Saturday, May 28, 2016

Penny's New Friends

Meet the new arrivals, Ella on the left and Crystal on the right of Penny.  They all seem to be getting along just fine, which seems like a miracle considering the turmoil of their arrival.  Carrie and I drove all the way to Ellsworth to get the new ones, a three hour drive each way.  So their first trauma was being yanked from their cage at the store, put in a cardboard box that was barely big enough to hold them, and enduring the long ride.  When we got home, I put the box in the cage with Penny, which was what I had been told to do.  When I got the top open, all hell broke loose, but no one escaped despite the frantic activity.

Next, Leah landed squarely on top of the cage, the first of countless attempts to have parakeet for supper.  By bedtime, we had exhausted our ideas and I ended up taking the whole birdcage up to my bedroom for the night, closing Leah out to sleep with Carrie.  The next morning we tried all kinds of barriers, including my artificial Christmas Tree, but Leah outsmarted us.  We sprayed her with water, which deterred just her long enough for us to put the bottle down.  I won't describe the multitude of ideas that were tried and failed.  I was afraid the birds would die of heart attacks before we could figure out a solution.

Finally, I brought down some of the plexiglass I use to frame my paintings and cut it in various sizes to fit the top, ends, and sides of the cage.  With a variety of screws and hooks I managed to position them in a way that they could be removed for cleaning and feeding, but were solid enough to prevent Leah from climbing, jumping, and otherwise sneaking into position to reach between the bars of the cage.  I think I have it licked, though I wont say I'm totally relaxed about it.  Leah is one determined cat.

For the time being all is calm and harmonious.  Leah keeps investigating the situation, but has yet to figure out a solution.  Peace reigns.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Another Spring

I have been having so much trouble dealing with the fact that my car died that I forgot to notice that it is once again Spring.  Walking the dogs after a trying day fraught with setbacks involving my transportation woes it suddenly dawned on me that Spring is here.  I forced myself to pay attention to what was around me, to stop fretting over what will soon be an irritating memory.  The sight of the trees flowering on Dog Island jolted me into the immediate present.  It would have been sad to miss this.  Despite the fact that it was an easy winter, the coming of Spring in New England is always a cause for celebration.  There is nothing subtle about the change.  Even though the new year begins in January, it arrives  pretty much unnoticed in terms of our environment.  May, though, is the world turned upside down.  Shovels go into the basement and lawn mowers replace them.  Bare dirt comes alive with grass and flowers.  Buds appear on the branches of trees and turn to blossoms and leaves.  Winter coats and boots go into closets, T-shirts and sandals resurrected.  Furnaces shut off and heaters retire, to be replaced by air conditioners and fans.  Four o'clock in the afternoon is still that....afternoon.  Daylight creeps into the night and reappears before four o'clock in the morning here in Eastport.  It's hard to imagine here in this part of the world that there are places where the changes in the seasons are much more subtle.........not much more than it changes here day to day.

I planted myself firmly in the present as I walked.  Even though the future is uncertain for everyone, at my age my life is certainly mostly behind me.  All the more reason to stay alert to the present and not let this Spring go by unnoticed.  Amazingly, no matter how many times I see it happen it never fails to be amazing.  It really is a miracle.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ad and subtract

This is Leah, the cutest cat ever. The idea of getting  a cat
was prompted by the presence of a large herd of mice that live in the cellar and under the garage, attracted by the constant chicken feed buffet available to them. I have ignored them as much as possible, warning the girls to send their guests home before I round the corner of the house.  Nevertheless, there are usually some stragglers headed for cover as I come into view.  The population has grown to proportions quite unacceptable, even to me.  There is no way I will intentionally kill any living thing, so traps or poison were unacceptable.  I asked Lisa, who has chickens, about the problem and she told me she has no problem because she has cats.  Ahah!, I thought.  But then I realized I wouldn't let any cat of mine outside because of the danger out there.  Nevertheless, the idea had been planted, and to make a longish story short, I adopted Leah from the shelter in Calais.  According to sources on the internet, though, cat litter is supposed to drive rodents away, so I've been trying that.  I empty Leah's cat box outside around the foundation of the garage and the house, where the mice live.  I believe it is working.........or possibly it is just wishful thinking and selective observation that keeps me from seeing the little freeloaders.

Then there are the birds.  For a short time I had two parakeets.  They were given to me by an acquaintance who read on my blog that I was considering getting some.  Enter Penny and Joshua.  I got them a month or so ago and loved their presence.   Joshua died a few days ago for some unknown (to me) reason.  I sadly buried him in the garden.  Now Penny is alone, and I plan to get her a companion as soon as I can get to the pet shop in Ellsworth.  Despite the fact that I wanted birds because I thought I wouldn't get emotionally involved with them, I did, in fact, fall in love with them.  Losing Josh was very sad, tears were shed. This is Josh, and Penny is below.


Monday, May 09, 2016

Spring, and a new beginning

I have been neglecting my blog again in favor of facebook posts.  I hope to rectify that, and begin with the thought of a new season.  We didn't have much of a winter, and so far we aren't having much of a spring either.  The world is stuck in some kind of transitional mode that is really no season at all.  Nevertheless, I planted tulip bulbs earlier and they struggled to put up leaves.  I could see then that I had put them too far apart, so dug them up and replanted them. In the process I broke a tiny bud off its mother bulb.  Since it had started to grow, I brought it inside and put it in a glass of water.  It seemed impossible that it would continue to grow, but it did.  That little bud is now a proud and proper tulip.......way ahead of its outside companions

Meanwhile my household has increased with the addition of two parakeets and a cat.  I'll save the story of those acquisitions for their own post.  At least I have begun again.