Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

No, I am not beekeeping, because it is POURING RAIN on this holiday! This was last week. I was checking on my hives. Three of them were having issues with their queens (or lack thereof) but I seem to have solved the problem because they are all queenright now. My bees have been having a weird spring/early summer. I blame the cold weather we had in June!

Meanwhile, this is most definitely not a bee...

This freak show flew into our front porch yesterday and when I heard it, I thought a hummingbird had come in. This little bastard is a good inch long! I had never seen one before yesterday. Turns out it's a Tabanus atratus or Black horsefly, and it likes to take chunks of meat out of mammals (including the odd human. Nice of it not to bite me yesterday!)

Here's a video of one in Minnesota, although it doesn't do justice to the size of this monstrosity:

I'm guessing it has showed up because we now have equines for it to feast upon! I hope it didn't bring along too many of its brothers and sisters...

And on a cuter note...

Archie thinks the couch is awesome.

Soon there will be 15 cats in the house. Well, I don't know about Redford. He seems pretty committed to barn-cat life!

And here's my sweet Julius...

He is 15 now and doing okay, coping pretty well with the blindness he acquired last fall. Amazing how he gets around the house.

He's not grooming himself as well as he used to. When he was younger, this guy never had a mat on him. Now I have to give him a hand! I trim out any belly/chest mats as they form. This pic was taken just after he had a good brushing. I love this guy. Showed up one winter when we lived in Nova Scotia and never left!

And this old guy... going well! Alex is at least eight years old now. We adopted him in 2007 after he lost his leg to a leghold trap and was taken to the Cornwall OSPCA. 

He had some company on our bed the other night...

Naomi, Honey and Archie! Archie only just started overnighting in the house. He likes it. A lot. Fortunately there seems to be kitty harmony. 

Honey sure knows how to relax!

We are planing to renovate our granary and build a studio upstairs, which will be heated and air-conditioned. Although I've always wanted studio space in there, I think maybe it may be an excuse to build a second house for the cats!!

Speaking of cats (because aren't I always?)...

Here's sweet Mootie! She loves to lounge on this barn windowsill.

And on another note...

...kale pizza with mozza, Gruyère, pine nuts and garlic. Our friend Shawn brought us a big basket of kale (mine isn't big enough to harvest yet!) and we've really been enjoying it!

Alas, on this Canada Day, the weather is not cooperating for gardening or any other outdoor activities, unless you like to shower in the rain!

Archie is hanging out on the front porch.

Isn't he handsome? He and Annuk just turned one!

This is what Archie thinks of the wet weather...

Time for a bath!

HAPPY CANADA DAY to all my Canadian friends, and to those who wish they were Canadian! ;)


  1. Happy Canada Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ooh, sorry about the gardening (lack of) but the pizza looks smashing, will try that combo.
    Happy Canada Day!

  3. Happy Canada Day to you! Here in Kingston we're between rain showers at the moment. :-)

    I don't get a chance to stop in often, but every time I do you posts make my heart soar. I just so love that you and your husband have such amazing, caring hearts and have been able to take in so many in need, and not only cats. *Thank you*

  4. Archie is a treat! And I love Julius too. What a dear old gent. Ergh to the large horsefly!

  5. I agree with "Fuzzy Tales" above. You and Gordon are fantastic!
    Julius looks a lot like our first cat, Linus. So handsome!
    Enjoy your Canada Day too.

  6. Aren't we the luckiest to live in this great country. Well. at least Spring, Summer and Fall. A second house for the there's a slippery slope. haha! They all look fantastic. Please give Julius and Mootie a big hug for me. Deb

  7. Happy Canada Day from a sunny and finally hot Sweden :)
    Yuk that horsefly I'm glad we don't have in Sweden!

  8. Love the pics (not the giant horse fly). Glad it didn't bite you. Happy Canada Day!

  9. You tell 'em Archie!
    Happy Canada Day to all!

  10. The kale/pine nut/garlic pizza sounds delicious. Save me a slice!

    That horsefly was huge and horrifying! Their bites must be painful.

  11. I'm with Archie. Will it never stop raining?

  12. I get the second house for the cats part! My aunt and uncle built a second garage for the vehicles, so they could furnish the other one for their dozens of rescued cats. Pampered felines galore!

  13. Happy Canada Day! Our island is thisclose to Canada, so we feel a special kinship with our Canadian furiends.

  14. Oh cloudy with sunny periods down here today . Just been puttering Papa had Monday off in lieu of today . Lovely photos . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day and a Happy Canada day regardless of your weather !

  15. This is probably a species that's never been here before. With climate change we will probably see more critters that have not been resident before.

  16. Happy Canada Day! Your kitties are all beautiful. I love the photos of Archie :) We have 15 indoor cats- that is why our blog is 15andmeowing :)

  17. You and Gordon are the BEST ever! Happy Belated Canada Day! xoxo

  18. Anonymous11:14 am

    Looks more like "CAT-ada Day!" Great photos!

  19. You always take wonderful pictures, but the one of green-eyed Julius is especially poignant. Your cats certainly have some tales to tell.

  20. I hate horse flies. we get them up this way and they take huge bites and I swell up quite a bit when I get bit.

    Julius is such a handsome kitty

  21. .....and a belated happy canada day from germany, too.

  22. natalie,
    You have such a lovely animal family (and human family as well!). I envy you on your beautiful farm and acreage. I live in the middle of the U.S. in Kansas. We live in an historical home in Winfield, KS and I myself have 8 inside cats with 5 living outside. Oh, and one bulldog. All spoiled. I only wish I could bring the other 5 in, but that would be quite a territorial mess :) I enjoy your posts daily and keep telling hubby I would move in an instant to Canada. The cold weather wouldn't bother me one bit, but he came from Minnesota and Chicago areas and won't have anything to do with it. He wants to go to Key West. *SIGH*

    Glenda from Kansas


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!