Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Glimpse into our Wild Nightlife

I am so excited to share some pictures we got today of the wildlife on our farm. These are not prize winning quality photographs but the content is very interesting! We have some friends who are interested in hunting on our property, so they set up cameras to scope out our active wildlife.

I'm not sure how I feel about hunters using cameras. At first I thought it was cheating, but now I've come to terms with the idea that it is just a way to scope out a good spot. It's not like the hunters are sitting in a cozy house watching until they see something and then running out to shoot it. Now that is where I would draw the line and say it is cheating, because a key part of hunting is the waiting for something to wander up (let me stop to say that I have never hunted nor ever want to hunt). So as long as the camera is used only to pre-screen a good spot, it isn't a rule violation in my book. If I had a hunting rule book, that is. Which I don't. But if I did, I'd be a stickler to the rules.

Anyway, I am so excited about the pictures they got! We've always thought we had these critters on our farm but have never laid eyes on them. The only thing not in these pictures that we have are beavers, wild turkey, 1000's of rabbits and snakes.

The beaver leave their evidence in other ways, like damming up our creeks and flooding our property. I have to admit that we did see one beaver yesterday after a successful hunting trip by Nickel our dog (RIP Mr. or Mrs. beaver) and he didn't even use cameras! Knowing Nickel though he probably just happened upon an already deceased beaver and got lucky. He was nice enough to bring it right up to our front yard, so all of our riding lesson students and their parents could see yesterday. He's such a good dog (and good for business!)

Anyway, here are the pictures.

This is not a dog. It is a coyote. Probably more than one in these shots as they live in packs.

Look very carefully at these next pictures.
There are 4 maybe 5 dark creatures in this picture.

They are wild hogs. We have seen evidence of them and they tear our dogs up but we have never seen one...until now. They said they got lots and lots of hog pictures so there is no telling how many are out there.

The story has it that awhile back, a local hog farmer died and left his hogs to his daughter. She didn't know what to do with them so she turned them loose. Hogs were running rampant around the woods and farms in the area, but they were domestic hogs so were nothing more than a nuisance. The county wanted to get rid of them but couldn't catch them all, so they decided to import Black Russian Boars that are known to kill everything they come across. The local people asked about cross breeding and the county assured them that they would kill before they bred. Well guess what? We now have a strong population of domestic hogs crossed with Black Russian Boar in our woods. This resulted in an even larger mean boar. When our dogs tangle with them, their tusks usually do some serious damage. Luckily the dogs seem to have learned to keep their distance.

This is obviously a large male Boar. Sorry for the indecent picture, Mr. Boar. I hope you don't have any political aspirations.

And finally something that is not a predator, a deer, which we really don't see too many of. This is a young buck. I'm glad he made it through deer hunting season.

This is obviously a rare glow in the dark deer from outer space. Who knew we had them too?!

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into what roams our farm after dark. I know we did. Oh and these shots were taken only about 60 yards from the edge of our horse pasture. Jason made fun of me when I insisted on putting up woven wire fence around our pasture that nothing can get through. He calls it wombat fence (as in it will keep wombats out) Now I'm so glad we did!

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