Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mid to Late July 2014 - Never a Dull Moment - Bobcat Attack!

We've had some excitement around here this summer in the form of predators.   We found a non-poisonous snake in our vegetable garden that was very aggressive and who kept hissing at us.  We decided to move him to an uninhabited area just in case he decided to bite us.  It is likely that if he showed up in a neighbor's yard he probably wouldn't survive.  We believe he is a Louisiana Pine snake.  Apparently this snake is not very common - I'm glad he survived.

Unfortunately we had a another kind of predator get in our yard and chicken coop yesterday and last night.  We lost 3 hens!  This is the crime scene that we found this morning.  We had kept the door to the chicken tractor open to allow the girls to find shelter under the trees and bushes during the heat of the day - we knew it was a risk leaving it open, but we still weren't prepared to lose 3 chickens in a 24 hour period. We are very sad about it.

Although we are surrounded by neighbors with dogs, we believe it is unlikely a dog would have crawled up in the top of the tractor to kill 2 of the 3 hens and then drag them down the stairs.  Owls and hawks would also not have went up into the top of the coop.  This is more likely the work of a possum, raccoon, bobcat, or fox.

Our Black Australorps hen, Jonie is very upset right now - she keeps calling for her hen flock.  In addition to seeing her flock get attacked and killed, now she is all alone.  We are keeping her locked up in the chicken tractor until we can try to find out what attacked the other hens.  We set up an IP camera (see in foreground) so we can look for the chicken thief should he come back for another meal (hopefully he can't get in).

The camera we set up yielded 3 visitors to our coop in the evening.  The first was our little dog Festus.

The second was the black & white neighborhood cat who I named "Diana the Huntress" because she is such a good mouser.  

And last night we identified the chicken thief!  A Bobcat!!!   I'm honestly surprised - I thought it was either a raccoon or a possum.  A warning to my neighbors if they have outdoor dogs and cats!

On to happier subjects, I saw this beautiful dragonfly the other evening in my garden.  Luckily I captured a picture.

Here is a deceased dragonfly I found on the back porch - I wanted to share its lovely red color. 

Now on to the flora - the most showy flower in the garden now is the Trumpet Vine.  It is very popular with Hummingbirds.

On to fruits, nuts and vegies - we harvested our first Almonds from our Almond tree this week.

We didn't harvest very many - but here they are.  We were happy that the cold winter didn't freeze them.

The Fig tree is loaded with fruit this year.  This tree is about 3 years old. 

This is the first night that ripe figs were ready to be picked. 

Cantaloupe will soon be ready.


Crepe myrtles are in full bloom - even in drought.  They are the only thing besides the trumpet vine that looks pretty right now.

And finally, a Gray Hairstreak butterfly on Butterfly Weed

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