Dove Update

Last Friday I was working from home and decided to release the dove that the cat decided to attack. A friend of ours was nice enough to bring us a proper cage the weekend before to keep it in. After a week of fattening it up for either release or dinner, it looked more likely to be enjoying a slightly less barbecued life. The only issue it seemed to struggle with after a week was an eye that was swollen shut. The cat must have swiped it across its face during their “game”. The winking eye helped solidify a name for the bird though: semi-colon.

Back to the release. I put the cage outside, opened the door and sort of expected it to peel out and race up to the skies. Nothing of the sort. It sat in the doorway for about twenty minutes and then decided to go back in for some food and water. Another hour or so later and it was in the garden flapping about and it eventually flapped its way out of our lives.

So there is either a winking mourning dove flying around our neighbourhood, or a satisfied cat that attacked one from its left side.

****Forgot to post this earlier. For anyone interested in cooking up some mourning doves, here is a really tasty looking recipe: http://www.grit.com/Arrows-and-Minnows/Game-Recipes-A-Dove-Recipe-for-the-Grill.aspx

New addition to the flock

Well not really a new chicken, and not really a bird we were expecting to keep. This morning I noticed the cat with her first (as far as we know) kill. When I walked up to congratulate her, I quickly took back my high-fives and “booyahs” as she hadn’t killed our new friend, the dove. At first glance it didn’t look too bad, no blood, nothing hanging off or twisted in the wrong direction so I took it off the cat.

I thought the eyes looked pretty. The cat thought they looked delicious.

After carrying it around for a while and calming it down I decided to let it go, to soar back up to the heavens, to sing its song once again….ah shit, can’t fly still. With the epic release spoiled by its injuries, I picked it up again and created a temporary home for it on the patio where is can rest up away from hungry cats and people trying to get it to fly.

I don't think we'll be eating this bird, so does anyone have any ideas for a name?

I’ll keep you posted on how it’s doing. Hopefully it’ll mend and be on its way.

Garden is planted!

The last couple of weeks have been a little mad around here. Between work, the garden, the kitchen and all of the usual events that pop up, neither of us have had much time to do anything. Luckily, today we took some photos (finally) to share of the progress in the garden.

Taking advantage of the Victoria Day weekend and having a pickup truck, we moved a lot of soil, plants and wood. Last year we had three raised beds on the vegetable side but left space for two more 4×8′ beds. After visits to three Home Depots for 1x8x8’s (for some reason, Home Depot doesn’t like to carry common cedar planks, and the ones they do carry are so warped, you could wrap them around a corner) we built and installed the new boxes. We moved about 1 1/2 cubic yards of triple mix but fell short of filling both. We did however fill the cedar boxes I made a few weeks ago for our bean wall. Originally, on our patio, we had bamboo blinds hanging that were left behind by the old owners. We never used them, and we aren’t really worried about hiding from our neighbours so we pitched them. To get the most out of our garden, I built the boxes and strung glow in the dark rope for the beans to climb in a diamond pattern. If the cat will stop relieving herself in the one end of the box, we should get quite a crop of beans and a nice living wall.

This photo brought to you by Costco.

After planting the jalapeños and hot banana peppers in a raised bed, we planted the red hot chilli and scotch bonnet in hanging hot pepper planters. Special thanks to the person at my work who decided to throw away hundreds of dollars worth of cedar planks in the skip round back. This salvaged timber has helped build a lot of things around the garden this year, including the brackets for the pepper planters.

The idea behind the hanging pepper planters is that it receives more heat as there is more surface area which enables the plants to produce more peppers, faster. Downside to these planters is that they dry out easily and with the heat we have already had this year, it’s been hard to keep up. Each planter has seven holes around the sides which you plant 7-14 started plants in. Doubling up plants in the holes is supposed to help them root better, but we’ll have to see how that works out. Within the next 6 weeks I’ll start the first batch of hot sauce. If it’s any good, there will be plenty to share with those who don’t mind it being as hot on the way in, as on the way out.

Five bags of heat!

 

On a sad note, our artichokes didn’t make it through the winter. We were really looking forward to them fruiting for the first time this year, but they just couldn’t hack it. Forgetting that miserable thought, our raspberries are going bananas. I don’t mean long and yellow either. We had to weave them to keep the plants off the ground, and if the birds permit it, we should have a nice bounty of them as well. Our neighbours we back onto gave us a rhubarb to transplant. At first it didn’t look good for our latest addition, but over the last couple of weeks the plant has perked up and started some new stalks and leaves.

Raspberries or triffids?

There isn’t a whole lot to see on the vegetable side of the garden as most are still little tiny plants without any fruit. The other half of the garden is devoted to all things flowery and pretty. This is the side to see. First off is the shade garden. We added some hostas, lilies of the valley, bleeding hearts and periwinkle.  The ferns even came back from last year that we thought we had lost to the bastard squirrels.

Shady business

We were lucky to get some nice planters this year from family and friends. My mother gave us an old galvanized wash basin, and a good friend of our gave us two of her concrete creations. She is a furniture designer/maker and uses concrete in some of her pieces. These two were meant to be bedside tables with drawers but didn’t make the cut. (For more on her work, visit http://www.jeanwilloughby.com).

Planters galore!

So with most of the plants in, there was just one piece of business to take care of; the cat who keeps emptying her bowels and playing in the plants. Pretty simple really, we rung her neck, waited for rigor mortis to set in and we now leave her out the back door to brush the mud off our shoes.

Your boots will never be cleaner!

Once we have more growing and worth looking at, we’ll post more pictures. There is still a lot to be done in the next few weeks, but once things get going, it will be time to sit back and eat the proceeds of our hardwork.

P.S. I was joking about the cat, but if do have a dead cat lying around, you should read 101 Uses for a Dead Cat by Simon Bond.

The cat grows older

The message below is not authored by me, nor is the idea of celebrating the birthday of such an evil little animal. Must say though, I’d miss her if she was gone. The following from my long suffering wife:

“Happy 1st birthday* Gia!
*approximate date estimated by vet
A year ago she was a hissy runt from a feral litter with a nasty eye infection.  Today, Gia is a diminutive, anti-social cat with nasty stink eye.
Aside from ice cream sandwiches and tuna juice, she also shares our passion for home grown delicacies, such as this cat grass.
This will be her first summer at our house with full run of the garden.  We have high hopes of her terrorizing the squirrels that routinely dig up our plants. She’s been perfecting her ambush technique.”
So there you have it. The cat is older.

Personnel

I thought I’d add a little widget on the sidebar to keep track of the “personnel” we have, and have had. The red “x” means they were delicious! Hopefully the cat, as much as she is evil during beer and cheese making, won’t have an “x” anytime soon.