Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fawn Hopes

I saw the fawn for the first time this evening...but not under good circumstances.

Two of our cats came bursting in through the cat door from outside a little while ago. We went outside to see what had spooked them, and found two cars stopped in the road in front of our house, staring off down the hill into the pasture. They said a deer had tried to jump our fence from the pasture into the road, but couldn't clear the fence. It kept banging into the fence, and then ran down the hill toward the pond.

When we heard that, we knew it must have been the fawn, since a grown deer could easily clear the fence. We ran down to look, and sure enough, a spotted fawn was down at the bottom of the pasture, trying to get through the fence that separates us from the neighbor.

That fence is wire mesh, and the squares in the top half are no more than about 6" wide. But on the other side of all the fencing on the outer edges of the property is the original barbed wire fencing. We cut it down on the inner boundaries, where we interact with the goats, but left it on the outside to keep predators out. It's not a high fence...but the fawn couldn't get over it, and was trying to go through it.

By the time I caught up to it, it had succeeded in forcing itself through one of the 6" squares, and the barbed wire, but was caught by its hips. Its head was on the ground on the other side of the fence, and it was panting heavily. It was bloodied from the attempts to get through the barbed wire. I took its hind legs and straightened them to the rear so that it could complete the slide through the fence, and it took off across the neighbor's yard toward the forest.

Deer are considered pests here, as in so many places, and our neighbors have had serious accidents from hitting them on the roads, but I can't help but hope that its mother finds it, and that its wounds aren't too serious.

Below is a picture of its mother coming for the ducks' grain on a better evening.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ducks Continue to Demand Scratch

The deer must still be eating the ducks' grain, because they were up in the yard again this evening. This time the females came up to the garage as usual, but the males came up the hill into the front pasture. We heard the quacking, and of course when we came out, the goats thought we were going to feed them and went on high alert.

I thought I was going to have to open the gate into the front yard for the ducks, but they figured it out, quacking loudly as they went.

They gave Halley the cat a wide berth...

...and finally were rewarded with a bin full of 'scratch' after the long journey.

We had thought about trying to scare the deer away, until one day she brought her fawn with her.

I guess we can just refill the bin more frequently for a while longer.

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Greedy Ducks

Our seven ducks mostly live off the pond, but they've gotten used to us supplementing their food with a grain product called 'scratch.' We put it in a bin outside the pasture so that they can get to it by coming under the gate, but the goats can't get it. The goats have a little addiction problem with grain, so we keep it away from them.

The ducks appear to have a little addiction problem of their own, though. We now have a deer who visits daily and eats their scratch, and it ticks them off mightily. When it happens, they come up from the pond to the house and let us know about it.

They know we used to keep the scratch in the garage, so they come up there. We moved it to the storage area after they ripped open the bag in the garage and spilled it over everything, but they haven't caught on to the change yet.

They stopped along the way to let me know they were mad.

Then my husband came out with a filled bin, and they followed him down to the pond.

These are the three males, plus the original female, who hangs out with them. The other three females have to wait until the males are done eating.

I've tried to encourage the females to try a little women's lib, but then no one tries to peck me to death when I eat.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Goodbye Grill

We had a violent little storm here this evening. The wind kicked up, then the rain started coming across in horizontal sheets. We went out afterward to find it had knocked the top half of our dead tree down, and it tore up our little concrete pad patio set.

It knocked the table over, broke the umbrella, and blew some of the cushions into the wood. Then we noticed what it did to the grill.

The storm flipped the grill over and blew it into a chair. The unfortunate thing is that it was actually my Mom's grill that we've been keeping for her. Sorry, Mom!

The goats didn't enjoy the storm. We went down to the run-in shelter and found them cowering inside. Emma was bleating pitifully. (Do goats bleat? She was doing something pitifully.)

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Irving is Peculiar

Our cat Irving is a little eccentric. One of the strange things about him is his resting posture. This is what we might call a 'half-Irving': hind legs stretched fully to the rear, and one front leg stretched before him.

He's more likely to be found in the 'full-Irving' position, though: all legs extended.

Here's an aerial view...because, of course, the world needs to see this.

We've had a number of cats over the years, but I've never seen one whose habitual position is like this. It makes me laugh every time I see him.

Those of you who have been seeing pictures of him since he showed up on our back deck may notice that there has been some belly extension as well. Yes, our Irving likes his food...but only dry food, not wet food.

He is a strange cat.

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