Spring is definitely in the air and just around the corner. I don’t care what that loony rodent form Pennsylvania says!
As I listened to a distant crows caw, I caught glimpse of a chickadee in the tree out back. First one, popping from branch to branch, then another and another materialized once they started to move. They were all seemingly enjoying the warmth of the sun as they basked in its rays.
I could hear our ducks and guinea fowl, as if saying....”Come on mister farmer...let us out to start our day!” They were chattering from one barn to another and probably to anyone near enough to hear them. Once I go out there and turn them loose, they will all simply mill around as if there were somewhere for them to be...as if they had appointments or such. Sometimes it is fun to simply sit and watch as one duck follows the other. At some point, they switch roles and the follower begins to lead...going no where in particular, but going....in any case.
The alpacas simply wish for green grass. I believe that while content to eat the round bale we provide for them, they would really rather dine on succulent, new, spring growth, the arrival of which we are all awaiting!
I had planned many times to take Vick out into the rear fields, cross into the tall timber beyond and take up a vantage point with Nikon in hand and observe the nature there for an hour or so. I’ll of course have to give Ken, our neighbor and owner a call before doing so, but I know he will give us the go-ahead. I’d like for Vick to observe the whitetail deer as they forage and mill around us, unaware of our presence in their world. I used to enjoy sitting in the woods, watching and listening to squirrels, deer, birds and even the comical chipmunks as they busily conducted their business at hand....unaware that I was there watching. I have had both squirrels and chipmunks actually climb my leg or cross my body going from the trees to the forest floor before noticing that my leg was soft and garment covered rather than bark. I have had little birds land on my head, shoulder, arms and legs while sitting on a stump or at the base of a tree. It is such a pleasurable way to spend time in natures living room, that I’ve already fallen asleep with the sun shining on me...making me cuddly warm and drowsy. After those few occurrences, I’ve wondered what may have been watching me as I slept there in their world. I do know that there is nothing in that woods that is a threat to me, including bear, coyote, mountain lion or wolf, despite the D.E.C.’s insistence that the last two do not exist around here. Vick and I know better, for we saw a mountain lion with our own eyes three years ago and have heard of many more sightings. Most people don’t know the difference between a dog and a coyote, so I doubt they would recognize a wolf. A mistaken mountain lion sighting is a litter easier to understand, when you look at a bobcat and a Puma. If you see a tail that reaches from rump to front shoulder...large, round and fluffy...you did not see a bobcat. A bobcat possesses a tail of only about four inches.
Back to my point--- I believe there is nothing in the woods, in the daytime or nighttime that will simply attack you for no reason.
The only time you must use caution with these animals, is in the presence of their young. If you are between a sow bear and her cubs......or any other Momma and her offspring and you appear as a threat to the young, then you’re in trouble. That stated, you must simply move away from their young, quietly. If you are asleep and a bear ambles along, there is little chance it will do anything other than vacate the area upon smelling you...immediately...with you actually unaware of their presence.
Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of movement on an oak tree in the yard, beyond where I stood, still mesmerized by those little birds...again I saw movement, which quickly materialized into that familiar fluffy gray tail. A squirrel was obviously aware of my presence, because he hung straight down on that tree trunk and nervously snapped his tail, as if to shake something from it as he intently watched me. Almost immediately he began a displeasured tongue lashing directed at me, for watching him. He continued to tattle tail, telling others of my presence. The dogs had returned to encircle me, looking up inquisitively, as if to say, “Why are we not going back into the warm house?” So we did.......................
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