What Goes Yip-yip…Eww?

I’ll tell you! It gave me a happy surprise yesterday, and who doesn’t love a happy surprise? I especially love one that leads to nature observations and stories.

I was leaving work around 5 pm, as workers tend to do, and turned left out of the parking garage. That road leads between two sets of offices, but is shady and has lots of trees. It once was a lovely park-like area, and some parts of it still are.

I looked ahead after making the turn and saw something in the road. Usually, you see deer, since the herd that’s always lived in the area is still here. But, no, this looked more canine.

As I got closer, I ruled out dogs. As I got even closer, I easily ruled out coyotes by looking at the tale. It was a native gray fox! You usually don’t see them when it’s light out, but we were in a dim area.

The fox seemed very happy. I soon realized it was not alone. In the proud little fox mouth was a sizable, but lifeless, striped skunk (also native). I knew foxes ate small mammals, but I didn’t realize they’d eat a skunk. Heck, this skunk was hard for Foxy to carry.

Artist’s rendering of a fox that looks more like a dog or a horse with fox ears, carrying a very accurate skunk.

I lucked out, and there weren’t any cars behind me, so I got to watch the fox trot along an office building, probably looking for a place to settle down to a nice, but potentially stinky meal. I didn’t get to grab the phone camera, but no doubt you enjoy the fact that I can’t draw for squat.

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Kittens! More Kittens!

It’s been a busy and fun day. I’ll share more tomorrow. Right now, though I just want to share kittens.

Yes, I’m a kitten.

I needed to go by Mandi’s house in landlord mode to see how some rather inexpert plumbing combined with new siding led to a big leak. That was not good. But, hey, kittens.

We’re two kittens.

Our little friend Patsy Catsy has found herself nursing eleven kittens. Six were from the mother cat Mandi adopted a couple months ago, and five are hers. The other cat’s kittens are two weeks older.

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Starvey Harvey at Four

When we brought Harvey home from where he was dumped at the Rattlesnake house, the vet said he was about the same age as Brody, so I assigned him the summer solstice as his birthday. Sigh. Brody would be four now.

So dignified

Anyway, Harvey is doing well. Not as porky as he was for a while, thanks to Carlton keeping him moving, but nowhere near the bag of bones he was when Ralph first found him cowering across the street, waiting for his owners to come back.

Weight loss regime

He seems a lot calmer now, and less prone to his growling habit. He only gets testy when Carlton gets too relentless in his play requests. He also enjoys running and playing with Vlassic, which provides us with hours of fun.

I’m not too chubby!

He looks so incredibly happy when I get back from Austin every week that it makes me tear up sometimes. All that love coming barreling at me warms my heart. He and Alfred both just have the most expressive faces.

That dang Carlton grew. His legs are too long!

That’s really all I have to share. I just don’t talk as much about Harvey, it seems, but rest assured he’s always in my heart.

Yes. I Pamper My Dog.

I admit to feeling like a sorta bad dog mom when I let poor Vlassic play with the toad on Sunday. Luckily, like any bad parental figure, I can say I’m sorry by buying him stuff.

Classic Vlassic and Anita making the same face.

Heck, this little shiny black fellow has made a huge difference in my life. I don’t want to lose his cold nose and warm belly. Or his hilarious poses.

Luckily, today the monthly Bark Box arrived! I knew he’d forgive me if a squeak toy suddenly appeared! The theme this month was excercise equipment.

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Equilibrium: Thanks to Dogs and a Porch

I’m finally feeling a bit better than I was last week. I instituted some processes and revisited some boundaries, which helped so much. Much of the reason I’m back at something like an equilibrium is that I took my own advice and slowed down, took yesterday off to just goof off with Mandi, Lee, and the dogs (separately), and let nature heal me by spending all morning today on the porch.

Carlton is checking for blooms on the sunflower hedge.
The house finch family that has built a nest on our front porch.

Our back porch has grown a nice hedge of sunflowers, which help keep it cool, and today the breeze was making the west side of the porch feel like a tropical paradise. So, I sat there with the dogs coming in and out, and just listened to the birds sing, watched the trees, and breathed. I got so quiet that the barn swallows, finches, and cardinals were flying in and out so close I could hear their wings (above the wasps). I highly recommend the porch sitting with no agenda method of de-stressing to all of you!

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A Dog Is Not a Donkey

So, today I went to visit my dear horse and donkey, who I hadn’t seen in a whole week! They’d already been fed, and Sara had ridden Apache in the morning. But I just had to say hi.

I brought Apache and Fiona out for some loving, and it became clear she had to be groomed, big time. She was almost all bur.

I look as good as Apache the giant horse!

To remedy the situation, Sara and I chatted and groomed. Fiona was in heaven. She leaned on us and practically sighed with joy at the attention. After 15 minutes or so, she had a lot less hair and burs.

She happily showed us her feet, so we could check her progress. Eek! All sorts of cracking and ugliness. However, she seems happy and able to run and trot. We will see what the farrier says.

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Life, Death, All That

Still feeling numb about losing our Brody. To top that off, two chickens got killed over the weekend, the white one and the very perky little one who had only just started laying.

Before we lost Brody, we had all gone on a walk through the plants.

Tyler repaired the chicken coop and blocked the theoretical fox hole better than it was before. He also came up with a better door plan for the coop. I hope that works. I’m so tired of the life and death aspect of ranch life.

Life

There is always something to remind that life goes on. We did find a lovely nest next to our pond. We think it’s from a redwing blackbird family. Aww. No eggs.

Hidden Nest

As I was leaving for work and getting ready to pass where Brody died, I saw a whole family of killdeer run in front of me. So cute!