Friday, August 28, 2009

Baby Spikes

It would seem with the approaching fall weather, all sorts of creatures are out and about and being more bold than usual. This morning the first of the truly big bucks arrived for the gathering that happens every year at rut.

This fellow was here last year too and in my 51 odd years I have to say, I think he's one of the nicest looking bucks I've ever seen. How do I know it's him? He has a visible white scar that extends onto one of his rear hooves. We also had one of those pitiful teenage boys hanging around, the single baby spike, intimidating to no one. In fact, the doe traveling with our handsome buck, chased the yearling off in the most embarrassing manner...easily! Mr. Big Bucks couldn't even be bothered.

Between yesterday and this morning I have had a chance to sight a lot of wildlife.
The trail ride yesterday included some buck sightings (although not this big one),and turkey vultures roosting in a tree. We startled them into flying. Maybe youngsters who are still perfecting their flying techniques? Cooper and I did a fine job of flushing a bevy of grouse, and high up on one of the hills, a coyote and her pups, who are all looking rather adult, resting in the shade of a group of pine trees. Of course the usual array of chipmunks, ground squirrels and lizards but we haven't seen many coyotes around in the last few years. I don't really know why. Could be the population of larger predators have moved them along to lower ground. Could be I'm just not looking in the right places but I haven't heard them like I used to either.

This morning, a mass of rustling outside the front door made me grab my headlamp and go out for a look see. Tres banditos where climbing into one of the bigger trees on the far side of the driveway. Finally I got my light on the masked bandits. A Momma raccoon and her two youngsters. It was classic cartoon time. Two sets of shining eyes right over each other as the babies shared a perch and Mom, who was a little lower
glaring at me in the dark and gnashing her teeth. A sure signal my presence was extremely unwelcome. I would much rather have come along a skunk. I don't like raccoons, they are aggressive animals who will stand their ground and fight and can do a heck of a lot of damage to a dog. Just plain destructive around a farm. Ask anyone with chickens. I certainly don't want one getting into my dog pen. So, we'll see if the bandits pass along or make a pest out of themselves.


  1. Great wildlife sightings!!! I've only seen coyotes twice around here - although in winter we hear them almost every night.

    (Well, I'm not counting coyote sightings from the car....which happen a few times a year.)

    Hopefully your new raccoon visitors will head somewhere else soon!!!


  2. I kinda like that the only critters here are the coyotes, and tonight our dogs were giving a couple a full ration of their attitude - through the fence.

    I don't like raccoons either and when we camp in coastal areas, they're always the one we have to protect our camp food against. Interesting use of a headlamp I must say, and quite novel.