I went out the only critter seen or heard from was Patches.
She’s always around to get her ears scratched and be first to the

Enjoy our Thursday. Now for more coffee and some leftover pizza.
Comments are always welcome.

Good day for a picture

August 29, 2020

Ran into a few interesting critters when outside yesterday so will
share some here.

Before I even opened the storm door I noticed the grasshopper stuck
to the glass. He hung around long enough to get a few pictures and
since most people don’t get to see the underside of a grasshopper
thought it worth sharing.

When outside I saw this little one and took a few pictures of him
as I watched him get agitated. He stood up then rushed my like he
was in attack mode. When I didn’t move he changed directions and
ran off. Was a bold little bugger though considering it was our lawn.

Not sure what kind of bird this is and the picture isn’t the best,
but do remember it was tiny. Only about the size of a hummingbird.
Stayed still long enough to get this shot but not focus in correctly.
Amazing to see on the gate.

Told the wife about this one. I was waiting for some bees to land
on some blossoms and noticed the plant moving. There was no wind
yet one part kept moving. I investigated and got a shot of the belly
of a praying mantis in the center of the shot. Told the wife it was
just my luck. Biggest mantis I’ve seen this year, in perfect focus,
and I only got half of it in the picture.

Finally, and not critter related, is this picture of clouds above
the trees. I like this one which is why it’s here. Hope you like
the pictures also.

Enjoy our Saturday as there won’t be another this week. Now for
some coffee and donut holes.
Comments are always welcome.

A few more critters

August 28, 2020

This spider is building a web, again. Everyday said spider starts a
web and by the end of the day the web looks good. Sometime during the night the web gets blown down or something takes it down. Later this critter just starts another web and this has been going on for 2 weeks now.

Little Bit is a big ham. Sees a camera and actually poses for me.
She still hasn’t grown much but she may be a late bloomer. She does
make the days more bearable.

Looked in between the leaves and saw eyes looking back at me. The
new feral kittens must think they can’t be seen. These little white
fur balls are also amusing to watch. Between the ferns and another
plant I usually know where to find them.

Finally, this cardinal decided to rest in the old pine tree and
stayed long enough to get a few shots. Made me think of Christmas
with the red and green. And the leaves on other trees are starting
to fall so it won’t be long.

Today is supposed to be the last hot day for while as temperatures
are supposed to drop 15-20 degrees tomorrow here on the east coast
of Iowa. I’ll take 75 for a high any day.

Enjoy our Friday as it started out great here. Now for some more
Comments are always welcome.

Plenty of critters

August 22, 2020

The trash pandas came back with a show of force and didn’t seem
happy to see me standing between them and the cat food bowls. They
started with hissing at me and standing their ground.

When they realized that wasn’t working their leader decided to try
begging for their supper. If they would have belted out a few bars
of ‘Danny Boy’, I may have been impressed.

Even the birds were eyeing the cat food. This robin was atop the
old pine tree looking for an opening to swoop down and steal a
nougat of the feral cats food. He didn’t get any either.

Put the camera on special effects, without checking the settings,
and snapped this shot of some flowers growing on a retaining wall.
The colors are so far off it somehow works for me.

Before changing the settings I took this shot of Lil Bit and with
Halloween coming up it grew on me. Makes her eyes look almost evil.
It’s not for everybody but later I’ll try another shot with the
settings changed and see what happens. I realize it isn’t an accurate record of what I saw, but I’ve taken a liking to it.

And that concludes the nickle tour of the wild critter kingdom we
call our neighborhood. At least the hawks haven’t been taking any
of the smaller critters lately. Must figure it’s slim pickings.

Enjoy the rest of our Saturday as before we know it Monday will
be here. Now for some coffee and leftover pizza. The store had
a sale on them and we stocked up.
Comments are always welcome.

Storm video and more

August 21, 2020

If you’ve ever wondered what 140 mph straight line winds look like,
watch the video above. Our local weather service has updated the
numbers are now saying the winds were that high in Cedar Rapids.

This was during the derecho which hit Iowa on Monday of last week.
We live east of Cedar Rapids where the video was taken and only got
winds of a little over 100 mph here. These storms are something else
and now we’re told that Iowa is prone to such storms. Welcome to

Not sure what causes these things but hope another doesn’t visit
anytime soon. And we still can’t find the mayonnaise we’ve been
looking for since we had to throw the old bottle out.

On another note, this crow and a few friends, set up a chat fest
in the neighbors old oak tree. Don’t know what they were saying but
they were loud.

This spider web survived the storm and I noticed it now had a leaf
stuck in it. At least I don’t remember seeing a spider pull one into
a web before.

Speaking of webs, this spider has a huge one going around the back
bushes. At least it isn’t anywhere we could walk into it. Said
spider may have a drinking problem as we’ve seen better looking webs.

Enjoy our Friday as we will. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

What next?

August 10, 2020

This year has been different than most with everything that was thrown at us, but I saw another first yesterday that had me wondering. Yes, I’m talking fence climbing groundhogs! Knew they burrowed under the ground just never saw them climb anything before.

This is a 5 foot chain link fence with a top rail and the groundhog
having lunch on top of it. Earlier I watched as this same critter
climbed a shorter fence. Thought that funny at first before reality
sank in.

All else seemed normal as the birds were in the trees and the
feral cats were seeking shade on the ground, yet I wondered. Has the
groundhog always had the ability to climb fences or is that a recently acquired skill? Because going outside and walking into a spiderweb is bad enough but walking into a groundhog 6 foot off the ground would probably give me a hear attack.

And Lil Bit, the feral kitten, has been lonely as none of the older
kittens will play with her. So every time I go out the back door she
thinks I have time to pet and play with her. It’s gotten to the point
that every time I go out to feed and water them I’m tripping over
Lil Bit and another cat who also wants attention.

With the food bowls on the back steps, feeding can be tricky with
two felines trying to trip you. Enjoy our Monday as it’s here
anyway. Now for more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

Bit late

July 31, 2020

After the errands were ran and the groceries put away I grabbed the
camera to see what was outside. Looked up on a power line and saw a cardinal sitting there. Usually they fly away before the camera can focus, but this one sat there.

Made me believe that someone in Heaven was thinking about me and
was giving me a sign. Not sure of what, yet it put a smile on me. Got back inside, the camera put away, and the phone rang. Caller ID told me it was our youngest calling from Tulsa.

And after a nice chat we said our goodbyes two hours later when it
hit me that a post wasn’t up yet. Funny how time seems to go so much
quicker as we get older. What I used to do all day long now takes me
all day to do.

We did notice that while grocery prices haven’t gone up, they also
haven’t come down either. Even the sale items don’t seem as good a
deal as we got when this year started. Sure wish things would get
back to normal.

Makes one think there’s a bad moon rising. And the moon with all
the dark clouds around it last night gave one an eerie feeling. At
least it was cooler. Been going outside more and that made me see
that the lawn needs mowing tomorrow. Nothing like job security.

Today looks to be a good one also with the TV off. No media keeps
me in a good mood. So Enjoy our Friday even if you have no plans.
Now for more coffee and a cheeseburger.
Comments are always welcome.

Odds and ends

July 24, 2020

The errands are done, the cats are fed, I’ve had a few cups of
coffee, and it’s time to do a post. I still find it hard to believe
that two people and some cats can’t go a week with spending $100 on

With four cats inside and at least seven feral cats we can’t go a
week without a big bag of cat food and big bag of litter. My pizza
and hamburger were on sale and I have cheese leftover from last week yet things add up.

And I did find out that my sister was trying to scare Dad with the
threat of assisted living. She seems to forget he’s 95 and not all
things work like they used to. Hell, I’m only 69 and don’t have all
my original parts!

Wildlife in our neighborhood must have an air-conditioned bar they
hang out at because they’re scarce as hens teeth lately. We hope once the heat breaks the critters come back around. We’ll wait and see.

This little one was on top of the old pine tree shortly after the
sun peaked over the horizon and hung around a while. Must have liked
the view. Haven’t seen any pelicans, hawks, or eagles yet this year
so may have to take a short cruise upriver to do so.

Finally, our country seems split in half. Some believe the nonsense
going on in a few of our cities are protests while others call them
riots. Regardless of what the media says, when entire neighborhoods are in flames, it’s due to riots not protests.

Enjoy our Friday before the weekend slips away. Now I need more
coffee and something sweet.
Comments are always welcome.

As promised

June 22, 2020

Promised a few pictures today and if things work out will share a
few. Took this picture at the Tulsa Zoo almost 2 years ago and still
like it. Every time we looked around this bird was above us looking

This is Patches kitten and the only one she had. Since it was her
first litter that may not be odd. Also noticed the kitten has a
short tail. Hope it grows out.

Friday night it was cloudy, I noticed around sunset that everything
looked orange out the window. This picture was taken looking north,
but any direction you looked was about the same.

Earlier the skies looked like this. That wasn’t hard to look at
either. Don’t know if we got rain later as the day was almost

And one of Mamacats kittens was playing by the neighbors fence so
had to take a shot. Not sure what scared it but caught the sequence
when it hit the step again.

Still trying to find some birds in the neighborhood without luck.
An owl has been making noise and a hawk puts in a regular appearance so that may be the problem. Did see a cardinal later but it was too dark out for a picture.

Enjoy our Monday and hope yours started better than mine. Woke up
when one the cats used my ankle for springboard and left three
gouges that required iodine. Now for some coffee and whatever else
I can round up to eat.
Comments are always welcome.