Pygmy Owl

So the last few weekends and over the Holidays I have been trying to find a Northern Pygmy Owl. I have gone out probably five times but no luck. It was getting frustrating because I know they are around, I know others have found them, but every weekend it rained and when the sun did come out I had to work.

So this weekend I went out on Sunday, Saturday was pouring rain. I left super early and started on my way only to remember I needed gas. So I turned around to head in the opposite direction and the nearest gas station. It worked out though since only a few minutes later I saw a large coyote run across the road. So I pulled over grabbed the camera (yay for having it with me for once) and snapped a few pictures. He must have been wondering what I was up to because he kept turning to give me looks. Once he was off in the field I continued to the gas station. Filled up and headed back out towards the owls. I was running late at this point which I wasn’t to happy about.

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When I got up into the woods I met up with some other photographers and could see everyone crowded around a bush taking photos. An OWL! I got up where it was, put down my tripod, looked up and it was gone. I didn’t get even a single photo. But now I knew they do exist and in this location.

We waited about an hour for the owl to come back but it didn’t so we headed off to try a different spot. Along the way I twisted my ankle, again. The knot had been slowly shrinking but now it’s back and sore again, although not as sore as when I first twisted it. We waited for the owl for another hour and a half when we started thinking lunch sounded pretty good. Before we left to find food one of the guys needed to relieve himself, so we turned around to give him some privacy, I was eating an orange while the other guys chatted. It was then that I noticed something in a tree back the way we came and pointed it out. “No that’s not it”, “that was there the entire time”, “we walked past that on the way in and it was nothing”, where the responses I heard. Then one guy told me to “check your camera girl”, so I did and guess what? It was the owl. After that last comment I felt a little bit of ha! in your face attitude but it was overshadowed by the excitement of finally getting to see a pygmy owl and take photos!

We got lots of viewing time with the owl. It stayed close, pooped, puked up pellets, and even landed fairly close to me. It is tiny though and even with my 400mm lens I had to crop my photos in quite a bit. This owl is softball / pop can size. A tiny ball of fluff sitting in a tree. It’s funny though when in a group of photographers the guys with the biggest lenses are the ones who push their way in front of everyone else. I don’t push and I don’t get to close. It’s not worth it to me. But spending hours in one spot waiting for an owl is.
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Two Months Post-Op

It’s been over 2 months since Trouble had surgery. Right before Christmas Trouble had her second check up and once again floored the vet with her recovery. She has gained 2lbs (probably more now) since he first saw her. She is happy and completely back to normal. A week after her last check-up she stopped eating her special food and started eating her kibble again. The vets theory is that she decided the whole fatty liver disease and anorexia wasn’t fun anymore. I think that Trouble hears his advice and promptly decides to do the opposite. Either way she is doing better than expected and got a clean bill of health. Now she is focusing on growing that fur back.

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Ice

Before Christmas we were pretty preoccupied with hunting season.The last weekend of the season we went up Harrison Lake. It was really cold out so there was lots of fog which made it very difficult to see, it cleared up once we got to our destination though. After spending the morning out looking for deer we headed back towards town. Since it was so cold a lot of the waterfalls and seepage in the rocks were frozen so we stopped a few times for me to snap photos. At one point we parked on the side of the road and I walked back to the bridge and waterfall. Along the way I looked over my shoulder to look for traffic and stepped in a rut in the mud and twisted my ankle. I took my photos and hobbled back to the truck. We went into town and stopped at my favorite cafe and had a turkey club. This place (don’t know the name) has the best turkey clubs, so good but I couldn’t walk normally. Its been weeks since it happened and its still sore and there is a small lump in the tendon but its getting better, slowly.IMG_8149 IMG_8140 IMG_8131

White Rock Pier – New Years Day

On New Years day we were planning to go snowshoeing on the North Shore but the snow was not very good (non-existent). So we decided that instead of going and paying for a trail ticket when the snow is bad we would wait for better weather. Instead we went out to White Rock to walk along the boardwalk to the pier. Along the boardwalk we saw seagulls, common loons, and killdeer. Once we got to the pier there were bufflehead and surf scoters. Bufflehead we see often but surf scoters are new to me.4L1A0084 4L1A0101 4L1A0106 4L1A0091 4L1A0126 4L1A0157

Once done on the pier we went into town for a snack and searched for a gelato place that was open. We finally found a place and enjoyed some outside on the patio. We then walked back to the car and headed over to my parents to set up their new computer.

That evening we went out to Famoso with our fiends for a pizza date.

Shadow Lake – Boxing Day

Over the holidays we went to Manning Park snowshoeing. Me did lightning lake earlier but this time decided to do Shadow Lake in the Strawberry Flats. The trail crosses over a cross country skiing trail then into the forests. The trail goes thru the woods around stumps and fallen trees towards the lake. The snow was fresh and fluffy and we could see tracks of bunnies and little mice. After a little over an hour we made it to a clearing which we believed to be the lake. We followed a creek along the trail a little ways longer until we decided to turn around and head back. It was a beautiful trail and definitely worth the effort.IMG_8351 IMG_8352 IMG_8357 IMG_8367 IMG_8369 IMG_8341 IMG_8342 IMG_8343 IMG_8344 IMG_8347 IMG_8349 IMG_8350

Three

A few weeks ago a litter of kittens was found, their mother had been killed, possibly by a coyote. My sisters friend offered to foster the litter of five kittens for the BC SPCA, bottle feeding them until they could be weaned. Early on one of the kittens failed to thrive and passed away. Left where 2 female and 2 male black kittens. They were dubbed 1, 2, 3, and 4.

My sister over the weeks fell for 3 a male. She asked my parents if she could adopt him. Since she is in school and living at home their permission was needed. The home has been cat free for a year now since our family cat Sandy died. They claimed to not want another cat but have looked after Trouble and Flair for us, and I can tell they enjoy having them around. After they watched them while we were in Yellowstone Mom started saying she wanted a cat like Flair.

So we spent all Christmas trying to convince Mom that what they really need is a black kitten. Dad was all for it (softy). So Mom was the only one who needed convincing and she kept saying no.

Last week the litter were spayed and neutered and returned to the SPCA. Luckily for them waiting for their arrival were people waiting to adopt them.

Please meet kitten #3, aka Sebastian, aka Bash.4L1A0341-Edit-Edit 4L1A0332 4L1A0366 4L1A0361 4L1A0352 4L1A0349

Please consider adopting your next pet. These kittens were loved long before they arrived at the shelter, raised in a good home, given medical care. Your adoption fee gets you a vetted pet, spayed/neutered, up to date on shots, a free vet visit in some cases, and a best friend. Worth every penny if you ask me, Trouble, Flair, Bash, or Meemee.

Holidays

Well it’s a new year. Hunting season has come and gone, then the hustle and bustle of Christmas and finally settling back into life.

It’s safe to say that the last few weeks have been crazy.IMG_8064

Before Christmas we got a text from our realtor that someone wanted to see our place. We were planning on going snowshoeing the next day so I had to run across town to pick up our rentals before heading home for a marathon cleaning session. When Trouble got sick keeping things clean and tidy got put on low priority. The place wasn’t messy or dirty just not showing worthy. By midnight I was done and in bed, Flair on my feet and Trouble on my head purring away.

In the morning we packed all our snow stuff and the cats in the car and headed off to my parents. The cats spend the day at their house whenever we have a showing so that Trouble isn’t under potential buyers feet the entire time. We then went up to Manning Park to snowshoe Lightning lake. It was icy so most of the way around the lake we kept our snowshoes strapped to our backpacks. Right away we were swarmed by a pack of Whiskey Jacks and they followed us up the lake. Then we saw some squirrels and a grouse. Along the other side of the lake we found another squirrel who was not happy to see us. It started chirping at us so Chris chirped back. They got into a little bit of a chirping war and the squirrel kept hopping closer and closer to us. It wouldn’t go onto the snow but went out along some tree stumps to get as close as possible. Every time it would chirp it’s entire body would shake.

Chris it seems is able to imitate animals in the worst way, while in Seattle a few years ago he got into a squawking war with some odd bird.

After snowshoeing we went out and bought our own since we’ll be doing this more often and well they were on pre-boxing day sale.

Christmas dinner this year was at my parents. We spent the morning with the in-laws exchanging gifts and making breakfast. I got all the turquoise things I could ever need, yoga, tea, cookbooks, clothes, happy camper over here. :)IMG_8323IMG_8334

Then we went over to my parents house to exchange gifts there and then my sister made dinner, turkey, tur-duck-in covered in a bacon weave, gravy, potatoes, plus all the fixings. It was delicious.

Then boxing day we took our pre-boxing day purchases out to Manning again and snowshoed Shadow Lake. This time the snow was fluffy and perfect.

We were planning to go out snowshoeing again on New Years day but the weather wasn’t very good so we skipped and went to White Rock to take pictures of the shore birds. We saw common loons, sea-gulls, surf scoters, common grebe, and buffleheads.

The next day we took a new trail at the wetlands. It was muddy and steeper than I expected. Our sneakers and boots were not the wisest footwear choices but me made it. The swans were really loud and you could hear them long before we made it to the lake. But all the effort was worth it!

Since then it has been quite yucky out on weekends so haven’t had much more options to take photos. I do have more chickadee photos and this weekend if its nice I’ll go looking for owls. I will also do some more in-depth posts on snowshoeing, White Rock, and the wetlands.

Also have someone to introduce you too ;) But that’s another post.

 

Post Trubs Photos

It’s been awhile since I posted about Trouble. She is doing fine and enjoying life without the cone. We still have to watch her and bug her endlessly to eat but we are relaxing a little bit. In between feedings we have gone out to take photos. This has been nice cause honestly those first few weeks were exhausting.

Or first weekend trip was to the Heron reserve to look for birds. Not much was out but we did get to watch this guy for awhile.
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We also spent a few Saturdays out looking for deer. OK, Chris looked for deer and I slept in the truck. I was admiring the views on the first trip so I made sure to bring the camera along with on our second expedition.
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Since we didn’t see any birds or ducks when we visited the Heron reserve Chris suggested we head out to Riffle Migratory Bird Sanctuary. It’s a sure fire place to find birds especially ducks. It was really windy and cold so we dressed up in all our winter gear thinking that by the ocean would be worse than inland. We heard lots of complaints from other bird watchers but really it was milder than home.

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Lastly we went out to the Eagle festival. This is the same area as I talked about in this post.

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I was really glad we got out and I got to take some photos, I have really been missing it lately.

 

Trouble’s new shirt

Before the weekend I had quite enough of the cone. It was making it impossible for both Trouble and I to sleep. Whenever we took it off Trouble was much happier and she never over-groomed her wound. She would lick over it in the process of cleaning herself but never chewed or licked repeatedly. Flair also never tried to lick it which wasn’t surprising since she’s the one who likes to be groomed. I had seen online people making shirts for their cats to cover spay incisions. Chris agreed to let me make Trouble one for the weekend since she was then 10 days post-surgery. So Friday night I got an old t-shirt and made her stand on it, traced her paws and cut it out. Then took safety pins and pinned it tightly along her back. I then had to take scissors and re-shape the leg holes since they were not loose enough to allow for proper range of motion. The chest was also a bit low. But it fit and she didn’t freak out. Her incision was also completely covered.

Troubles new tummy protection. No more cone of shame thanks to modified t-shirt. #trouble #catsofinstagram

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We went to bed and I didn’t get hit once in the face! But around 5am she came back to my pillow and I gave her pets and noticed the shirt was gone. I was sleepy and figured she survived that long so ignored it and went back to bed. In the morning she was still on my pillow and we proceeded to get her fed. I looked everywhere for her shirt but it was missing. We ate, and while Chris was showering I found it, on top of my pillow.

Later in the day I made her a new shirt using the old one as a template. This time I made the front longer and trimmed it once she was wearing it. I also cut loops in the top so that we could attach her collar to it. This seems to have worked and she hasn’t wiggled out since.

She is eating ok, very hit and miss. Some feedings she will eat most of her meal off the plate or spoon others the entire thing needs to be syringed. I have gotten way better at syringe feeding her. But the syringe is small so when she refused to eat I have to fill it 3 times.

A Week In

Today is the one week anniversary of Trouble coming home after her surgery. It also marks one week until we can go have her stiches removed and burn the cone of shame. I look forward to that day, I will sleep amazingly from that day forth.

When Trouble was sedated for her x-rays and ultrasound she was pretty messed up. She couldn’t walk, blink, keep her tongue in her mouth. It was sad and sleeping with her was nerve wracking to say the least but compared to the cone it was easy.

Trouble the night we picked her up.

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She spent the night after surgery at the vet office so we didn’t see her until the following evening. She was wobbly but nothing like sedation. She couldn’t jump up or down due to balance issues and walking didn’t get her far. She was supper cuddly and wanted to be with us but she was uncomfortable. How do you sleep with a cone on? So every night around 4am she wakes up bangs into me and everything in the bedroom, demands pets, sticks the cone in my face and in general is a nuisance. After the first day we decided to take the cone off when we are home and that makes life better. She sleeps and finally was able to clean herself. Her mood improved and she started walking. Of course now I think twice anytime I want to leave. Is it worth leaving if I have to put her back in the cone to be a martini glass again?

The day after we picked her up. Hating life inside a cone.

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Force feeding has been a pain. She will eat if you heat the food up and spoon feed it to her. Once she’s eaten 3/4 of it then she starts licking without actually eating. Then she stops doing even that. We get the last bit into her but not without first frustrating everyone involved. Pill giving has been similar. She is feeling better so her attitude is coming back and since she has been thru so much her patience is waning. We had a really good day where she ate most of her food without to much fuss but then we had to up the amount she eats every day and that has been a setback.

Force feeding fail.

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It has been neat seeing little bits of her old self coming back. When we took the cone off she gave me a good head butt. The day I came home and her tail was in its usual straight up position. Then there are her new tricks. Sleeping in the crook of my arm (I think she uses my arm to rest the cone on), and her not so great habit of avoiding the litterbox and preferring the sink. She is also getting quite fond of her cat bed.

It’s been a hard tiring week but I am glad she’s back and with hard work will be well again.