Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Rising Sap And Black Cats

by admin - 22:13 on 05 May 2013

Proof that new avian life is emerging around The Rural Retreat was furnished in the past couple of days by Willow. Nests remain unmolested, as far as we know, but our less-predatory kitten keeps a close eye on what's around her.

Her first find was an unfortunate hatchling which must have fallen from the nest as soon as it broke free from its shell. The second luckless chick, this one covered in down, must have been another faller.

That's small stuff. The Fearless Ones have bigger ambitions for they've been eyeing up Mr Pheasant and his harem of three light-coloured and one darker females, going so far as to try a clumsy (on Willow's part) pincer movement in a bid to capture Mr P beneath the apple tree. They failed.

Even Maia's been caught up in the excitement. This morning, on one of her rare solo expeditions outdoors, she was brought up short by the sight of a carefree pheasant and instinctively switched into hunting mode, creeping towards her prey with all the stealth of a double-decker bus. After eyeballing each other for a short while, the two tiptoed away in opposite directions, dignity mostly intact.

Maia 6

Maia sizes up her quarry

Maia 7

Hurt a pheasant? Me?

Maia 8

Even Maia feels the springtime urge

I've totted up the number of bird species to land in the garden – thirty-one. A handful have been seen only once or twice, and I didn't count the tawny owl I've only heard, but most are daily or at least weekly visitors.

Calendar Update: Eilean Dubh 2014 is now on sale at several outlets across the Black Isle and will be available online as soon as I've confirmed P&P costs for Europe and beyond.

Comment from Amanda at 13:42 on 06 May 2013.
Wow, Maia is a credit to you both, she looks so well. Our 19 yr old puss stalked a few pheasants last year, but that quickly wore off thank goodness !
Comment from Russell at 14:41 on 06 May 2013.
She's unrecognisable from the scabby emo cat we took in (apart from wanting to sleep and eat 23 hours every day).
Comment from Amanda at 17:32 on 06 May 2013.
Yes I saw the original photo of her,what a difference !

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