16 June 2021


 After almost twenty years of providing email subscription for blogs, FeedBurner (bought out by Google a while back) will be dropping this service starting July 1st.  I have started a blog for my art, and will be running a full-fledged email list alongside it, and invite y'all to follow me there at Katrina Gunn Art.  Y'all know it's serious if I am using my actual name.  

Things here at the Homesteade have settled into a routine, including the wild turkeys and deer eating my efforts at gardening, so life has a mostly-soothing predictability to it.  I have decided to actually attempt to improve my skill at using a digicam (including the one my son sent to me) so from time to time I may post photos of either my critters or the wildlife or plant life here if I can manage to get the camera to capture what my eye sees.  I'll also be snapping photos to use as reference for my drawings and paintings.

So, basically this is a sign-off for this particular blog, along with an invitation to check out my new art blog.

25 May 2021

Return of the voracious caterpillars

 Look what has come back to strip my remaining two fennel plants!

swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on my fennel

I'll work on an actual update ... after I draw and paint the caterpillars.

13 March 2021

Francis has number six

 This is Francis's first kid, but number six in six days to be born here.  He is a little baby giant - even a little larger than Molly's triplets even though the triplets are almost a week older.

Cocoa Puff with the five older kids

Francis and baby Frodo

closer look at Frodo
I started calling him Frodo last night, and hubby asked why.  I said, "He looks like he's trying to figure out why he's here and what he's supposed to be doing!"  Well, since we have a Frodo, then we need a Sam, and Molly's black and white boy is being a stubborn Sam.  I guess that makes Molly's firstborn son Bilbo, although I broke with that theme for Molly's daughter.  I call her Peggy Sue, like the old Buddy Holly song.  One of Puff's daughters has white back socks, so I think of her as ChiSox (Chicago White Sox from baseball) and the other girl, with the blue eyes, I think of as Cover Girl because she posed so perfectly the other afternoon.

09 March 2021

Two more goat kids

 And just like that, the kid count jumps!  Cocoa Puff did her usual no-advance-notice and no-noise kidding maybe an hour ago.  She had twin girls again, upping her girls-only streak to six.  I told her she really ought to have a boy sometime soon.  I took a bottle out to make sure the new girls got some colostrum in them ... and the goat who drank the most from the bottle was Cocoa Puff.  I guess, "Once a bottle baby, always a bottle baby."  Not as many photos this time, mostly because Puff wanted to clean the camera as well as my arm.

blue-eyed girl

amber-eyed girl

the twin girls decide it is rest time

06 March 2021

First goat kids of 2021

 While a month later than I originally thought, Molly has given birth to the first goat kids of 2021: triplets again, two boys and a girl.  Not easy trying to get all three kids in a picture, especially with Molly trying to chase off curious cats.

boy, girl, boy

two boys trying to figure out the meal plan

girl with pretty markings

girl and firstborn boy

girl boy boy

Molly nuzzling the kids

I think the girl is so pretty, as well as the second boy (black and white).  I expect Cocoa Puff to add to the total in a week or two, followed by Francis either at the end of the month or beginning of next month.

05 March 2021

Dutch-banded rabbit kits

 Last evening as I fed the rabbits, I checked Cassie's nestbox again - she had pulled fur last week but not kindled.  Well, she gave birth to four wriggly, energetic kits ... and THREE have the Dutch banding coat pattern!  Woohooo!  I only had one born last year to Belle and Blue-Boy, who was regular furred and could not take the August heat and died.  My goal since crossing in the Dutch gene has been to get a blue Dutch-banded Rex-furred rabbit with the heat tolerance of the Florida White I crossed in last year.

four newborn rabbit kits

Newborn rabbits have very little fur, so it isn't a certainty, but I think I have one black banded (the runt of the litter) and two blue banded.  Since Cassie is a Rex-furred daughter of Jack, and Blue-Boy (the sire of the litter) is the son of Shalimar who was Rex-furred, there is a decent possibility of getting at least one of them with Rex fur.  Wish me luck!

The three Dutch banded kits

03 September 2020

Swallowtail butterflies

 A couple weeks ago, my four fennel plants were getting stripped of leaves.  Hubby mentioned it, and asked if I wanted him to pull the culprits off and feed them to the chickens.  I said, "No!"  Not only do the chickens not like the taste of them, they weren't hornworms but swallowtail caterpillars.  Tuesday morning, as we were feeding the chickens and rabbits, the butterflies were emerging from their cocoons.  This has happened before, but this time we got pictures when one of the butterflies stayed on my hand as I was moving them up high enough the cats couldn't reach them while they waited for their wings to dry.

Swallowtail butterfly on my fingers

Now, for a bit of interesting news ... I finally signed up for a Facebook account here.  It's strictly for business - critter stuff and art - no I won't be doing memes and definitely will not be acknowledging politics or currents events there.  Just my critters and my art, for anyone who wants to follow along on that (and has an account).