Judging by the rapid growth of his tail feathers, I'd say ol' Hobo must have very recently donated his tail to a predator when I first saw him last weekend.
All summer I have been on the lookout for Romeo, the cat that snuck into the cabin and hid out under my bed, in the spring. I think if he were still around I'd have spotted him a time or two. I haven't, but I have wondered once in awhile about him, and I have wondered why mice are so scarce this summer.
Last weekend, as I sat on the deck meditating with a glass of wine, I thought I heard a cat. I listened for quite a while after that, but didn't hear any more. Eventually I decided that what sounded like "meow" was more likely my empty glass whispering "more" and I did what I had to do. It's a miserable experience to hear the pitiful cries from an empty glass, and as evening turned to night I forgot about Romeo.
Last night Mary and I enjoyed another beautiful Friday evening sunset from our deck at camp, surrounded by Hobo and a dozen of his comrades busily tucking sunflower seeds into winter stashes in the nearby trees.
The picture on the left is Hobo last weekend. On the right, Hobo shows a new growth of feathers that must measure about an inch long that have come in during the week. I'm told that sometimes a second planting of tail feathers will be all white. I'll be watching with special interest. If the tail doesn't grow in white I probably won't be able to pick Hobo out of the crowd by the time Daylight Saving Time ends next weekend.