Friday Felines

This is a common sight in the driveway in front of the garage around feeding time.

Mother and children

Mother and children

I brought out their feeding tray and Chloe and Dusty, on the right, came and ate. Rusty, who’s on the left, wasn’t interested. I thought they might want treats, so I brought them out and put some down in front of each cat. Chloe ate all hers and then pushed Dusty away and finished his. I finally had to push her away so Dusty could get some treats. Here he is looking suspiciously towards Chloe as she walks away.

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He only has one treat left. Poor kitty.

A bug policy change

I have a live-and-let-live attitude towards most living things around the house. There are a few things I kill any time I see them, like fleas, ticks, roaches, mosquitos and flies. If I find a big spider in the house, I catch it and release it outside. If it’s a small spider, I generally pretend I didn’t see it. I sometimes catch moths, or centipedes or beetles and release them. I have caught scorpions in the house and released them outside, usually with a stern warning not to come back. In the past we would see scorpions inside maybe once or twice a year. In the last two days we have seen three. Now I kill all the scorpions I find inside and even those I find outside within a few feet of the house.

I am not particularly happy about that situation, but somewhere between one or two scorpions a year and three scorpions in two days, the scorpion population in the house crossed a line. I doubt that my new policy will make a noticeable difference in the scorpion population outside or inside the house, but that’s now the rule.

The late, last scorpion, pre-mortem

The late, last scorpion, pre-mortem

And now the wasps.

I usually ignore wasp nests, unless they post a danger of a sting. I had to spray a nest that was on the under side of the front walk handrail after Leah was stung, but I have left a large nest in the shed where I keep the lawn mower. The door slides up very close to the nest, but they haven’t seemed to pay any attention to it.

A few days ago a wasp stung me for no apparent reason as I came in from the deck into the bedroom we use as an office. I slapped it off my upper arm and stepped on it. I went inside prepared to put an ice cube on it, but it didn’t really hurt. I was not happy about being stung, but I know it happens. A wasp lights on your arm and then your sleeve presses on it and it stings. That’s just the way it goes.

The next day I was on the lower deck starting some nails in some wood blocks I needed to screw up on the upper deck ledger board. A wasp came up and bumped into the ladder, and then flew at me. It stung me on the forehead and then, after I swatted at it, on my right ear. I think I have mentioned in the past that I can no longer run because my knees are worn out. It turns out that if a wasp is stinging my ear, I can still run. I ran across the deck, up the stairs and into the office, where I struggled to get my shoes off before running into the kitchen to get an ice cube.

The sting in my arm the previous day didn’t really hurt, but the sting on my ear hurt. A lot. It hurt so bad that my stomach started hurting. It felt like I had swallowed the damned wasp. I sat at the dining room table, held an ice cube on my ear and tried to calm down. I melted two ice cubes against my ear. By that time my stomach was OK and my ear wasn’t hurting too much. As I write this, two days later, my ear is red, and itchy but the pain is gone.

I had seen wasps on the lower deck earlier so I had tried unsuccessfully to find a nest. Night before last I sprayed some wasp killer blindly into a crevice under the deck and a few wasps fell to the ground. Last night, armed with a fresh can of Rain wasp and hornet spray, I thoroughly doused the nest.

After an ear sting, I’m afraid wasps are now going to have to get the same treatment as scorpions.

Rainy night in Georgia

Wednesday evening, without any warning, it started raining hard. Soon there was thunder and lightning, and then some small hail.

What is this stuff falling from the sky?

What is this stuff falling from the sky?

The sky took on a yellowish-pink glow at sunset.

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I had to let the camera use its flash to get the sky to look anything like it did to the eye. The flash caught rain drops, and a hummingbird leaving our feeder (at the left above the red plastic flower on the feeder).

It has been raining for about two hours; the gauge shows 1.12 inches so far, and the weather radar shows a lot of rain to our west.

I don’t know whether Robin’s comment to the last post has anything to do with the rain, but I’m going to ask that she make the same wish the next time we seem to be stuck in a dry rut.

It’s still dry

When I posted on August 6 that we were dry, we had received 2.24 inches of rain since May 10. In the time since, nature has been taunting us with heavy rain to our west, moving our way, and then a few drops when it reaches us. This was the weather radar this morning at 10:40.

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There was a very nice and fairly large thunderstorm passing just north of us. We could hear the thunder. We didn’t even get a sprinkle out of it. We’re at the pushpin.

This was all lined up and heading towards us later in the afternoon.

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We’ll get rain out of this for sure, right. Here it is 20 minutes later

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And then this. It looks like we’re getting rain here, doesn’t it?

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And then it was gone.

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But, look, here comes more, out to the west.

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You know we’ll get a lot of rain out of this one. Here it is, and we’re in it.

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And then it was gone. I checked the rain gauge. Three-tenths of an inch for the day, and this is what it looked like later in the evening.

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So with this 0.3 inches of rain today, we have had 2.58 inches since May 10. The rain chances for the rest of this week are going steadily down, and the forecast is for 90s the rest of the week peaking at 98 F by Friday. I wonder if it will ever rain again.