The juvenile Brant goose has disappeared. Though I have my doubts, I’m hoping against hope that in the end he jumped into the air and took off heading south. Two days after he was gone, I finally got a return call from the local wildlife center, which I had telephoned looking for ideas how to help him. The young female voice on my machine said in a bored tone, “If this bird is fully flighted, I’m not sure why you’re concerned.”
Well, I thought as I pressed ERASE, obviously you weren’t born with the Compulsive Caregiving Gene!
Where are You, Boo?
Starting Sunday night, I began leaving the front barn doors slightly open. My feral barn cat, Boo, had been locked inside for two weeks and I thought it was time to give him the option to come and go. On Monday morning he was in his Cat Fort in the tack room as usual. He was still there Monday evening when it started to snow. Tuesday morning he was gone.
I tracked him in the snow. He had cased both sides of the barn, and then explored along the west side, where there was more cover (the grain shed and the chicken house) to dart under in case of emergency. Then he decided to take off in uncharted territory and cross the big expanse of the barn paddock. From the meandering tracks, it appears he was fine for some time. He checked out the run-in shelter. He walked along the fenceline and back out into the paddock center.
However then something canine, either a fox or a small coyote, rushed down on him. I am hardly Tom Brown, the Tracker, but it didn’t take much insight to read the blurred signs of those galloping, overlapping tracks. The double set of tracks led through the fence on the far side of the paddock and disappeared into the woods.
I feel terrible. One of the tasks I’ve been meaning to get to before the ground is hard-frozen has been re-hanging my bottom fence line. A couple of posts are loose and have to be reset. At the moment that line is shorted out on the ground and packs no charge. Fixing it hasn’t been a priority because all my animals stay in the fence without that bottom line, and I bring them inside at night when predators roam. Sigh.
I saw no sign that Boo had been caught, but the woods are full of coyotes. I still have hope and will leave the barn door ajar and tack room door tied open for at least a few weeks, in case he is alive and can orient himself to make his way back.
The Cat’s Away
Just to underline the loss, this morning there were two mice in the grain bin. My feelings were mixed to see that one was Stub-tail.
A Long Story
We have a new heifer. She is a purebred Jersey and arrived last night. She is a rescue, naturally, and cost me nothing but the gas to pick her up. Full details tomorrow!