Aby-a-Day – 22 Mars 2020: Lorelai and the Geese (Cinema Sunday)

It started with Alfred.

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He’s the first one who ran towards the lake.

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But Lorelai took it to a whole other level.

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She decided to HUNT the geese. Who probably outweigh her. Here’s a video of Freddy, but mainly Rory, stalking the geese.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Mars 2020: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SuperFreddy! (Thursday Things)

As you saw yesterday, Alfred went a little bit crazy running around in the snow when we had it. He was the last one who wanted to come in from the cold.

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He just wanted to run and run….

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It was a little frustrating. I was only wearing a hoody so I would be as cold as the unclothed cats, and I was ready to go in, too.

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He broke away from me at the door and made a beeline for the swing set that is always so popular in summer.

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He was wicked hard to catch.

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And he was super naughty! First, he peed in the snow. AGAIN.

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Then he moved on and started digging. I thought he was just playing with the snow…

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…And it looked like that was all it was, at first.

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But no. And, yes, that is exactly what it looks like. He pooped in the snow, too! I feel a little bad about leaving it there in the play area, but I guess kids won’t be swinging anytime soon.

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Soon after, he ran back towards our house. Guess that’s why he didn’t want to go back in. But I have never seen him go to the bathroom outside anytime except in snow. Weirdo.

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While I was out there in the “backyard,” I saw some things that I wouldn’t have had Freddy not run back there. Like hare tracks.

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And bird landing/take-off prints. This is probably a magpie.

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I love bird footprints in snow.

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I also love wingprints.

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I think this is a jackdaw picking something up.

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I am guessing this is another magpie.

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Walking and then a take-off. Magpies make tailprints, so this is either a crow or a jackdaw.

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Of course, there were also some cat footprints.

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As snowy as it looks, it was also melting fast.

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Crocuses are already blooming!

And, as you can see, a large area at the back of our building was all green grass. I think we’ll be lucky if we get any more snow this year.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Januari 2020: Autumn leaves (Thursday Things)

Autumn in Skövde is beautiful.

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The trees are easily as lovely as the trees in New England.

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And the orange and yellow leaves carpet the lawn.

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By October, Dashiell was confident enough outside to go offleash.

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At first, he stayed close to the side of the building with Angel.

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But then he got brave and started to explore. It was so heartening to see!

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At one point, I was looking for Alfred and thought I saw him in the middle of the lawn.

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But it wasn’t Freddy. It was a hare!

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I tried to get both Dash and Freddy to notice it, to see what they’d do…but neither of them saw it. Too bad.

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I guess Dash was too busy exploring!

Aby-a-Day – 20 May: Jakedaw (Swedish Sunday)

Well, this was not the weekend we were expecting to have, and these are not the posts I was expecting to write, but we managed to turn things around pretty well. We went down and had a beer in the lobby and fell asleep later than we would have done last night, because there wasn’t any reason to get up early in the morning. We had breakfast, packed leisurely, and left Alsingsås around noon. We took the scenic route home and stopped at a couple of rummage sales in the countryside. Jacoby seemed to enjoy his weekend away from the kittens. When we got home, I let Jake out on his leash while we unloaded the car and schlepped things back up to the apartment.

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While I was inside, Björn managed to snap these two shots of Jake and a jackdaw eyeing each other. Jackdaws are corvids between a crow and a magpie in size, and they are everywhere.

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Jackdaws love to hang around outside cafés and eating areas in summer and they are fearless in the face of food. This one came to sit at one of the chairs at our table.

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He certainly wasn’t afraid of humans!

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Jackdays are known for stealing food off tables and bussing stations and I have even seen them go inside garbage cans to grab a tasty snack. Is it any surprise that Björn and I call them JAKEdaws?

Aby-a-Day – 21 January: Swedish Cat TV

When we all move to Sweden, Jacoby and Angel will have fabulous HD Cat TV on a big window.

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This is the view from Björn’s living room window.

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Granted, it’s significantly different from the view they currently have out their windows…

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…which isn’t to say that watching cars and trucks isn’t interesting. I just think that cats in general find birds more captivating than vehicles.

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There are lots of birds that frequent the yard outside Bjorn’s apartment, as well as squirrels and the occasional rabbit.

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Residents aren’t supposed to feed the birds from their windows or balconies, but they still come close to the buildings.

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Best of all are the magpies.

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I love magpies; I grew up in Northern California, the only place in the world where Yellow-Billed Magpies exist.

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There are no magpies in Massachusetts, and even blue jays and crows are fairly scarce in the city.

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I miss seeing them and was happy to learn that once I’m in Sweden, I’ll get to see them, as well as crows and jackdaws, fairly often.

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(This is a crow at the train station in Falköping…I love their colouration so much!)

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Views like this, taken outside Björn’s living room window, are common.

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Which is really cool, since I love magpies.

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I found the view outside Björn’s window endlessly fascinating.

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I can only imagine what Angel and Jake will think!

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Pyret, being 16 years old, is rather immune to the birds outside.

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She’d rather watch me work on my laptop!

Aby-a-Day – June 1: “Quaggy” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Quaggy.” Okay…this is an odd one. I had to look up this week’s word, because I wasn’t sure of its meaning!

quaggy [ˈkwægɪ ˈkwɒgɪ]
adj -gier, -giest
1. (Earth Science /Physical Geography) resembling a marsh or quagmire; boggy
2. yielding, soft, or flabby

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Wow. I had no idea what I was going to do for this word…and then Jacoby and I happened to go to a park in New Hampshire with a river.

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Jake wanted to go down to the water, of course.

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The shoreline was a combination of sand and mud and definitely fits that first description!

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Jake’s feet really sank in!

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He left some really good prints behind.

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And so did someone else! I’m not sure what made this print, but it wasn’t a dog or a cat.

Aby-a-Day – November 5: Squirrels are nuts!

Boston is known for many things. One of these happens to be the insane squirrels of Boston Common.

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These squirrels have almost no fear of people; generation upon generation of them have evolved to produce a kind of super-squirrel that sees humans as big walking feeders. I’ve had them run up to me and climb up the leg of my jeans simply because I stopped to look at them.

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Still, I have to say it took me by surprise when I went to the Common with Jacoby and this happened…

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Not once, not twice, but three times with two different squirrels!

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In case you can’t tell, squirrels ran up to us while I was pushing Jake’s stroller, and the cheeky buggers climbed right up the front of the stroller looking for handouts!

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This guy almost went inside. Jake lunged at him and he pretty much flung himself to the ground in fright.

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Contrary to what you may read, squirrels don’t carry rabies. At least, the CDC told Brigham and Women’s Hospital that when my doctor called them after a Boston Common squirrel mistook my thumb for a peanut and tried to run off with it in his mouth. Apparently, they have no known cases of rabies being caused by squirrels. So that’s good to know.

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But look at this guy, and then look at the lower left corner of the photo – that’s Jake’s back. Even when he could see the cat, this squirrel still came up to me. There’s a fine line between brave and stupid, as the saying goes.