Random cat post VI


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The Squirrel Days of Summer

Fall is upon us and there is a nice crispness in the air in the mornings. Some weeks ago, however, temperatures were reaching 39° C (102F). Too hot for me, and clearly too hot for what we have come to think of as “our” squirrel.

Squirrel in the summer heat (2 of 2)

You know it’s hot, when …

I was worried when we first spotted it on the tree like that as it didn’t move for a long time.

Squirrel in the summer heat (1 of 2) Eichhörnchen

I made sure to put out a bowl of water and some walnuts.

Luckily, temperatures dropped, and a couple of days later our little friend was back to his usual pursuits, i.e. climbing around on our roof and driving Isla crazy in the process (apologies for the bad cellphone shots):


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Zitronenfalter (3 of 3)Yes, I know. But better late than never. And I also know that I’m repeating myself, but that’s part of the point. (And this year’s photos are better, so there is that.)

Look at this trunk (or whatever that’s called in a butterfly):

Zitronenfalter (2 of 3)

The husband says that this sweat pea’s colour is ugly. I’m not privvy to the sweat pea’s thoughts about the husband’s colour.

Zitronenfalter (1 of 3)But she totally wins.


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General wildlife update

It has taken almost two years since this post, but I’m happy to report that the rumours are true. Last night, coming home from an event in the “I’m in way over my head” category (not a particularly pleasant experience* but I’m still trying to convince myself that I’m in it for the challenge), I finally spotted the neighbourhood raccoon. It was sniffing something quite intently and I managed to get fairly close before it noticed me and hightailed it up our very own street.

The hedgehogs are doing fine as well but since the evenings are general still rather cold (the weather having been very strange this year, with one-digit night-time temperatures until pretty much this week), we haven’t been out enough to see a lot of them. We have had repeated fox sightings (and a very healthy specimen with a particularly luxurious tail among them), and the husband seems to keep running into frogs in odd places on his walks.

Not quite in our neighbourhood but on a motorbike outing the other day (and still within city limits), we saw a deer happily munching on some leaves before gracefully bounding off. Plus, the husband has packed our diving boxes and we will be off bothering some fish in a new-to-us lake the weekend after next.

When everything seems to get a bit much, it’s good to remember that there is all this life going on all around us.

*And not helped by the fact that I was the oldest person in the room — not something that has happened to me before. The husband helpfully told me that I had better get used to it as it will be happening more and more. Thanks, I think. But anyway — I saw a raccoon!

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More new visitors

Stieglitz / European GoldfinchWe have never had goldfinches in the garden before, but now there are at least four. I hope they’ll stick around as I adore the colours. A goldfinch is a “Stieglitz” in German which is supposedly what their call sounds like. I have yet to hear it — so far they seem too busy stuffing their faces to do much calling.

Stieglitz / European GoldfinchAngry Hungry birds. The tits will just have to share.

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It’s official

Spring has sprung! I spotted the first butterfly of the year today — a lovely yellow brimstone fluttering about in the garden. To celebrate, I hauled my lounge chair out on the roof and enjoyed my coffee in the sun.

Soon we’ll be able to turn off the heat and have the windows open all day. I can’t wait!

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A new visitor

fieldfare - Wacholderdrossel (1 of 1)

As mentioned before, we don’t mind sharing our apples, and in the fall, we tend to be too lazy to harvest the ones on top of the tree make sure to leave some for our winter guests. They remain largely disregarded for most of the fall and throughout early winter, but once they have gotten the right amount of frost (I imagine the principle is the same as that for ice wine), they tend to be very popular.

This particular gourmet is a new one to our garden. The all-knowing internet tells us it’s a fieldfare or Wacholderdrossel (“juniper thrush”) in German. According to the German wikipedia, it winters further south and starts heading home in mid-February, so our visitor is clearly the early bird that got the apple and quite possibly the first sign of spring.

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