Monday, March 2, 2015

Not so Fast Food

If you're a cannibal, an Olympic sprinter would be considered fast food.
~ Jarod Kintz

I have a few indoor photos to share. Pour a cup or a glass of something you enjoy and have a seat. There are always refills available upon request. I wonder if you can guess the reason for the above quote. Read on and you'll find out.

heat-seeking kitty
During the cold winter months, Skitty likes to position himself over the heating vent. This is not a dumb cat.





winking skitty
Of course, when the sun is shining, he'll just hightail it to the nearest warming rays. Give him a little scritch behind the ears (if you're not allergic), and let's move on. Skittles will be back before the end of the post.





blue stems3
This stemware has been around longer than I have. It belonged to my parents and was passed along to me quite a few decades ago. It's a large set and I keep finding more glasses in boxes as I try to empty them, once and for all. About a year ago, I thought I had all of the pieces put away in the china cabinet. But twice now, I've opened another box and found several more.





blue stems
This house is the only place where there's been enough space to accommodate the full set - about 52 pieces in all shapes and sizes, so far. I may still find more. The cobalt blue stems have always appealed to me.





puzzle
Anyone from the province of Nova Scotia might recognize this scene. It's supposed to depict the beautiful Peggy's Cove with its easily-recognizable white and red lighthouse up in the top right corner. It was a jigsaw puzzle given to me by Frank's son, Francis at Christmas time. We worked on it from time to time during January. I think it's about time to start another one.






Montreal memory
And if Maritimers could recognize the previous image, Montrealers would certainly know this name. Schwartz's Deli is a smoked meat tradition for many of us from my native Montreal. It has gone through some changes through the years and the restaurant, which has been around since 1928 is now partly-owned by Celine Dion and her husband. Frank happened upon this packaged version of their ready-to-heat and eat smoked meat at our local Foodland - out here in the Ontario countryside. Whouldathunkit?





ladybug cannibal
I've mentioned before how several ladybugs are wintering over inside our house. They came in during the late autumn seeking shelter from the cold and have become a regular sight on window ledges, walls and sometimes flower pots where we'll transfer them to the leaves of a houseplant when they seem to be in danger of getting washed down the kitchen drain. There's really not that many of them - probably a couple of dozen in all and possibly half of those will have died by the time spring has arrived, and we send the rest of them on their way. On any given day, we'll happen upon one or two of them and we do often find the dead ones here and there.

On this day, I was watching this lady bug pay very close attention to the body of one of its deceased comrades. At first I thought it was concerned about its state of lifelessness. It appeared to be trying to turn it over from where it had died on its back. As I kept watching through the macro lens, I witnessed what was really going on.

Have a look at the video. A word of mild warning to those of you who may be squeamish about such things. Please forgive the shaky quality and the going in and out of focus. Those of you who are reading this in email will probably have to click over to the blog to see the video.




Evidently, we don't feed our little house guests well enough. I have since read that cannibalism is rather common with ladybugs but we had no idea that this was going on under our roof.





skitty in sunlight
Skitty will have to keep a sharper eye on things from now on.

54 comments:

Cloudia said...

Brilliant Skitty pics!

Wonderful that you have tiny guests and place them in the plants [as we do]

Delightfully macabre fact!




ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^=

Gary's third pottery blog said...

52 glasses and counting! It is like they are bunnies, or something, in those boxes.... :)

Andy said...

Thanks to you Hilary I learned that lady bugs recycle without a blue box.

Tabor said...

O am wondering if he was actually eating the other bug or just mites that were living in the dead body? I will have to research that. Once again, I am amazed at the precious world you create inside your house with such lovely photos!!

Theresa said...

There is so much more that goes on in our world that we never see unless we stop and learn to take it all in, slowly and with thought. Thanks for slowing that bit of life and death down for us.
And my what beautiful eyes you have Skitty, you wise old kitty you!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

enjoyed

poor, hungry lady bugs

cats eyes...always cool

sage said...

When I lived in New York state, in a ski resort area and in an older home with a boiler and my cat (RIP, he died 15 years ago), loved to sit on the radiators, but only during the fall and spring. When it was bitter cold, they were too hot! Nice photos. A beautiful cat and stemware.

Pallavi Puri said...

Skitty has gorgeous eyes ! Almost emerald green :) loved the way she is sitting on the heat vent ! That's one clever cat :)

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Kitty is adorable. Our cat, Shadow, died at the end of January after 16+ glorious years with us. The temperatures are a bit better as March starts, hoping that is a good sign and spring is creeping in.

Leah J. Utas said...

Go ladybugs!

Out on the prairie said...

Yum dead ladybugs. Lovely pictures. I threw one in my last blog of a tree wolf with you in mind.

Linda Wildenstein said...

As you have noticed by now, Skitty and Chandler share a subspecies likeness, as far as hair color. I love anything that beautiful shade of blue. How fun to have your own scavenger hunt.
We love doing puzzles together too....so do Ms. Uma and Princess Toadstool, unfortunately. Have a super week. Oma Linda

DJan said...

I didn't know ladybugs are cannibals, so that was a bit of an eye opener. Love the beautiful blue stems on those glasses, and the color of Skitty's eye in that last picture. :-)

TexWisGirl said...

wow! i had no idea!! thanks for that fascinating tidbit - like the delicious tidbit it broke off at the end... :)

ellen abbott said...

what a beautiful set of stemware. I didn't realize you were a native of Montreal. I guess that means French was your first language? we don't get lady bugs in the house but we do get plenty of doodle bugs (pill bugs) which keep the spiders alive.

ladyfi said...

Nature is very neat and tidy with nothing going to waste.

Lovely shots of your cat.

Bone said...

I bet they were married and used to have arguments like "I bet you can't WAIT for me to keel over so you can eat my legs!!" "Oh, here we go again! You should be flattered I'd even WANT your legs."

OK, maybe not.

Brian Miller said...

ha i like to position myself over the heating vent too...smiles....and pretty cool scene of the cove in the puzzle...we have a huge mural downtown of our area that is very similar...probably copied in style...we did not get the lady bugs this year...we usually do....i wonder if they went to your house...ha

Gerald (SK14) said...

well so ladybirds eat their dead - guess it is one way of cleaning up

L. D. said...

I like all the variety of shots but that cat is so great to see.

William Kendall said...

Skittles is quite a cutie. Can't say quite the same about cannibalistic ladybugs, though.

Schwartz is quite a place- I've been there when I've been in Montreal, and the food definitely is tasty.

Rick Watson said...

I'm not convinced those are ladybugs. We get beetles in our house in the fall that look like ladybugs but thy'll bit the dickens out of you. I found that out the hard way:)
The kitty is a pretty one.

Polly said...

Skitty is handsome, cats are so clever, they can always find somewhere warm. Interesting post and great photos, love the close up, beautiful eyes.

rosaria williams said...

I learn something new every time I come here! Never knew lady bugs could winter indoors, for instance. dah...

Polly said...

PS forgot to say, love the jigsaw, it's years since I did one, came back from the charity shop with 3 recently, one has 3,000 pieces!!

Red said...

This is really three separate posts. Like the doctor I only do one issue per visit. I'm getting nasty aren't I? Lady bugs? I have a ceiling that has all kinds of small spaces between boards. It's perfect place for these critters to over winter. Yes lots drop down from my ceiling. Half are dead and well, the other half are alive! I would guess you have many more than 12.

Rita said...

The deep blue stems are beautiful on that glassware!
Jigsaw puzzles are addictive and that looks like it was a really good one! It's probably a good thing I don't really have any space to set one up here--LOL!
Cannibal lady bugs. Who knew? And I thought they only ate aphids. LOL! ;)

Laura said...

Yikes, that is making good use of leftovers I suppose. Our cat Nefi used to sleep atop our pellet stove to stay warm… it also gave her a great view out into the back yard through the sliding glass doors and distance from the dog :-)

Stephen Hayes said...

Love the detail in Skitty's eye. And those blue stems are magnificent.

Linda said...

I love all the details in that last shot of Skitty, especially in his eye. I can even see the moisture on his nose.

The Happy Whisk said...

:-) Fun to see the photos. Have a great week and boogie boogie.

joeh said...

I will never look at a lady bug the same again.

messymimi said...

My Sweetie loves that "Whodathunkit!" line, he quotes it all of the time.

Your cat is beautiful, and i guess with the ladybugs that's just the way things go in the natural world.

holdingmoments said...

Fascinating video clip Hilary.

Michael Manning said...

Skitty is an amusing Cat, who would probably love a trip to Florida! Great coloring, and looks very confident! :)

Mage said...

Yes, they must be hungry. Ugh...who knew I was squeemish. Does Skittles eat dear Ladybugs?

Yes, too, I love that glassware. Special stuff that.

EG CameraGirl said...

I had no idea ladybugs were cannibals! I bet Skitty knew though. :)

photowannabe said...

Fascinating Hilary. I had no idea about the cannibalism.
You are so kind to every living creature...even the ladybugs. A+++
The close up of Skitty is terrific.

Glo said...

Beautiful stemware, and wonderful that you have a place to display it. What fun to find more and more :) Congrats on finishing that terrific puzzle ... Skittles is not only smart, but very photogenic. Do you think that your very small houseguests may be Harlequin ladybugs? Also enjoyed your pareidolia snow photos. With your talent you can face anything ;)

Gail Dixon said...

The glassware is stunning! Those blue stems are so striking. How nice that you have an area in your home to display them properly.

The last shot of Skitty with that pale green eye is amazing.

I found out last year that ladybugs sting, and I was so disappointed. Now this! They are losing favor with me all the time. :)

Shammickite said...

Those orange ladybugs (in England we call them ladybirds) sting. There are a few of them on my windowsill behind the screen, but I think they are thoroughly dead by now. I didn't really want to watch the video, I can well imagine the carnage that's been going on.

Daniel LaFrance said...

Cat dander and I don't get along. As for Ladybugs... well you're not alone. They seemingly appear out of no where. The same with house flies.

Btw... congrats on winning Tex's fab drawing.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I saw an adult lady beetle eat a larvae. I was shocked. I shouldn't have been, but I was!
A dog eat dog world!

I packed up my mom's stuff and sent it to auction. She had such wonderful pieces, but I had no reason to keep them, we just don't do that kind of entertaining! Life is complicated!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Skitty is one of the most beautiful felines I've ever seen in my entire life!!

Munir said...

Unbelieveable.

Derek said...

Your post confirms for me that there's no such thing as a dumb cat.

The glasses are divine, and the jigsaw fascinating.

Thanks for this varied and delightful post.

Have a nice day.

A Cuban In London said...

What a beautiful and majestic feline! :-) Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Indrani said...

Great series. I didn't know about cannibalism in ladybugs, couldn't watch it beyond a few seconds.
Loved Skitty's pic.

Kat said...

I am allergic to cats but that never stops me from petting them. I can't help it. And you certainly have a pretty cat so I'd HAVE to give him a scratch.
Wow. Who knew ladybugs were cannibals?

Daryl said...

circle of life ....

my parents had a set of stemware like those but with clear stems .. i have only 6 or 7 left which makes me sad ... tho honestly i have no where to store more ...

Skitty such a good looking feline ... his expression in the first photo reminds me of our little Miss Annie

Betsy Brock said...

Skitty! aw.

Betty Manousos said...

i had no idea-i mean...cannibalism in ladybugs.

skitty is indeed handsome- you got some beautiful shots, hilary!

big hugs~

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I found lady beetles, too!
My late father loved puzzles until dementia kicked in. It's a lovely winter activity!
We had the kids over and used all the good china, then put it in the dishwasher. None of the kids will want it. How times change!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Your skitty is as handsome as ever, the blue stemware is divine, and I am fascinated by those ladybugs -- I had no idea they would eat their deceased brethren!

Sorry I've been AWOL. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging (and sometimes it's just poor time management on my part).