Food Is Love

I arrived at the barn early yesterday morning as the sun was rising
through a cloudy eastern sky,
to find this little "fellow" 
(I am prone to calling wild things "he")
struggling to stay afloat in the bucket of water we keep outside the barn
for passing dogs and kitties, guineas, and turkeys.

As so often happens with tiny wild things...
he must have hopped up into the bucket and had himself a good long drink,
only to find that he could not free himself from the grip of the water.
It saddens me when I find mice, toads, and other tiny wildlings
drowned in our water buckets.

Luckily, it was not too late for this fellow -
a happy ending for us both.

We turned a big corner over the past two weeks with the (no longer) feral
black barn kitties.

It seems they've come to learn that food is love and vice-versa.

Our every morning ritual at the barn is to give the barn kitties a little canned cat food.
It's more a treat than a meal.
They have dry food available to them at all times.

It's a treat they have all come to love and and to which they look forward.
TomTom (orange cat) greets us out by the pig yard each morning...
just to make sure we don't forget to come to the barn and feed him.

Bobby, TomTom, and Moll Flanders each get equal parts of two cans of food.
But in the past two weeks, I have been retaining a tablespoon of food in each can 
and giving a can to each of the black kitties.

Now, upon arrival at the barn each morning,
the black kitties are wrapping themselves around my ankles and mewing for their treat.
They have become quite insistent,
not to mention becoming a hazard to maintaining one's upright stance,
as they do their best to get between my feet.

So, it seems... love can be bought... with food.

These two gals have become the sweetest addition to life at the barn...
adding a whole lot of personality,
as well as furry-purry affection.

The chickens and ducks have now spent two weeks within their yards.
Keeping them confined is our only defense against foxes
who, at this time of year, are teaching their kits to hunt.
Another two weeks and everyone should be safe to once again
resume free-ranging.

The ducks spend their days patrolling their yard for bugs,
as well as taking frequent baths withing their pool.
Most importantly, they are safe.

You asked why the guineas chase each other.
Apparently this is a show of prowess for males.
They chase each other during mating season to compete for the affection of a female.

It's quite comical to watch and lasts for the longest time.
Each guinea taking turns chasing the other.
As you can see in these two photos, it's not the same guinea doing the chasing.

I have no idea how they have the stamina for this activity...
but it seems they have an endless supply of energy.

I have mentioned over the past few weeks about how beautiful the wildflowers
are at this time of year.
It seems like each and every day something new begins to bloom.
All along the edge of the woods and on rocky outcroppings grow
these native white roses.
This year, with the abundant rainfall, they are prolific.
Eventually a pink variety will begin to bloom as well.
Sometimes I wonder why I plant as many flowers as I do.
After all, we are surrounded by such natural beauty.
I suppose I just cannot help myself.

Yesterday, Jack and I planted over a hundred cannas along the entire
length of the indoor arena.

I can hardly wait for the showy, red blossoms against these stark grey walls.
Cannas are an amazing flower.
They multiply and multiply...
until, before you know it you are giving them away to everyone you know...
and so on, and so on.
Don't ever spend money on cannas... anyone who has them will
gladly give them away.
They are truly the gift that keeps on giving!

PS... I've missed you, Junebug!!


colleen said…
So, have you renamed Hissy? They sure are beautiful cats!!
Sure was glad to see the runners..they make my day.
Those white roses are gorgeous. When I was growing up we had tons of the pink ones. I can't wait to see the cannas. I don't think I've ever seen them around here.
Lynne said…
Food was the “love” answer . . .
Those two black kittens are cuties . . .

I look forward to your wall of cannas . . .
It will be stunning against the gray!

The wild white roses would be a beautiful site.
I too have been noticing many springtime flowering delights.
Wild Dogwood trees around here are gorgeous . . .
daisy g said…
You could place a paint stick (or twig) in the buckets so the critters would have a way out.

The cannas will surely be a showstopper!

Hope you are still enjoying spring. It has been in the 90's this week and not much fun to be outside after lunchtime.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
those kitties are just like people. whenever i haven't cooked for someone for a while, the first thing they say don't love me anymore.
This N That said…
Glad you arrived in time to save mr toad..Maybe your buckets need a swim platform ;).Glad the kitties have become "house kitties"...More fun..I'm sure your fowl will be happy to have their freedom back..I have thought about Canna but I think it may be too big for my space..Have a happy day..
Anonymous said…
Many good photos in this blog today.
My favorite is Mr. Toad.
littlemancat said…
Love Mr.Toad! And so happy the barn kitties have responded to your care and affection (and wet cat food!).They're getting so big.