Friday Follow-Up

This week:

-- As I stood in the backyard in the cold one morning with Sissy, I heard a noise I hadn't heard in a long time. I listened for awhile and eventually I was sure: it was wild turkeys. We had a good-sized flock when we first moved here, but my first horse Tango did not tolerate anything in his pasture (coyotes, turkeys, deer...) and the birds moved to a new territory. I'm amazed that with our current coyote problem the turkeys are back. I wonder if the oil work behind our place has moved them from their home range?

-- Sissy and I have finally begun to make progress on this housebreaking thing. She's trying harder now that she's older; she was just 7-8 weeks old when we got her. And I've apologized to her: I realized this week that some of those puddles weren't hers - they were from my cat! Evidently Tink is upset about the puppy's presence, and the puddles on the floor were construed as "marking territory". Tink is very possessive of me with the other two cats; I should have realized that the puppy would be thought of as an intrusion.

-- I once again shot AT the big coyote. It was sitting in the hayfield watching Cracker and me as I fed the horses one morning. Cracker caught a whiff of its scent on the wind and was headed that direction, but he's just a youngster and I called him off. I put the pup in his pen and returned with my shotgun. By that time the coyote was lying down on his back in the hayfield watching the crows - can you believe it? I walked into the field and to where I had a clear shot... and I missed again... but it took off across the field and down into the ravine.

-- Our son-in-law has been a wonderful blessing while here. He's cleaned up the site of the old goat shed, and pulled the roof of the sheep shed out of the nearly-dry pond (a storm in January 2010 relocated the sheep shed from their pasture to the pond). He shot a small coyote in the hayfield. Then last night, as we heard Cracker and Juliet barking after dark, he went out the front door and saw the big coyote in the fenced front yard. He chased that one down the hill away from the house and wounded it. There were several more in the yard that he shot at, but in the dark he's not sure that he hit those. I saw two just beyond the front fence. I'm thinking it's time to talk to the neighbors and maybe call the state hunter for help; that's too many coyotes.


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