Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dawn Says Enough Is Enough

This time of year in our part of the world, the skunks are very active.  My house smelled this morning like there was a skunk living in it, and sure enough, right outside our bedroom window there was a dead skunk - looked like it might have been killed by coyotes although we didn't hear anything in the night.  Or it could have been a Great Horned Owl - they're one of the biggest predators of skunks - who killed the skunk and then didn't manage to carry it away.

And then there are the rabbits.  We have a plague of bunnies every year, eating everything in sight - tree bark, shrubs, vegetables, ornamentals, you name it, they eat it.  They also chew wood and wiring when they can find some.  They do keep the coyotes and owls well-fed.

Yesterday morning when I went into the barn, there was grey and white bunny fur strewn in the aisle just in front of Dawn's stall.  The only marks in the snow at the door opening were cat prints - we leave the barn door open at least a "cat-crack" even on the coldest nights - so I guess that means either Night or Bob (our two barn kitties) had a baby bunny dinner sometime in the night.

Then this morning, there was more bunny fur, and . . . bunny guts . . . in the aisle, and only cat tracks in and out.  It was right in front of Dawn's stall again, and she told me in no uncertain terms that she'd had enough of this violent feline behavior - as soon as I set foot in the barn she had a temper tantrum - rearing and bucking in the stall and running her teeth up and down the wall.  She did settle down when I gave her some hay.  One thing about Dawn, she always tells you what she thinks!

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And another lovely thing happened with Pie yesterday - as I entered the pasture with his halter to bring him in - he was eating at the round bale with the other geldings - he saw me, left the round bale and walked deliberately over to me with his ears pricked.  Sometimes he comes to the water tank when he knows I'm coming to get him to take a drink before we leave the pasture, but this time he came right up to me and almost stuck his nose in the halter.  It was pretty clear he was saying "hi - let's go for a ride!".  Sweet Pie (you can tell I'm besotted!)!

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And now I'm off to finish up my chili for my neighbor's 12th annual chili contest tonight!


  1. Chili sounds great. It's still cold here, but it's warming up next week.


    PS: That's neat about Pie. My mare, Sugar, does that too and it feels great.

  2. Loveable Pie! Give him a hug from me!
    Good luck in the chili contest.

  3. Dear! I thought from your post title that Dawn had gotten even, somehow, for all the attention that Pie is getting! Sorry it had to be bunny guts she was upset about, tho.
    Pie is SUCH a good boy! I'll bet he can't wait to see where you both go once spring finally gets here. (I continue to have to catch myself before I call my friend Pat's little red gelding, who's also doing very well in his early training, "Pie.")
    But currently, it's is certainly good weather for a chili cook-off. Yum!

  4. Your Pie is a one in a million horse - and you are training him to be a one in a ga-zillion horse! Bravo to both of you!!

  5. I think, when they come to you like that, they've chosen you. We had a live skunk get stuck in our window well one time, under our deck. It was a horrible experience and it took forever to get the smell out from under there. I haven't seen any this winter, but we have Great Horned Owls nesting in the trees in front of our house.

  6. Ah yes, the bunny fur (and other remnants) and birdy feathers everywhere. Got that at my house (along with a squirrel family that scolds every time I walk out to the barn in the spring. They sure are an opinionated bunch ;o)

    I figure "they were here first," but we DO have to co-exist, so I have birdy boards and ramps in all the water troughs in case someone falls in and can't get out on its own. I also have "squirrel ropes"--braided baling twine with knots every six inches or so, hanving from the pipe rails and into the troughs in case one of THEM falls in and cannot get out again.

    So far the horse doesn't mind critters sharing his water (or his hay. The dogs even get into his paddock and eat carrots from his goody bucket, and he's okay with that). However, Dawn can be very explicit in her desires ;o)

  7. i love dawn now. i would love to have a horse like dawn someday, and i really do appreciate mares after years of thinking geldings were the way to go.

    you were in a chili contest? i made chili the last two nights in a row because i love it so much. then i discovered on a fluke how yummy chili can be with doritos crunched up inside! i've been spoiled lately because someone gave me a jar of habanero powder. a tiny dot of that mixed in with sour cream and i'm almost crying but loving it.

    please tell me your chili tips and tricks!


  8. Ooh, I like the idea of birdy boards and knotted escape ropes. Might add them to my trough as I do worry about the little critters.

    Gotta love that Pie. He must spend all his spare time figuring out how to be endearing.

    Nothing like animal remnants to remind us of the cycle of life. Skunk remains, however, are a little too strong a reminder. *S*

  9. Isn't it such a good feeling when they come right to you and clearly want to go for a ride? Panama does that almost every time I come to the barn. He waits for me at the gate and sticks his nose into the halter. And if I don't come get him as soon as I park, he stands there at the gate and whinnies for me! I love it!

  10. Poor Dawn. I don't blame her. Rabbits sound horrible when they are dying. I hear them screaming around here sometimes.

    That is too cute what Pie did. I think I would be besotted with him too. :)

    Good luck at the Chili contest!

  11. I can't blame Dawn for being tired of watching cat/bunnie carnage while she's trying to get her beauty sleep! :)

    I don't see how you could not be besotted with Pie, he is wonderful.

  12. I'm with Dawn. Please don't leave bunny guts outside my bedroom. Bleech!
    I'm jealous! My boys only come to me when they think food is involved!
    Pie sounds like a 'storybook' horse!

  13. Poor Dawn! That is nature, but it sure isn't nice.

    I hope you are winning your chili contest right this second!

    That Pie - what a horse. Oh, I love his kind ways.

  14. I don't blame Dawn one bit! I wouldn't want to have to deal with that every night either. I like a horse that's willing to speak its mind! :)

  15. I don't really know how many times I can say Pie is an amazing boy. But I just said it again. Good boy.

    Skunks, uh, that's a bad smell to get rid of. Poor Dawn having to put up with the carnage of the kills. Glad I didn't have to clean it up. Poor bunnies.

  16. We get a plague :) of skunks in the fall, but never this time of year. I feel for you. Also poor Dawn.
    Pie just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. When he leaves his buddies and food to be with you it's pretty clear there's a great bond forming. You chose very well when picking him out.

  17. As much as I understand that rabbit's good eatin'... the circle of life and all that... I still have to say, I'm with Dawn. :)

  18. It's a bad season for skunks here, too, but it's on the road. I feel like I'm playing some weird video game, dodging roadkill.

    Hope you won the chili cookoff!

  19. I always tell my grandchildren: "Never trust a bunny!"

  20. skunks .....yuk!!!!! cute Pie is. Am glad you are so enjoying him

  21. Poor Dawn, I don't blame her being over the dead bunnies!
    Pie loves his mum!

  22. It's funny hearing the stories about Pie and Dawn because my Paula is an exact combination of these two--she'd be one to complain about the nighttime happenings, but she's also always trotting up to get her halter put on and ready to work. Gotta love a horse that will do that! :)


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