CATS AT REST AND PLAY.

Over the last few weeks I’ve ready quite a number of great blogs where the writers have related the fun and pleasure provided by their cat or cats.  The supporting images are great too and one wonders how anyone could dislike our feline friends.

Casa Creakingbones is home to two cats, Tom and Ginger, both of whom have been the subject of previous blogs.

Ginger is, as the name implies, a ginger cat. He adopted our place as his home a couple of years ago, firstly by sneaking in through the cat flap, pinching Tom’s food and retiring to the garage to sleep on the back seat of our Land Rover.

Eventually, after the vet had cleared him of any disease and given him the appropriate inoculations he became a permanent and welcome household resident.

Like all cats, Ginger sussed out all of the good inside spots to have a bit of a rest, particularly on sun drenched chairs.  He snores loudly when lying on his back, his favourite sleeping position. This is a typical pose:

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TALK ABOUT Mr COOL.

He’s now developed a sixth sense which alerts him to whenever SWMBO sits in her favourite chair to either knit, read the paper or watch TV.

Does he sit on her lap as does Tom, enjoy a bit of a cuddle and then roll up purring.

Oh no, not Ginger. Like a flash he leaps onto the chair, climbs to the top of the backrest and immediately begins to click SWMBO’s hair. It’s become such a regular occurrence now that SWMBO accepts it as the norm and lets him have his way with her.

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TASTES PRETTY GOOD

 

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THAT’S ENOUGH FOR NOW
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JUST A QUICK READ ON THE WAY DOWN.

The whole process takes about four or five minutes before Ginger has had enough and returns to one of his rest up spots.

Fortunately he doesn’t find the crown of my head in the least bit appealing, probably because it’s devoid of hair. Them’s the breaks. I must confess that I don’t feel the least bit jealous of his attraction to SWMBO’s hair.

Hoo roo for now

RABBITS, RABBIT TRAPS AND MONEY.

Over recent years a number of paddocks adjacent to where our house is situate have been subdivided to create a new medium density residential area.

As a result, the occasional fox, kangaroo, echidna and rabbits have traversed our block en route to pastures new. From time to time the rabbits decide to stay for a day or two before deciding that our place is unsuitable for permanent settlement. Luckily for us they are discerning little dears.

Over the last week or so my attempt to photograph this current transient bunch  has been a dismal failure without one single image being suitable for retention.

Now rabbits are not native to Australia and have been in plague proportions for many, many years.

Currently, biological erradication methods are being successful and the traditional shooting and trapping of days gone by are exactly that.

Seeking more information about the origin of bunnies in Australia I turned to Dr Google and  Wikipedia.

I learned a lot in a short time. In brief, between 1857 and 1858, numbers of breeding rabbit pairs along with hares, pigeons and sparrows were imported into Australia from Great Britain.

Then, in 1859 a bloke named Thomas Austin imported 24 wild rabbits and released them in South Australia to shoot for sport.

In just ten years, by 1869, rabbits were in plague proportions. So prolific were their numbers it was estimated over 2 million a year were being shot or trapped without making a dent in their populatiion.

Fast forward to the early 1940’s and as a lad living in the country, rabbit shooting was a weekend passtime.  Browning .22 rifles were all the go and almost every kid in my school knew how to use one. If it wasn’t shooting, it was going after the bunnies with your pet ferret or setting rabbit traps in the hope of getting one or two for the pot.

About twenty years ago I remember talking to my father in law about the ‘good old days’ and how much fun I used to have going rabbiting.  To my surprise he hunted around in his shed, turned up a rabbit trap and presented it to me with a laugh and a great grin on his face.  Rabbiting he said, had been a lot of fun for him too.

Yesterday,  it was my turn to hunt around the shed looking for that rabbit trap. Sure enough, there it was, hanging just where I’d left it, unused for years.

Back to Dr Google who advised that rabbit traps were manufactured in Australia during the 1930’s  when trapping was the major method of rabbit control.

Then came the bombshell, in an article written by a Kate Dowler in  the South Australian Weekly Times it was noted that on the 28th July, 2014, a ‘Platypus Regd’ rabbit trap sold at auction for, wait for it, $9,000.00 dollars. This is not a typo.

I broke all records going back to the shed and sure enough, there stamped in my trap’s cocking mechanism are the words, PLATYPUS REGD.

This time my photographny was a success:

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MY RARE RABBIT TRAP
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TWO MAGIC WORDS.

Apparently, having the original chain and steel pin intact add to the trap’s value.

SWMBO is as excited as I over our latest piece of family history. Hanging in the shed is no place for our valuable artifact and it now occupies a special place amongst our family memorabilia collection.

Is it for sale? Not on your Nellie.

Hoo roo for now.

 

 

 

BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD NOMINATION

Simplisticinsights.wordpress.com has nominated me, amongst a number of other bloggers, for the Blogger Recognition Award.

During 2015/2016 I fell into the Facebook trap of allowing myself to get involved in the ‘Post an image every day for seven days,’ challenge. This also required me to nominate other  ‘Facebook Friends’ to take up the challenge.

In the beginning it was a lot of fun but as time wore on, my enthusiasm wore out and the majority of my FB ‘friends’ were similarly placed, no longer accepting the challenges.

As 2017 dawned I decided to take a stand and no longer accept FB or similar challenges.

Today, on receiving this Blogger Recognition Award nomination I was sorely tempted to ignore my 2017 New Year stance and  accept.

However after due contemplation I find I must decline simplisticinsights nomination.

At the same time I thank simplisticinsights for reading my blog and taking the time to add me to her nomination list.

On the positive side, I’m certain that many readers of my own blog will be pleased to note that I’ve not accepted the challenge and as a consequence added their names to the list of nominees.

Hoo roo for now.

 

 

CATS AND NATIVE BIRDS – WHAT A DELIGHTFUL MIX.

This morning, under the kitchen window,  our resident magpies were bunging on an act  because they hadn’t been given their regular early morning snack of mince meat.

Fortunately for the maggies,  earlier this morning SWMBO had discovered a raw chicken breast that had found its way to the back of the fridge and outlived its use by date by over a week.

Tom and Ginger, our two house cats recoiled immediately they smelt the chicken and it was decided that the magpies, being wild birds and noted for their ability to eat anything meaty would soon demolish it.

Opening the back door, I threw the offending morsel onto the grass. and immediately the magpies descended onto it and began to tear it into small beak sized pieces.

As Tom, Ginger and the magpies peacefully co-exist in our backyard  I wasn’t surprised when Ginger came out and sat at my feet, watching the magpies demolishing the chicken that could have been his.

I ducked back inside, grabbed the camera, whacked on a lens and returned to the backyard. The scene was just as I’d left it, magpies munching and Ginger taking observations.

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GINGER WATCHING PROCEEDINGS

No sooner had I made this image than Ginger decided it was time to get back inside into the warmth of the central heating. I grabbed another image as he began to turn away from the magpies and their chicken snack,

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BORING, I’M GOING BACK INSIDE.

Magpies, crows, pigeons, galahs, sparrows, willy wagtails, sulphur crested cockatoos  and various other native birds frequent our backyard and spend a lot of time on the ground.

In all the years we have had cats, which by the way, are only allowed out of the house during daylight hours, we have never had a instance where the cats have attacked the birds or vice versa.

That’s nature for you.

Hoo roo for now.

 

 

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EASTER SUNDAY ‘DOWN ON THE FARM.’

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I went to visit friends at their farm on the outskirts of Canberra, our Nations Capital.

There is nothing more pleasant than sitting with good friends, under a beaut tree, on a wonderful autumn day, surveying the rolling hills and green paddocks, dotted with browsing cattle.

After a relaxing morning it was time for lunch and in usual country style, enough food to feed an army was soon on the table.

Ace, the Staffordshire Terrier was keeping us amused with his usual doggie antics as he smooched for snacks and occasionally succeeded.

I was fully relaxed and munching away when I was totally surprised by the arrival, unannounced, of our hostesse’s best mate, Baxter.

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BAXTER OVER MY SHOULDER, CLOSELY WATCHED BY ACE.
I never heard him approaching and the others around the table gave me no warning. The wide grins on their faces should have alerted me that something was up.

Anyway, I had just enough time to snatch my plate from the table as Baxter, closely watched by Ace, poked his massive head over my shoulder and snatched a few crumbs from the table cloth.

Leaving me, Baxter headed over towards our mate Bill. The two of them know each other very well.

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BAXTER HEADING FOR BILL.
Passing Bill,  Baxter made his way around the table, snatching tit bits as he went.

It was amusing to watch Baxter doing his thing but when he tried to snatch a hot cross bun from the hand of the mother of our hostess, Baxter had done his dash.

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A HOT CROSS BUN BRINGS BAXTER UNDONE.
Leaping to her feet she did her best to move him out of the way. At 17 hands he is no miniature and if he decides to stay put, that’s it.

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THE REMAINS OF THE HOT CROSS BUN
Finally, his  owner slipped a halter over his head, led him away and hitched him to the tree under which we were dining. Our mate Bill had strategically placed himself close to the tree’s trunk and was well in range of hitched up Baxter.

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Baxter took an immdiate likeing to the cap our mate Bill was wearing and did his best to dislodge the cap and when Bill took it off, Baxter started to lick Bill’s hair.

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I THINK BAXTER WAS LOOKING TO ME FOR APPROVAL.
We are going back to the farm in a month’s time for a Hot Pie day. SWMBO has decided to bake some apple pies and out hostess and her mum are going to bake meat, chicken and curry pies for the occasion.

I can’t wait to see the look on Baxter’s face when he tries a curry pie.

My Nikon gear was still in our 4WD but fortunately my iPhone was turned on and handy. What a great job it did recording a few images of Baxter having fun. I should have had the presence of mind to video the lot. I should always remember PPPPPP. If you have studied management you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Hoo roo for now

A FINE TIME FOR BACK YARD MAINTENANCE.

Autumn is now upon us and in theory, garden growth slows to a crawl as it awaits the arrival of spring and summer.This year however, tree and shrub growth have made access to the back and side yards  quite a challenge.

Free access to our back yard is vital as we often park our vehicles there for routine maintenance and general cleaning.

Last week brought the access issue to a head as our Isuzu 4WD needed a total clean out and wash. Without scratching it to bits, I couldn’t get it anywhere near our cleaning spot around the back.

The answer to the problem was obvious. Out with the bush saw and the secateurs and remove the offending foliage and branches.

Little did I realise how much work that entailed. The foliage was so dense on some trees that branches were hanging quite low.  That required me to reluctantly climb a ladder to enable the limbs to be cut off near the trunk.  I know people my age should refrain from climbing ladders but you know what blokes are like, ‘She’ll be right mate,’ is our mantra. Fortunately for me, this time, ‘she’ was right and no disaster ensued.

Gradually the access became clear and by the time the job was completed, two great heaps of greenery stood out the front waiting for me to get them to the Council’s green waste tip.

This morning I discovered a family of Black and White Fantails that we all call Willy Wagtails have moved into the piles. That means I can’t get to the waste tip until these delightful, tiny, active birds move on to somewhere else in the yard.

I should have photographed the access route before I started lopping but forgot to do so.

At least I remembered to photograph the end result and here are three examples taken this morning before the return of the heavy rain.

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TWO HEAPS READY FOR THE GREEN WASTE TIP
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THIS FEMALE WILLY WAGTAIL WAS PERCHING ON A TWIG ON THE EXTREME LEFT OF THE ABOVE IMAGE. FORTUNATELY THE ORIGINAL SIZE OF THE TOP IMAGE WAS ENOUGH FOR ME TO ENLARGE THIS SMALL SECTION.
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THERE IS NOW ENOUGH SPACE BETWEEN THE TREES FOR ACCESS UP THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE.

Later today, weather permitting, I’ll whack a telephoto lens on the camera and try and get some really sharp images of the Willy Wagtails as they flit about the greenery.

Hoo roo for now

THE WONDERS OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY.

My ancient Mac Book Pro (born 2006) finally went bye byes last Sunday.  It’s replacement, an Apple 12.9 inch IPad Pro complete with Apple keyboard and Pencil.

So far the transition from the old to the new has been relatively painless but I’ve got the feeling that in the days ahead the learning curve will be quite a steep one.

To be honest it feels a little odd to be sitting in the lounge room with the newbie sitting on my knee as I type and pretend I’m only 12 years of age as I watch TV, look out the window at the passing parade, converse with SWMBO and retain my train of thought for this epistle.

One thing is for sure though, the operating speed is incredible. No sooner have I typed a sentence that a little reminder pops up on the screen telling me that it’s been saved! No wonder my thought processes seem stationary.

Next on the agenda is working out how to retrieve images from my files to add to my blogs. To that end I’ve downloaded the multi page instruction manual to study in bed.  I don’t feel the least bit guilty  that I should be reading the latest novel set for the April meeting  of our book club. There are another three weeks before the book club cross examination begins and I’ll certainly have a beginners handle on this iPod by then.

The benefits of this little technological wonder are endless. For example, I can sit in bed with the book club novel and  record my thoughts as I turn the pages. Then I can take the iPad to the meeting and dazzle everyone with my grasp of 21st century technology.

However at this point, being at the base of that steep learning curve I’ve referred to, it is probably more prudent for me to make my notes in pencil as per usual and leave this mobile marvel at home until I really do know what I’m talking about.

So there we are, iPad christened in the best possible way, spell checker working a treat and I haven’t missed a single word in NCIS.

Hoo roo for now