I think Every One needs a dog…Don’t you?
We were out working, Mom, Dad, and I. Doing this and that. Going here and there. Then I noticed that Mom and Dad were sitting down taking a break.
Heck! I’ll just take one with them!
Dad, Mom, and I put the farm to bed this week.
It’s time, you see.
Time to put the farm to bed, button all the hatches, and get ready for the cows to come!
Mom is very excited that we are close to getting the cows. Mom says having the cows here helps her get past winter faster. She also likes seeing the baby calves popping out here and there on the farm.
So this week we’ve been really busy…getting ready.
Dad, Mom and I are so excited! The Sandhill Cranes have found our farm!
They sing a cool trilling sound…I sit out by the granary and listen and watch. I got yelled at once by Mom, then once by Dad. That was enough for me!
So I watch them and Mom watches them…Dad says he just enjoys their songs.
P.S. If you would like to hear how they sound go here! Click on all the sound links so you can get a good idea!
The day after my birthday our U.S. Postal carrier drove into our farm yard; greeted with a barking beagle, and myself. (I was outside gathering firewood for the wood stove when she drove in).
Amongst the bills and advertisers was a package too large for our rural mail box.
After giving me the mail, Boomer a dog cookie, she backed up her jeep and took off. I finished loading up the wheel-barrow, stacked the mail and my ‘package’—oh, how neat. I wonder just what it is? Boomer and I headed into the house.
Once inside I saw the package had come all the way from Canada and my very talented ranching friend, Linda.
If any of you would love to see the type of work she does (not counting all the farm and ranch work on their huge spread way up there in Canada) head on over here. Linda is amazingly talented.
How very lucky I am!
With much love your friend,
It was almost dark by the time we got Barney calmed down enough to understand what happened to him. Since his paw now felt ever so much better Ruth took it upon herself to lead Barney to his mother and brother in the Rubidoux canyon.
Stanley, Stewart, and myself, watched for a short spell as Ruth and Barney took off…Ruth was riding on the back of Barney telling him which way to turn…”Okay, now turn here, now go there, keep going straight…” her voiced faded as they lumbered into the setting sun.
“With Ruth with him, everything is going to be alright! Hop on boys, lets head home, but first we have to stop and visit with Porky so he understands he is safe.”
We loped off to the creek and the home of Porky.
While I stopped to get a drink, the two squirrel brothers hopped off my back and started looking under all the Chico and Sagebrush calling: “Porky! PORKY! WHERE ARE YOU?”
(Photo shamelessly used from the internet) Go here to see more photos–and this one
After what seemed like a forever long time, Stanley called from way up the creek…”PORKY IS HERE! UP HERE IN THE OLD APRICOT TREE!”
I took off at a good clip, picked up Stewart on the way, and headed up to the old apricot tree.
We got there just as Stanley was wrapping up the story…
“A BEAR? A Black Bear? Well, I swan!” Porky shook his head in disbelief. “I would have never, ever, known that! I knew we had bear visitors…sometimes…., but I’ve never had a bear swat me before.”
“I think,” said Stanley striking a silly thinking pose, “That bear had never seen a porcupine before. He was just too young and his Momma hadn’t taught him about all the creatures that live in the forest and the canyons, and up here on the farms.”
“True,” chimed in Stewart, “But you can bet, when Ruth gets him back to his family he is going to have a mighty tale to tell.”
We all laughed out loud at that.
“Okay, hop on boys; we’ve been gone for hours and hours. Mom is going to be worried about me. Besides it’s my suppertime. If I don’t get there in time one of those sneaky cats will eat my supper.”
Stanley and Stewart gave Porky a high-five each, then climbed onto my back. I trotted a short way turn around and lifted my front paw giving Porky a good-bye wave of my own.
Porky raised up, as far has his spiny, roly-poly body would let him, and gave a good-bye wave, of his own, then turning around he started climbing back up the old apricot tree.
Moral 1: Sometimes what you think your hurt you really aren’t.
Moral 2: Porcupines have lots of quills.
Moral 3: Ruth is good at ‘seeing’
Moral 4: Don’t leave home too soon.
Moral 5: Misunderstandings happen.
With these thoughts running through my mind, two squirrels attached firmly on my back, and the hot summer sun sinking behind us, I picked up my paws and loped back to the farm yard…AND SUPPER!
Sherlock Boomer, the Beagle
In the excitement of a potential corn harvest I forgot the next chapter! Sorry.
Well, to make a long story short, Barney is a black bear. Now we get bears here on the farm, not always and not often, but we still do. If the year has been dry they will wander up from the canyons just below our farm to eat on fallen apples or shake apricots off the trees. But mostly we don’t see them. That’s why I had never smelled that bear smell before.
Barney said he was following his Momma and his twin brother down Rubidoux Creek, they were searching for suckers (fish that live on the bottom of creek beds) for a little snack before bedtime, when a whole bunch of loud booms went off. His Momma yelled GUNS run, run and hide!
Barney, his brother, and his Mom took off scattering in widely different directions. Barney looked over at his side once and a saw a red fox running right alongside of him. That scared him just as bad as the gun sound did, because fox don’t get close to bears. If a fox were running with him, then that means something very bad was happening. Barney poured more speed into his steps and took off for the high walls of the canyon.
Gradually, over some amount of time, Barney found himself on our farm. There was the swamp with the lovely Red-winged black birds, then the drinking pond, a nice little creek, whereby he stopped to get a drink and…a very funny looking critter all sharp and pointy. When Barney gave the funny looking critter a little shove with his paw the little creature did ….Barney didn’t know…did something that filled Barney’s paw with thorns and stickers and a whole passel of pain.
Barney gave out a loud roar, which caused the sharp pointy creature to sort roll up, then unroll quickly and scrabble away. Leaving Barney just shaking his head in major agony. His paw was a mess!
About fifty bazillion quills were stuck in his paw! Roaring with pain, Barney too off as fast as he could go. Running in great agony…just putting his paw on the ground sent flashes of zagged pain to his brain making him growl and moan as he ran. Eventually he found the old coyote den which he crawled into while whimpering for his Momma.
Once there he didn’t leave, not even to go get a drink…he was terrified that the round roly-poly thing was out there ready to stab him again.
Of course, that is where we found him. All hunkered down and stuffed into the back of the old coyote den.
Stanley and Stewart, feeling brave, inched up to Barney and lifted his paw. “WHEW! You do have a huge mess here.” Stewart exclaimed as he examined the paw. “But really you don’t have a bazillion quills, you do have about….one, two, three…” Stewart started counting.
“four, five..” Stanley took over…”Humm, looks like you have around 9 or 10 quills in your paw.” Stanley grabbed one and gave a huge yank! “One down and a few more to go!”
Barney screamed and tried to jerk his paw away. “NO! Hold Still, Bear!” Ruth commanded…”if you want you paw to get better you have to get the quills out!”
Barney flopped down and hid his eyes with his good paw. Sobbing– he extended the quill covered paw to his new friends, “Go ahead, do whatever it is you have to do…I don’t have any choice it seems.”
Gradually Stewart and Stanley got rid of all the quills but two…Barney squirmed and moaned, but he held as still as he possibly could.
“Two left. Two very deep quills left!” Stanley sat back on his haunches and looked puzzled. “I just don’t know how we are going to get those two out. They are in sideways and buried a little deeper than we can pull with our squirrel strength.”
“Then it’s MY turn!” Ruth waddled up the big hairy paw…’humm,’ she mused…’pretty deep.’
Suddenly she hopped up on the paw, using her giant feet to hold the hairy arm down, reached right into the paw pad with her mighty wicked looking beak and gave a giant yank! Then she did it again!
“Out!” She pronounced! “Your paw is free from all quills now!” Ruth jumped off Barney’s arm and walked in front of his face. “Uncover your eyes and behold your quill free paw!”
Barney did as he was commanded, stared in wonder, then sat up and gave a huge yowl of happiness!
So every day I head out to check things out…sometimes Mom comes sometimes not. Sometimes the pads on my paws just get so toasted I can walk on snow and not feel a thing.
Once out there I look around for all good things—seems like I always find good things, yummy smells, interesting news, barking someone down the long, long lane all good things.
Like Mom says—it’s fun to look for good things. Look at this….
Jeneve Mitchell! This is a young woman from way up country of our county, Delta County, in Crawford, Colorado. As you watch you will see Needle Rock, a famous rock in Crawford. Proof of what she says…that she is from our neck of the High Mountain Desert.
Now wouldn’t that be nice if she became the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL!?
Saturday morning had been cold, very cold, but by noon a small melt was in place, the earth was bright and shiny from all the sparkling snow, the air dazzling with dancing sun motes.
The tangible evidence of last years crops still standing silent and snow covered gives proof nature is always in command on a ranch or farm.
But standing at the edge of two corn fields, as the sun sets or rises, feet warm and toasty in winter boots, listening to the secret murmurs of the dry leaves and corn stalks—walking further on, past the now harvested pinto bean field, up to the dried alfalfa field, then onto the rocky point…the whispers of the chico and sagebrush, the rabbitbrush and last year’s cattails tell me that my mind, body and soul is firmly in the grip of the land.
I love reading the books by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas… here is a quote from her, by which I totally agree:
“I saw that animals were important. I saw that plants were even more important. I was also to learn that compared to many of the other species, we weren’t important at all except for the damage we do. We do not rule the natural world, despite our conspicuous position in it. On the contrary, it is our lifeline, and we do well to try to understand its rules.”
Today has dawned cold and clear, but with a promise of warmth around noon. A small joy–but a perfect joy.
Your friend on a western Colorado farm,
Stanley and Stewart climbed onto my back, Ruth took off up into the sky, and Porky waddled over to a Chicco Brush and sat down. “You go.” I’ll wait here. “One encounter with a stranger is enough for me.”
It was a long, long ways up the hill to the old coyote den. We stayed close to the creek for a mile, then it was time to start climbing. I took a gradual climb, because…well, because two squirrels on your back is a HUGE load to go straight up.
We lost sight of Ruth, she was long gone. Still I trudged on, Stanley and Stewart clinging to my fur on my back. The day was hot (it was summer after all) and the sun seemed to just be getting hotter and hotter.
The air was rich and heavy with the smell of Chicco and sage brush, the little creek was sending musical sounds floating up the hill as it rushed toward the drinking pond.
Butterflies were flitting here and there, and the Red-Winged Blackbirds were singing and singing in the cattail swamp the other side of the pond bridge.
If all this was going on then there wasn’t any danger close.
I smiled to myself—Life is good!
It was late afternoon by the time I reached the summit of the hill. By this time I had worked out a plan on checking out the old coyote cave. My thought was I would lurk around outside, and get Stanley and Stewart to go INSIDE. They like holes. All types of holes, holes in the ground, holes in trees, holes under the barn, you name it, they like holes. It only made sense to me they needed to be the ones to head into the old coyote HOLE to see what they could see.
Yes, sir! I thought to myself, that is a Very good Plan!
“Hop off boys,” I said as I laid down to rest a spell. It’s been a long walk and I need to give my back, my feet and my muscles a short rest.” I gave my body a huge shake flinging the squirrels off both sides. “You go scout around and I’ll just lay here under this big old sage brush, panting for a spell.”
“Are we safe, Boomer? Did you smell the wind, the earth and the bushes?” A very timid little squirrel voice whispered to me.
“Yeah, Boomer, are we?” I felt two little squirrel paws grab my ear, then a rather large squirrel body climb under my ear, using it as a shelter.
I sat up and gave my head a couple of shakes flapping my ears hard. “Yes! You are safe here. Nothing is in the wind, or on the ground, or the trees, or the bushes or the grass. The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing and the butterflies are flitting.”
“It’s….it’s…it’s just so big and DIFFERENT up here, Boomer.”
I looked into four very huge eyes. Ah, yes, this is the first time they have ever been up here. These are farm yard squirrels. They don’t go anywhere unless they are with me and that hasn’t been often.
Giving up my idea of a short nap, I put a paw out and patted each one on the head, “You are safe. I promise boys. We will wait right here for a spell, I need to look around to see if Ruth is close by before we head to the old Coyote din. You can both stay right here and scamper in the sagebrush patch, or you can walk with me while I look for Ruth.”
Stanley looked at me very solemnly…”We are going with You, Boomer.”