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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spring Things at LRDC

Nearly seven weeks since I have posted - First reason was a switch in computers, and the second, and biggest, was a switch to Windows 7 from XP! Why do they do this to us??? In any case here we are, deep into spring. Below is a picture of snow at camp I took 6 weeks ago, surer at that time that all the snow would be gone by May 1. I was wrong...when the ground was clear of snow I began to clear the ice damage from trails, and on may 6th, found two feet of snow on the ground under some huge collaped hemlock trees. Pretty good insulation I guess.

What follows are short spring adventures here in New Hampshire - it's been very active on the farm here. And no, I still have not taken that big Tom! Still a week to go though! Here you see the Blue birds making a home in our backyard. This week I was in the back yard when I heard the plaintive cries from a blue bird and looked up to see a smallish hawk flying by with the male in his claws. I yelled and waved my arms just as a robin went after him, and the blue bird dropped free. I lost sight of the blue bird, thought he dropped to the ground, but I couldn't find him anywhere. Miraculously, the next morning he was back on his house!
An early spring fox up in the back pasture...

The flag is always on the back of LRDC, but after our successful sally into Pakistan I just had to post this banner below it, for a week or two!

I have set up my decoys and a camera up on the Far Ridge, and lo, instead of a big Tom, who comes by but a bemused doe, wondering who would think they could fool anyone with silly looking turkeys like these.

A very pregant doe, perhaps the very one that nearly killed one of our Sheltie - (see below)

First Long Ridge hunter to post a big tom this month. 22 pounds, 9 inch, with one inch spurs. Respectable!
Below you see some severe bruises on one of our two Shelties. Several days ago I was on a tractor driving across to the Far Field with a bucket of brush. Both Shelties love to follow and bark as we go. As I entered the Far Field, I saw them both dart into a pine stand, and head down into a swampy glen, thinking they we after their favorite game, chipmunks. Not to be...a minute or so later I heard screaming, and looked down to see Nancy running in the glen (it is just below her studio) and quickly shut off the diesel and pulled my earplugs as a big doe came leaping up out of the glen and across the field. I ran down to find that Luna and Kalie had found a newborn fawn, and the doe attacked them. Kalie is extremely fast, agile, and smart - she headed for home and got away. Poor hapless Luna  got pounded literally down into the swamp mud, and if Nancy had not run down there to scare off the doe, I have no doubt she would have been killed. Later Nancy told me that she was on her deck when she heard Luna literally scream, and ran down there thinking I had run over her with the tractor. In any case, we hauled little Luna up to the garage and hosed her all off. She was limping badly, and one eye was closed. I thought she would be fine but within a half hour it was clear she was in bad shape, so an afternoon at the vet's, and tons of medicine and antibiotics later, she will make it. Cracked ribs, terrible black and blue bruises all over her body. To avoid additional pain, the vet decided not to shave her whole body. Her eye is now (three days later) looking a bit better, but lazy. The ribs will heal on their own. Amazing what those front hooves can do!

Below is a Robins nest built right on top of a fence post outside our sheep barn. What follows are a sequence of puictures I have taken since she built it.

This is one large bobcat! He too is not fooled by the decoys I lazily left out there.

So that's it for wildlife adventures in May!

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