As I sat and drank my afternoon cup of coffee I looked over the garden, down into the back forty and Mr. Fox was sitting in the center of the field.
My sister lost two more of her chickens last week so I’ve been paying closer attention. My rooster just started to crow on Saturday and I told him the whole idea was to be quiet and not announce to the wild world around him that he was there. He didn’t listen.
The first thing I thought was I need to clean that .22 but I grabbed my camera instead.
Walking out to one of my gardens I sat on the bench facing the field and watched. The sun was gloriously warm and Mr. Fox was just sitting, eyes shut, soaking it in. After a few minutes he decided to try to catch himself a snack and this is one of the shots I took.
As I watched him through that long lens I thought about the idea of looking through the sight of a rifle and how I felt about that. I understand the need and desire to protect your birds but he was so beautiful. He appeared to be just enjoying a sunny fall day. I’m not sure I could kill him just because he was in the back field.
I have to tell you though the gun will be cleaned and will be positioned at the ready for the day my birds begin to disappear. It’s a fine line between an amazing wild animal and a chicken killing predator.
Percy’s Point on Pelham Lake has become one of my favorite places to bring Chester. The lake is such a calm, quiet place. This particular spot boasts a few picnic tables and a couple of benches. I was leaning against one of the tables the other day and realized my father had made all of them a few years ago.
We started visiting this spot out of necessity. Chester likes to be in water when he gets hot but the only water on our property now is a slimy, muddy little brook that is trickling water from the beaver pond above it. There is no other word to describe it other than gross – and stinky. When he’s hot he will go into the reeds around it and lies down so he comes out covered with this rust colored goo, yuck. We’ve tried hosing him off but it’s pretty ineffective and he won’t get into the pool we have for the dogs. Usually I hose most of the mud off and then bring him to the lake and make him swim for a while until he’s clean. He thinks this is quite a treat and we are now wondering if he goes into that muck just so I’ll take him to the lake. Hmmmmm.
There are times that are particularly nice to bring him there. Last night I was canning and didn’t get to go until almost dusk. On the way a coyote crossed the road in front of my car. They elicit fear in many and if there is a pack of them near your yard at night I can understand that – they are loud and talkative. I’m thinking they are probably the reason I haven’t seen a rabbit since winter as well as every other critter that usually makes its home around the property. I have to tell you though, they are a magnificently beautiful animal. They have the most intense yellow eyes, they stare right through you.
As I was tossing the ball into the pond a couple walked by with their little dog on a leash. I told them about seeing a coyote not too far from there. Anyone here that has small animals knows that letting them loose this time of day always runs the risk of losing them. As beautiful as they are being aware is always the best idea. Meanwhile Chester kept swimming after his ball paying no attention to the couple or their little dog. There’s is nothing that keeps him from his game.