Monday, August 1, 2016
We have long known that there are other folk who also call the farm, “home.” We think that most of those beings are creatures of a more nocturnal persuasion than we happen to be, at least at this point in our lives. We know they are here because they have left their calling cards, which have provided Stella (and those dogs who came before her) countless hours of work as it relates to farm security, not to mention, intestinal distress. But, we’re not going to talk about that. And then there have been those unfortunate times when our animal frenemies have passed through the yard in the daytime, which never seems to end well for them, or for us.
Because we are a naturally curious bunch not to mention cautious, (and also not to mention, thrifty) we have stationed game cameras around the property. We use these to keep track of the nighttime traffic, and I would possibly be talking about both the two and four-legged variety, but for reasons that I think are based solely on luck, (and, perhaps Stella) we haven’t seen much of the two-legged kind. One of these cameras is positioned at the front gate, which is one of the few places where the fence doesn’t actually touch the ground. This gap of about four inches seems to be a very hospitable sized opening. So, it shouldn’t have been such a surprise to us that the local wild life have taken great advantage of this breech in the perimeter. Our nightly visitors consist of raccoons, skunks, cats, deer and the occasional possum.
And then there was the mystery animal. This little fellow (or gal) didn’t look like anything else we had ever seen. With its pointed nose, thin tail, and squat body it looked to me like a javelina. (wild pig native to southern Arizona) I surmised that unbeknownst to us, it had stowed away on the Hag as we left the desert. Of course, that isn’t what happened, and it did take us a while to establish identity on this night visitor.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. So to our friends Dick, retired from ODF & W (Oregon Division of Fish and Wildlife) and Bill, his also retired boss, thank you for identifying our mystery animal. It is believed that said intruder was, in fact, a small grey fox. We have only seen it once, but we’ll be watching.