Range wars, turf battles, territorial squabbles. Something has affected nearly all the creatures on the hill. The goats are pairing off constantly and butting heads (no mystery there, we know what, or the lack of what, makes them cranky). The loser goes over and gives poor Poppy a couple of thumps "just because." A big tom turkey noisily intimidated a younger male until the young one flew up onto a fence rail to escape. Bessie, normally placid, ran off a small herd of deer that was grazing in the side yard down into the south pasture. Mice face off on their haunches like mini-boxers, squeaking threats and baring tiny teeth. Barn birds fly at each other while making a terrible racket, fighting over nesting sites under the eaves. Down at Camille's, the alpacas spit their evil-smelling saliva at Shadow, the donkey, and made a direct hit.
I'm fighting my own fight with the ground squirrels in the barn. I usually maintain a laissez faire attitude about their tunneling until and unless the holes are inconvenient for me or a danger to the goats. When that happens, I pack the entrance with the readily available material (need I say it?) and tamp it down. Every morning I find the same holes and every morning I fill them again. This normally goes on for about a week until they give up and move on, but lately they've become more determined. I'm getting a bit testy with them, but all I can do is outlast the crazy critters. It is, after all, my turf.