Saturday, 22 July 2006

July 22, 2006 Chirp, Quack, Ribbet...Moo

It seems that certain times of the year our yard is descended upon by hordes of unwelcome visitors. We seem to be going through one of those times now.

It started a week or so back when the dog yard, specifically the Bitch Pen and the few dogs around it were carrying on about something one morning. I trudged down in my pyjamas and flip flops to find some weird little bird hopping around on the edge of the dog’s circles eating bugs and generally having a great time – seemingly oblivious to the danger less then a wing’s length away. When I tried to shoo him away, he got flustered and flew closer to the dogs. I tried; he was now on his own.

Throughout the day he was spotted on the edge of yard in a variety of different spots. He’d fly some, so he wasn’t injured, but he seemed to prefer hopping around picking up bugs as he went. For awhile he was up by the puppy pens, then near the middle of the yard, back down by the Bitch Pen, in behind Newt….each section of the yard would get worked up at his appearance. By mid afternoon Mark had had enough and went out to see what was up. Again bird got flustered, but this time the little guy miscalculated and Nahanni snatched him out of the air as he flew out of Mark’s way. Poor little bird – happy little Nahanni.

Next up was another morning commotion in the yard. This time up behind the house, by the puppies and the kennels. I walked out to find a young duck, flapping and quacking. He was obviously working on the whole ‘flying thing’ and having a few problems. He was very stressed, so I, with the help of my ‘not so awesome’ herding dog – aka Fly, chased him out of the yard. We had just turned around when there was a flap of feathers and a barrage of quacking. The duck was back. We spent about 10 minutes playing this game before I waved my arms and pronounced this one also on his own.

For the next hour or so, Daffy flapped and quacked his way around. He made a couple runs up and down the road between the kennel and the house, took off and wound up right back next to the dogs. He had one or two very close encounters when he made low, awkward passes over the main section of the yard before finally getting his act together and heading off into the woods for good. The dogs closed up the Duck a l’orange recipe they had pulled out and settled back for a nap.

Then there was the frog. The first one occurred at about midnight one night. Once I found it, I turned around and just went back to bed. Anything stupid enough to wander into the jaws of a screaming dog at midnight deserves to die.

A confused young coyote was next to come visiting. He attempted to come visit Odie, Draco and Hector, but was sent packing. Same result with Newt, Lingo and Chester. A bit later, I went to the door to tell the girls to quit barking and realized it wasn’t them, but the coyote down in the meadow trying to coax the girls into running away with him. Fly and I went down and suggested he leave. He made one more attempt to visit with the girls up on the hill and then I guess decided Siberians were generally an unsocial lot
Last night was ‘Return of the Frog’ – or maybe it was his cousin – anyway, Piper, Charm and Wolvie all seemed to be vying for frog legs at 1am. I didn’t stick around to see who won – nor to offer them any dipping sauce.

This morning the entire yard was making weird barking noises at 6 am – this time it was the neighbour's cows. They can get down to our west fence line, which runs on the other side of the cabin, but being they weren’t in that area last year, it has been a long while since they have been down. The pups and yearlings especially were utterly (pun intended!!) fascinated with the large, entirely edible looking creatures. I wandered over to the fence line - my big, hairy herding dog was with me, but he’s scared of cows, so he was pretending he didn’t see them (yeah, pitiful, I know). I generally insulted them and launched a few pinecones in their general direction and they finally got the hint.

I wonder what tonight will bring??

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