For those of you who didn't believe the stories about the bobcat--here is proof. We think this is a picture of the bobcat who attacked the goose discussed in a previous blog. Mack says this is the bobcat he saw in our yard, he is close to 100% sure. Doesn't he look well fed--but lean and mean? Mack said this bobcat looked about the size of our small standard poodle and he estimated that it weighs about 35 pounds. So far no proof of the second one.
The picture was snapped by a wildlife camera operated by our neighbor, Eric. Yesterday, when we were talking to him about the bobcat, he told us that another neighbor thought he had seen two different cats, also. Time will tell! We wish them well, it is nice to see that they are making a comeback in these parts. After all, they are native and we are not! That being said, we will have to implement more security measures. (This is a mind game--not one for a gun.) In the mean time the birds can help themselves some by staying out of the woods, spending more time in the pond or the chicken houses, etc. We have already discovered that electric fences don't seem to work.
Recently, I happened to look into the watering trough we use for our livestock and I noticed that it was full of tadpoles. My first thought was that I needed to empty it and get the tadpoles out--wouldn't it be terrible if one of the alpacas, or birds for that matter swallowed a tadpole when they were drinking. Then I got to thinking about it and my concern was for the tadpoles--what would happen to them when they turned into frogs? How would they get out of the watering trough, since it is only half full. Yikes! We started trying to scoop them out to take to the pond, but it seemed liked we were going to injure more than help them. So, we got an untreated board for a ramp and stuck it in the trough so they could hop out when they turned into frogs. We have seen a few hanging around under the trough and the drain spouts lately. (I have spared you the picture of the trough with the board sticking out since it is rather disgusting. However, all this does bring to mind an article I read recently that discusses the potential of discovering new antibiotics from the peptides on frog skin.
Frogs produce a peptide with a curative compound called magainin to protect them from bacteria, fungi and other infectious stuff that might be habitating the water frogs must have to live. (Remember the freshman biology class lecture where professor declares that a "dry frog is a dead frog." It appears that each frog species can produce as many as 10 different types of magainins. These magainins protect frogs by punching holes in bacteria and appear to have similar molecular structures to antibiotics. Some tests have shown these peptides to be extremely effective antibiotics, but so powerful they can only be used externally. Hopefully, someone is out there studying frog skin and its protective qualities, not only to help humans, but also to help frogs and other amphibians.
The Kenzie yarn for the October Mystery Knit Along with Michelle Hunter and Skacel is here. There are 10 lovely fall colors in an merino, nylon, angora, alpaca blend with silk noils. It has a lovely feel to it, but it is very difficult to choose colors. We are using 4 colors (1 ball of each) to make a cowl. After much deliberation, I finally did get my colors chosen.
Now we can move on the the question that comes up from the above description--what is a silk noil? A noil is the residual short fiber left from combing silk. Because it is short fibers, it isn't very strong and is usually combined with other fiber for texture and contrast.