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!