Pipi’s Pasture: This and that with one helpful tip from a reader
This week’s column is a bit of this and a bit of that.
First of all, I’m happy to share something that I enjoy a lot. Every now and then I receive a note or phone call from a reader who wants to share a memory, is looking for a recipe, or has a suggestion about one of the dilemmas that I have written about in my column. Hearing from readers is what I enjoy most about writing my column.
Two or three weeks ago (time passes like crazy for me), I received a letter from Shelley Massey of Rangely. She had been reading my columns about the deer, skunks, and birds that have a habit of eating up the cat food around here. Shelley had a similar problem, but in her case it was the chickens that ate up the cat food at their ranch.
Shelley figured out a “pretty simple” solution and decided that it might work for me, too. She used a jigsaw to cut a small opening or door at the bottom of a used, upside down mineral lick tub (the kind that we put out for livestock). She sent photos with the opening marked and everything. It is large enough to allow a cat to enter but not chickens. She put the tub over the cat pan.
Shelley wrote that there is room enough inside the tub for two cats, but the chickens don’t bother. She thought her solution might work for me but suggested that I put a block (I think a cinder block) on top of the tub so the deer can’t knock it over, which of course they will try to do.
I think it’s a terrific idea, but I haven’t taken the time to try it yet. We have plenty of mineral tubs, but the deer have left right now so I haven’t been in a big hurry to hunt up the jigsaw. (I imagine that the deer are picking at the green vegetation along the highway and in the surrounding fields right now, but one thing is for sure — they will be back.) I’ll keep Shelly and everyone else posted. Thanks so much, Shelley!
As for other happenings around Pipi’s Pasture right now, the snow is mostly gone, except for where it was plowed into piles, and there’s a little green here and there, but I’m afraid it’s pretty dry. As usual for April, there are plenty of little limbs to rake up off the lawns and stray twines to gather up.
Once again daylight brings robin songs. During the daylight hours, I can hear sandhill cranes flying overhead, and the blackbirds and sparrows are full of spring songs. I have even spotted a butterfly, and at least one housefly is back. Several outdoor barn cats are ready to give birth, and, in fact, there may be a litter of kittens in my granddaughter’s show stock trailer parked in the pasture. At least I notice an orange mama cat heading that way each day. It’s spring for sure.
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