Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallow's Eve

Once again I've called on my neighbor Diane's over-the-top Halloween decorations for the pictures for this post, except for the first photo which is another neighbor's decorations. Diane has outdone herself with even more, bigger and better decorations this year than last.

All Hallows' Eve

On All Hallows' Eve the dead will arise
to walk the earth amidst you and I.
Barriers are breached 'tween their world and ours
as lost souls flow forth and cause men to cower,
The Lord of the Dead releases their bonds
to roam the creation from dusk until dawn
The Evil of the night is kept at bay
by fashioned masks bearing unholy traits
while candles are lit so the spirits may find
the family and friends they left behind.
Listen to the whispers in songs on the wind,
They'll reveal your future if you welcome them in,
The dearly departed are invited to feast,
or tricks will be played if you deny them a treat,
Forgotten are the tales the elders once weaved,
but they come back to haunt on All Hallows' Eve.

Jack E. Bilek

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stunning Sunset

Last Wednesday evening we were supposed to get some rain which we really needed.  We only got a few sprinkles, but the clouds made for one gorgeous sunset. The phrase 'chasing rainbows' usually refers to trying to achieve a somewhat impossible or impractical goal. Wednesday I was chasing a sunset with my camera trying to get some decent pictures before it disappeared without too many telephone or power lines in the shot.

I think I achieved my goal.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This, That and the Other Thing

Ever look out a window just to see what's going on and you notice a cat on your neighbor's roof?  That happens all the time around here.

My next-door neighbor's cat, Tigger, and some of the other cats in the neighborhood like to get on my next-door neighbor's roof and chase the birds that sit up there, especially when my bird feeder is full.  These pictures are of Spot, a stray.  Sometimes there's a big crowd of birds and they have to take their turn for a spot on the feeder.  And if a squirrel has taken over the feeder it could be a long wait. So the birds line up on the roof making a tantalizing scene for the cats. I have to say though they rarely catch one up there.

How do the cats get up on the roof you might ask.  Take a look at my neighbor's front door and porch.

The cats get on the railing, jump up to the canopy over their outside table, and it's just another jump to the roof. Easy peasy.  Plus cats like to be up high to survey their kingdom and the roof has a great view.

I had THIS visitor the other morning.

Had it been sitting in some leaves it would have blended in pretty well, especially in some brown fall leaves, but on the side of my house not so much.

And finally my cat Dolly really likes my new curtains.  I keep straightening then out and trying to tuck them behind the blanket on the chest that's next to the wall under the window. But then I look over and Dolly's got it all wrapped around herself like mosquito netting.

Yes, there is a cat in this picture.  Can you see her?  Not sure why she likes it that way, but to each his own. Or I should say HER own. My cat Sprite likes to do the same thing with the curtains in the kitchen and bedroom.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Colors

This morning I took a short walk along the Turner Reservoir Loop Trail starting in East Providence.  Just wanted to get some fall foliage shots so didn't go the whole way around the reservoir which is about a 2 mile walk.  Had my sandals on - not my hiking shoes!  Here are a few pictures from my short trek.

As you can see, it was a beautiful sunny day. Maybe one of these days I'll do the whole walk when I have the right shoes on.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Poor Pugsley!

My cat Pugsley has been going through a lot this past week with a urinary tract infection.  He was on all kinds of meds, including Xanax to try to relax him, along with his urge to pee!  He's been to the vet three times each time getting fluids under the skin to flush out his bladder.  He's had an ultrasound to make sure there is no blockage.  The past few days nearly every time I would clean the litter box, there was Pugsley two or three times, climbing into the box, squatting for quite a bit of time, with only a little dab of pee to show for it.  This last trip the vet (a different one from the first one that saw him) finally decided that the first antibiotic the first vet put him on wasn't doing a thing because his urine was still filled with bacteria and blood.  So another injection of different antibiotics along with a shot of serious pain meds.  When we got home from the vet last night, Pugsley was all over me, sitting on my lap the entire evening which he never does, rubbing against me and givin' me some good lovin'.  Like I said, GOOD pain meds!  Tonight he ignored me the first few hours I got home, especially since I was busy feeding everybody including me, but then climbed into my lap and continued with the head rubbing.  He didn't spend the entire evening there, but when I cleaned the litter box, no Pugsley. I definitely think the new meds are working.

So happy he's FINALLY on the mend!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy October 14th

If you want to know the TRUE story about Christopher Columbus, check out this article by Valerie Strauss, Christopher Columbus: 3 things you think he did that he didn’t.

Source:  Beware of Images

Source:  Way of the Indian

Have a great day!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Birds Are Coming!

Yesterday was cloudy and gray with rain at times, but the day was brightened up a little by a huge flock of grackles! 

Source:  Wikipedia

I was sitting watching a football game when I noticed birds flying past the living room front windows.  And they kept coming and coming and coming and...well, you get the idea.  With so many, it almost felt like scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds'.  A few landed on my neighbor's house, but the majority landed in the surrounding trees around my house.  They were Common Grackles which often form huge flocks that can number in the thousands, especially for spring and summer migrations (according to my National Audubon Society bird book).  I don't think there were that many - more like a few hundred.  Grackles don't really sing, but make a variety of "squeaks, whistles, and croaks".  You can listen to their 'song' and get more info on them here.  Listen and then multiply that by a few hundred and you can imagine what I heard!

They gathered in a few huge trees, but then every once in a while a whole bunch headed for a small tree next to a mobile home a few up from mine.  It would be packed with birds and then they would suddenly all take off and head for the larger trees again.  (I was trying to photograph them so that may have been what spooked them!)  Then they all sort of 'migrated' to some larger trees a few blocks over.  But then they came back again about an hour later and I snapped a few more pictures. All the black 'dots' you see in this photo are birds.

You can see in the first two pictures the larger trees they gathered in, but the next picture is the little tree they all kept trying to pile into.

A real Hitchcock, but noisy, surprise.

Friday, October 4, 2013

In Memoriam

We've lost a lot of our stray cats around here the last year or more.  Several, unfortunately, have been hit by cars.  Some of the people in the mobile home park seem to think they live on a racetrack. And even though the speed limit through the park is a modest 10 miles an hour, once they get around the horseshoe corner the mad dash is the stop sign at the end of the street.  Most of the kitties are street savvy since they have been there all their lives as far as we know.  However, a few seem to think it is THEIR street and sit in the middle of the road not even moving when the car stops and honks at them.  We lost Sarah and Juliet to folks who were either in too big a hurry to stop for a cat in the road or, for whatever reason, the cat was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.


One of the favorite cats of the neighborhood was a very quirky cat we named Miss Kitty.  We're not sure exactly what happened to her, but I had noticed a few days earlier that she was walking kind of carefully and seemed to have pain getting up. She seemed to be getting better, but then one day she didn't show up to eat and we found her dead in the neighbor's yard looking like she was heading for a hole in the skirting of another neighbor's mobile home.

Miss Kitty

Then a few days ago Tang was found dead under a neighbor's house.  We had noticed that he seemed to be losing weight.  But we also thought he might have gotten into some herbicide.  It might have been a combination of things.  With stray cats when they are outside and you don't see them all the time it's so hard to know what happened.


He was best buddies with my next door neighbor's cat, Tigger, but he got along with all the cats in the neighborhood.  Here he is snuggling with Spot.

Tang loved other cats, but was not so fond of people.  He was one of the stray cats that I could never pet, much less invite inside.  He will be missed!

I would love to take in two other stray cats, Romeo and Van Gogh, at least for the winter.  They've been around forever and I would hate to lose them as well.  I need to take them BOTH in at the same time and whether that's possible or not is the issue.  How well they get along with my crew is also an issue.  Romeo especially is a sweetheart and would hate to see something happen to him.  But I can't take him in without Van Gogh because they are always together.  Van Gogh is another one of those cats that I've only managed to pet once or twice - always when he's either right next to Romeo when I'm petting Romeo and sneak in a stroke, or else when he's busy eating.  We'll see if I'm successful this winter.

Romeo and Van Gogh (on top)