Monday, July 19, 2010

Wild Critters

One of the great things about living on a farm way out in the country is all the wildlife you get to experience. We have tons of wild critters wandering around our farm at any given time. Last weekend, I was glad that Apple was on guard. She has been more sensitive lately since she has a new baby. I let the dogs out the other night just before dusk. As I was watching them from the door they headed towards the hay field to do their business and Apple ran to the fence line and started doing warning call. While she is very protective with the new baby, she doesn't normally do this to the dogs. Once she started doing the warning call, the dogs stopped and stood at alert looking at something out on the fence line. I called the dogs back worried that it was a skunk. I told Noah that I thought something was out by the paca pasture and he went out to check it out. He came back and said that it was a porcupine! While I will occasionally see them as road kill on the back roads around our house, I don't think I have ever seen a live wild one. We grabbed the camera and ran back out, but by the time got out there, it escaped into the hay field. Forget about trying to find a needle in a haystack.....try finding a porcupine in a hay field! We couldn't find him. I am very grateful that Apple warned us so the dogs didn't get attacked and a bunch of needles to the noses.

While we are on the subject of wild critters, here is another story from the farm. I went out to the barn this morning before work to feed the ducks. Noah often forgets to feed the ducks (mostly because he also has to feed the alpacas, cat, dogs, and ferret in the morning too). Anyway as I was getting in my car for work, they were all quacking at me so I ran to the barn to give them some food. We recently started keeping our duck and chicken food in a large plastic trash bin because the mice had been infesting our barn and eating all the food. I would often see five at a time eating the cracked corn that was put out for the chickens. Anyway, since we recently had ducklings I also had a bag of duckling food which I kept sitting in a tall white bucket. I didn't have a top for it so every time I went to feed the ducklings there was always a little mouse in the food bucket that would jump out and run away. Well, I fed the ducklings the rest of the food yesterday and now the bucket sits empty. So this morning when I went out to the barn, I happened to glance at the bucket and notice a big brown blob. At first I thought it was a rat, but on closer inspection, I found that it was about 30 little mice trapped in the bottom of the bucket all piled up on top of one another. Because the food was no longer in the bucket, they could jump out. I ran into the house to tell Noah that I invented the best mouse trap ever! He went out and looked in the bucket. I had to leave for work and I asked Noah if he was going to kill them or let them go.....he said not to worry....that he would "let them go".......and then he added "humanely and not cruelly," which I think was code for he was going to take care of them once and for all. The little mice were cute and felt sorry for them, but they creep me out and I don't want to scurrying all over our barn and eating all our food. Hopefully we can set the trap again and catch some more mice!

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