Thursday, January 18, 2007

The elk left yesterday. We could barely see them up on the hill of Section One to the north of us. I wondered if maybe they were following some sort of herd memory to the spring in that area but we discovered a more likely reason for their movement later in the day. Ken and I took the 7 boys for a four mile cross-country hike in the afternoon. He trailed four and I had three and we decided to go look at the area where the elk had been hanging out. Along the way we came across some fresh wolf track, the probable cause of their sudden departure from our prairie.
It felt a little like Noah's Ark here yesterday as both the golden eagle pair and the coyote pair decided to pay a visit. The eagles assumed their usual position on Tower Rock, keeping a close watch for any unsuspecting cottontails foolish enough to cross below them. The coyotes are getting bolder. They decided to cross right through the llama corral. That was until CrowFoot spotted them and ran after them at full charge. Knowing Crow his main goal was to see if these strangers wanted to play but the coyotes weren't taking any chances and they turned 180 and beat it to the other side of the fence. That, of course, just got Crow more excited and he ran even faster with a flurry of black-tipped feet and a few jubilant head tosses thrown in for good measure! Coyotes have their wily reputation for a reason and once they were on the other side of the fence they just sat and watched the llamas antics. I swear I could hear their little coyote voices singing "na-na-na-na-na!" This pair has been coming around for about eight or nine months now. I assume they are mates but I really don't know for sure. One is certainly bigger than the other and seems to be the leader while the small one just follows along and often sits and waits while the larger one hunts. As much as I enjoy watching them I am saddened that they seem to have chased off our bobcat population. We used to see cats at least once a month or so but we haven't seen a single one since the coyotes arrived.
I have spent much of the last day making little clay people for a project I am working on. My brother Garth and his family gave me a book on making clay figures last Christmas and this seemed the perfect time to try it out. I hope to have photos of the finished piece by next week.

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