I just never get tired of this view. No matter what season, or what type of day, this is always pretty. I have to wonder how many of this exact picture that I have sent out to my family over the years. (Especially the ones in FL or CA. Poor folks who never get days like these.) Even the cold doesn’t seem so bad when it is so pretty out.
Last night, the coyotes were out circling the barn. As much as I am excited listening to them, I am disappointed to be told that I slept through whole event. I will be going out immediately after posting this for a snowshoe excursion to see what the tracks will tell me. There is something so eerie about their howling and yipping on a still, quiet night, but when they are very near it kind of stills your heart a bit. Even the dog is on full alert/protect mode, but silent.
Lately we have also had a fox that has moved into our back-yard. It seems to have moved into a woodchuck den. (I think that it did that just to mess with the dog. ) There was a litter of kits born out in the woods last spring. I suppose that they have moved out on their own now. Interestingly, a very large fox den nearby has been abandoned this winter. It has always been occupied in the past, reminding me of ‘Watership Downs’ .
One year, when a different den was destroyed by the construction of a home nearby, a fox moved into our hayloft. That was a bit nerve-wracking for the dog and for us with our chickens, but as long as he behaved, we left him alone. And he did. He left for the days and returned at night for over a month, burrowing into a hay pile. (I had watched these foxes for years. I felt so sad that they were forced out in the dead of winter in sub-zero temps. Hard to dig a den of your own in frozen ground.) Our mouse population was way down that year, and our rabbit problems are still nearly non-existent, but there were not troubles with our chickens at all. So it seems that a mutual agreement with these animals and with us can be struck? Or at least we can hope so. I like having them around. It is our organic method of rodent control. The electric fences for the chickens have been everything that we could hope for.
And now I am off to see what the coyotes were up to…