The first salvos have been fired in the annual turf war. The ground squirrels have massed their troops and Farview is under attack. This is just one of many openings to the underground bunkers in the barn, in the paths, in the fields, in the pens. I am surrounded, but I will not surrender. Some, like this one, I leave (although I'll smooth out that mountain of loose dirt) because it gives the squirrels a false sense of security and because it is not where a goat might catch a hoof or cause a person to trip and fall. Others I fill in daily until the squirrel gets the idea and moves on. I try to use local supplies (goat poop, wet, if possible) in the barn and used kitty litter up by the house. The litter hardens like cement down in the hole and that is the end of that. That hole, that is.
Bessie and I stepped out in the afternoon with a basket of laundry to hang. There was a flutter of movement in the grass just past the far clothesline post. Bess, with her poor eyesight, ignored it and went to lie in the shade. This red-tail hawk had caught either a large lizard or a small snake and wasn't about to share, spreading its wings protectively over its kill. Moving slowly, I put down the basket and took out the camera.
Hawk took off with his prize, but didn't go far. He was a really big bird.
Flying low to the south, he landed in the field to eat his lunch. Looking through the yard after he'd gone, I could find neither head nor tail of whatever it was, but Bess, finally aware of something happening, pointed out where the kill had been made. (Her nose works just fine.) My guess is that a lizard had been sunning on one of the stumps, fair game for hawk.
These brief vignettes of nature are the highlights of my life up here. There are surprises everywhere. And that's the whole truth!