Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garden Thursday

IZA:   Sadly, there wont be a Garden Tour today.  Its been rainin bats and rats all day out there.  Bad timing, but the plants sure need it!


So I'm jus loungin around the house fer today...
Tummy rub, annyone?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Egg Carton Fun

IZA:  I love ripping up egg cartons!  The soft cardboard is fun ta bite, and it is soft enough ta tear apart.  The Big Thing tosses it onna floor an I go running right over to it.

I start with a few bunny kicks...

Then I give it some biteys...

Pretty soon, there are just pieces sittin around...

I'll save the larger pieces for later.  The afternoon sun is on the deck again (its shaded all mid-day), and I wanna go out an enjoy it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wrasslin

IZA:  We wrassle a lot.  Even though I am bigger, Ayla is very very fast an agile.  It werks out fair.  In fact, Ayla usally starts it!


First, there is the initial "nose off".  This part is important, so that each of us a ready and positioned.  A Pounce is not really a fair wrassle start (though it does happen)...


This time, I got Ayla down first.  That's how it usally goes...


She bunny-kicks really hard, then twists an squirms an gets on top.  She is also a very fast whapper...
I'm trapped in defense mode here.  Iffen I start ta get up, she will get me in mid-rise.  Her poofed tail (for Ayla, that's a major poof) tells me she is about ta attack.  So I have ta just sit there an brace myself!

Fortunately, I can take it.  Afterwards, we groom each other an take a nap!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Easy Like Sunday

AYLA:  As usual, my favrit easy restin place is on The Big Thing.  Iza likes him wif his foot onna knee cuz that makes a wide lap (an she needs the space).  I like it when his legs are straight out cuz that lets me stretch out long.

Its a good perch, too!  I can look out through the deck door...

I can watch what hes watchin on the TV.  We saw a show on LIONS today!  I like lions, theyre as big as Beins are.  That would be fun.  I bet Id get more treats...

I can watch Iza on the Kitty Condo...

I can keep track of Iza walkin aroun the chair.  She doesnt pounce me when Im on TBT's lap, but it is still good ta know where she is...

An when I hear her eatin crunchies in the kitchen, I know it is safe ta roll over for some tummy scritches!

Well, sure, this was only part of my Sunday, but it sure was a GOOD part!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oops...

THE BIG THING:  Well, on Thursday, Iza was talking about our hummingbird moth being the adult form of the Tomato Hornworm.  She said that because I told her that.  I told her that because that's what the staff at a local plant nursery told me when I spotted one there.

Guess what?  They were wrong!  I only discovered that today when I idly Googled Tomato Hornworms.  What caught my eye was the adult wingspan being 4-5 inches.  Our little guys only have 2 inch wings.  So I started researching.

It turns out there are 1,200 types of "hummingbird moths".  The adult of the Tomato Hornworm looks like this...


Our little guys look like this...

I couldn't find a picture that looked exactly like ours.  The Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis) seemed very close though.  The correct wingspan size, general coloration, and it's one of the few "hummingbird moths" with clear wings. 
 
But our guys don't have the yellow band at the bottom and the yellow on the back is patchy.  So I started looking for more info on them.  FINALLY, I found this description:

"Identification: Adults are quite variable in appearance; Bumblebee mimic. The thorax is golden or olive-golden in color, abdomen is black dorsally with 1-2 segments just prior to terminal end being yellow to various extent, while black ventrally. H. diffinis is the only eastern species to exhibit blue abdominal tufts on the first black segment in some freshly emerged specimens. Wings mostly clear with reddish brown terminal borders and dark scaling along veins. While wing maculation is too variable to be 100% diagnostic, diffinis typically has very thin terminal borders and the discal cell is elongate and without scales. However, diffinis can always be distinguished from gracilis and thysbe by two diagnostic characteristics: 1) the black band that crosses the eye and travels down the lateral side of the thorax; 2) diffinis always has black legs."

So I conclude that our guys are Snowberrry Clearwings.

The good news is that their caterpillars eat snowberry shrub and honeysuckle leaves.  I have plenty of honeysuckle.   And they don't eat tomato leaves!

Interestingly, I have on occasion found tomato hornworm caterpillars, but I have never seen an adult.  I watch the hummingbirds around the yard carefully, and I'm pretty sure I would have noticed the difference.

Iza felt bad for passing along bad information, so I promised her I would clear her good name...  :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm Starin At...

IZA:  Sometimes I get caught just starin at strange stuff.  Like here...


What was I starin at?  This...
The little skinny hand just keeps movin around.  It was fascinatin.  Really.  No Nip involved...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Garden Thursday

IZA:  Welcome to this weeks Garden Tour! 
 

I got some new flowers bloomin and some old ones doin better.

First, I got these Autumn Joy sedums.  They are strange plants.  The flower buds appear in June but stay green until Fall.  Then they slowly bloom an change from green ta pink ta brick red!
We are gonna plant more of them next year.  They are about 3 feets tall an wide, dont spread around, and are green an healthy all summer long.  The individual flower stems flop a bit, so these are in 2 feet cages.

I am pleased to show off the asters.  They are a really nice pink color an they'll stay covered with flowers until the frost gets them.  So they will be in bloom about 6 weeks!

You may be surprised ta see these goldenrods growin here.  Dont worry, they dont make Beins sneeze.  Its the nasty little ragweed plant what does that.  But they grow in the same places an bloom (tiny little no-see-em flowers) at the same time, so Beins see the goldenrods an blame them!  These are just startin ta bloom.  Next week, they should look like clouds of gold...

And here are the wave petunias.  I know I been showin them all summer, but thats so ya could see how they spread an have lots of flowers.  They got about 2 feets wide.  They've done better before (well not THESE exact ones - they're annuals) but it has been a dry hot summer this year...

Take a look at this poor petunia, fer example.  It was almost dead but managed ta send up one little shoot again.  Thats a shame cuz the striped ones are our favorites!

Now, ya gotta sneak up on this one real careful or it will fly away.  Dont worry, its not a bee.  Its a hummingbird moth!  It can hover just like a hummingbird.  But like all moths, it came from a caterpiller.  Do ya know what the caterpiller is called?
Its the dreaded tomato hornworm!  Thats right, the evil big caterpiller that loves ta eat all the leafs offa tomater plant turns inta this friendly little fellow!

Well, thats all I got ta show today.  As usual, there is niptinis and snacks up on the deck (which bein in the shade now is very nice onna hot afternoon like this!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Rug Wrasslin

IZA:  A little Nip will do wonders fer the imaginashun!  I seldom partake myself (Ayla is the Nip Queen here) cuz Im a naturally wound-up kitty.  But when I do...


Here Im all watchin mousies run aroun from unner my camoflaj tent.  I watched them runnin all aroun.  Behind me...

In front of me...

Then, suddenly, jus like THAT, they were all gone.  HUH!

AYLA:  I heard Iza yellin about "mousies evrywhere", so I come ta get some!  I dint see anny on the floor, so I figured they hadda be hidin unner the rug.  I waited ta nab one when it peaked out...


Then I decided ta go right in after them.  But there was nothin in there.  ???
I cant figure WHAT Iza was yellin about...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Fly In The House

AYLA: I was sittin aroun this afternoon, jus mindin my own business (an considerin which of the spider plant leafs ta rip off) when this big ol fly buzzed right past me.  Well THAT got my attention real good!  Since I'm an indoors kitty, it is a real treat ta have something live ta chase.

I watched it til it stopped onna wall behind me briefly...

Before I could plan my attack, it took off again.  Yould think those things have a hunnert eyes!

I jumped down ta follow it, but it buzzed right past me again.  I saw it bap inta the winder.

But by the time I got over there, it was gone again.  I closed my eyes an listened real careful.  Hearing it, I opened my eyes again ta see where it was goin.  Aha!  Onto the seat of the easy chair.  I jumped up on the arm.  Unfortunately, it was just a little too far away ta whap, an when I moved it flew off again out of sight an hearing...
Mebbe it went down ta the basement.

IZA:   I was in the bedroom nappin and heard Ayla jumpin around,so I came out ta see what was up.  She was up onna chair lookin ecited, so when she hopped down, I hopped up ta look around.  I dint see annythin innerestin...

She said there was a big fly inna house, but it disappeared somewhere.  She went prowlin around the house.  I never DID see it!  I got up from my nap fer a FLY?  Blah...
Oh well, I guess I'll go check out the food bowl.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cowlick (Catlick?)

The Big Thing:  Back was I was a kid, boys had buzzcuts.  I always had this one "cowlick" where the short straight hair twisted.  No amount of Brylcream could straighten it.  I hated it!  When I was in college, I grew my hair longer and it finally went away.  So I was amused to realize that Iza has a cowlick herself (or would that be a "catlick"?).  Actually, there are 2 of them, close together.


I've watched her lick the spots smooth with great determination, only to have it pop up again soon.  She keeps working at them, but to no avail.  Trust me, I sympathize!  But, alas, it IS also amusing.


So I offer these pictures...


So, I ask the kitties out there...  Should I snip them off or leave them be?  Iza is undecided and wants advice.  On the one paw, she doesn't want rebellious furs.  On the other hand, snipping them might be an insult to her other furs.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Meow Like A Pirate Day

AYLA AND IZA:  Well we sat around fer 2 days lookin at a page of pirate werds and we just couldnt figure out how ta do it properly.  We had ta face the cold hard fact that we are both just Lubbers!  Then we thought "Hey The Big Thing's stories about Skeeter sound pretty piratey, lets see if HE was good at it."  We searched the Archives.

And he was!  So to cover our inexperience and lack of talent, we are copyin his Meow Like A Pirate Day post of 2007...
_________________________

Capn Skeeter here, me buckos - an may the wind fill yer sails!



Here I be guardin my horde of warm socks in the Capn's quarters. My scurvy crew o' blackcats would be puttin the "2 paw discount" on effry one of 'em if I dint watch o'er em with all 9 lives. Arr! I'll knock 'em into the bilge with a belayin pin if they do, aye, I would. I might even make 'em dance the hempen jig!

But the scallywags will try anyhow an then I'll have to show 'em the the point of me pig-sticker. Best to avoid that if I can though. If one o' them swabs runs my rig I'd get scuttled or scuppered fer sure.

Well blow me down if I don't smell the toss bein prepared. Its salmagundi, a rare treat fer us dogs a'sea. I best splice me main brace with some grog (thats nip-water to ye lubbers) afore takin me tup. Avast, 1st Mate LC, guard the stash...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cabinet Fun

We like ta get inta this cabinet.  It the one in the corner where it is hard ta get things out of, so it the junk storage place.  Ya know, bags, paper towels, unused stuff...  Well I learnt how ta open the door (the only one she opens), so we get in there an sniff around.

Usally, I open it just enough ta get in an it closes after me.   I can get out just fine, but Ayla cant get in then.  So sometimes I push it way open so it stays that way.  I did that today.

The Big Thing may not realize it, but there are faint mousie smells unner the paper bags.  That is fun on a boring Saturday!  Whenever he says annything about cleaning it out, we make sure to show him how much we like gettin in there.
We sure hope he doesnt clean it out.  Its almos like a private clubhouse!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Table Fixed

AYLA:  Yeah, I know I been doing all the posts lately, but this time it was cuz Iza DINT WANNA be involved.  See, its about that table Iza crashed over before an she just wasnt gonna get near it again. 

The Big Thing dint wanna spend much time fixin it cuz its 60 years old an all beat up.  Hes gonna build a new one annyway.  But he needed a quick fix fer until then  (which is about 2 projects from now).

It was unsteady cuz its got a single back leg.  So he screwed a single thin wide piece of wood (an old drawer divider) on the back leg.


Its not elegant (an now the table is even uglier), but it kinna matches an it works...


I was brave enough ta get on top at the back tilty corner an it was very steady.  Yay!

It MIGHT even be Iza-proof now!