Saturday, May 22, 2010

GargOWLe


I have been pickin' blueberries since last weekend. Most berries on my other bushes are still greenish blue, but this bush is an early variety. I did not keep good records when I planted years ago, so I'm not sure who this is, but I know that over the years I have planted Climax, Beckyblue, Tiftblue, Bluebelle, and some other rabbiteye varieties that escape me now.

The cardinals and I will share the bounty, but the destructive bushtail tree rats best stay out of my plants. It's actually time to hang my rubber snakes in the bushes. That seems to throw the birds off a bit as long as you move them around some.


Speaking of pests ... last weekend, just before true dawn, I heard my tree roosting chickens fussing, so I looked out the kitchen window as I rinsed the coffee pot. Beneath the East Palatka Holly that they have chosen as their sanctuary, sat a cat.

A cat that had travelled from off my property to the center of my ten acres to hunt my animals.

What is it with cat people? Is it impossible to control your pet? If you are not up to the task, then maybe you should consider a hamster ... or goldfish.

Cats can be contained, I have friends who do it quite well, so I don't buy the "It's just the way cats are" excuse. Male bovine feces.
Instead, the rest of us have to deal with your destructive pet choice roaming our property and killing ... well, ... pretty much anything small that moves.

Last night, Bear woke me up at 4:00 am because HE heard the chickens squawking. Something had scattered them from their roost. I walked around a bit with a flashlight, but the perp was gone.
I have not done a roll call yet this morning, so I don't know if I'm a little ticked or a lotta ticked yet.

I know the havahart trap is coming out tonight. Nuff said.




I'm seeing red.

That is a wild native called either "Coral Bean" or "Cherokee Bean", depending on your upbringing. It's glorious, no matter what you call it. This one grows right in amongst my blueberry bushes and is a humming bird magnet ... usually. I have heard a few this year, but my sightings are minimal.












I shot this video as the day slipped into twilight last week, so it's a little dim.

I wonder if I could train this owl to eat cats?



22 comments:

threecollie said...

You need a great horned owl. The love cats.

Floridacracker said...

3C,
I want one.

The Florida Blogger said...

First, a stalking menacing cat (and there are better kinds of cats) can be solved with a bb gun. Second, "male bovine feces." Thanks for the chuckle on a Saturday morning.

Floridagirl said...

Love that blueberry picture! And thanks for the advice on using rubber snakes in the bushes. : ) Totally agree on the cats!!!!! My poor songbirds. Every cat in the neighborhood is drawn to my bird border. Ugh. Can't see the owl video...just a white box. I'll try back later.

Native Mom said...

What a beautiful owl. Maybe you should try placing some catfood under the owl's usual perch and let nature take its course.

Dani said...

WAAAAAY BETTER OWL!!!

It's a never ending battle here with my neighbor's cats. Makes my blood boil!

cndymkr / jean said...

Oh boy. You are living dangerously today. (psst-if you do find a trainable owl, let me know.)

Susan said...

Just sent 2 cats on a one way trip
to the animal shelter-those traps work !

Linda said...

Careful, we caught a skunk in our havaheart

Barbara said...

Gorgeous owl!

By the way, if he does help you out with that cat, let me know. I have an unwelcome fat cat hanging around my yard also.

wanderingfloridian.com

Suze said...

We've had this problem SO many times since we live in the city, but keep our backyard bird, butterfly and critter friendly.

I also have 4 cats that NEVER go outdoors. I want them to live and not get run over by cars. I don't want them to get serious diseases and fleas. I don't want them to kill anything - they don't need to since they have plenty of good food and toys. In short, there is NO excuse for people to let their cats run wild. It is just plain ignorance and total lack of respect for others.

Ericka said...

yum, blueberries. we have a couple of weeks yet. waiting impatiently!

do not get me started on the outdoor cat thing. my two NEVER go outside. i left an online forum due to the cat whackos. one woman in hawaii assured me that her furbaby only ate common bugs and would NEVER kill a songbird. *headdesk* people's level of delusion never fails to astound me.

anywoo, very cool owl video.

jojo said...

Critter control? i have to have outdoor cats. Since they keep the other yuk critters at bay! Necessary evil? if you can help me figure out a way to keep THAT population down, I'd be glad to donate my cats to a big horned owl!

Barbara said...

I love the blueberries! I'm going to have to research when to plant them, and what areas they grow best in. I really didn't think that such things could grow in Florida. I'm learning...

www.wanderingfloridian.com

Floridacracker said...

FLBlogger,
There are some very nice well kept cats out there. I met one once.

Floridagirl,
When my son outgrew his rubber snake collection, they went to live in the garden! Hope that video comes through.

Native Mom,
I like the way you think.


Dani,
Tasers?
Just kidding... no, really, I am.


Jean,
I know, I expected to be taken to the woodshed! LOL Was relieved to see similar angst out there. Hooray for responsible cat owners!


Susan,
They sure do. :)


Linda,
I keep waiting for that to happen, because we definitely have them around here.


Barbara,
I'll keep you posted on my owl training! :) Rabbiteye southern blueberries grow carefree in all of north and central FL. As you go farther south, they are not so happy.


Suze,
God bless you. THAT should be every cat owner's philosophy! I always feel like I come across as anti-cat when I rant about their depradations,and I'm not that at all.

... working barn cats are the exception as long as they stay home.


Ericka,
LOL! headdesk. Too funny.
I'm SURE that whacko's cat ONLY ate bugs.


JOJO,
I know farms have working cats and I have to concede that they need to be out to do their job.

Aunty Belle said...

Oh boy--I hear ya on cats--ick. WHAT is it wif' their owners?

Loved the owl--an' I am envious of yore blueberries. What does Mrs FC make wif' them berries? or is there enough left after jes' eatin' em off the bush?

Dani said...

*snort* What a great idea!! ;)

Thunder Dave said...

The blueberries look great!
We never had too much of a problem containing our cat, or whatever alien species she was, so I'm going to have to go with the owner of your perp being a lazy and careless cat owner!

roger said...

two fake owls came with our new property. i think they have to go.

some cat owners are rather arrogant about the "right" of their pet to hunt anywhere.

robin andrea said...

Your owl is so much nicer than our silly fake ones. Maybe we'll have to keep our fake owls, so they'll scare away fake mice.

Floridacracker said...

Aunty,
Well, I like to eat them by the antioxidizin' handful, but I do love droppin' a bunch into pancake or Belgian waffle batter for breakfast.
If I'm lucky, I can get Mrs. FC to make a peach/blueberry cobbler or pie when the SC peaches are in.

Dave,
I knew your cat and after one night in the same house, I think the chance that it was extraterrestrial is very high.


Robin,
LOL! I can't see fake anything at your house.

kathy a. said...

what a great owl! and blueberries, yum.

sorry about the alien hunter cat. one of mine goes outdoors for short times; she is yowling to get back in almost as soon as she is out. the younger rescue ferals have never shown any interest in the great outdoors; they strongly prefer the housecat lifestyle, and think it is skeery out there. which, as you mention, it is.