Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Not only were the elk still hanging around this morning, they were closer to the house than ever. For some reason the llamas were much more aware of them today and the same seemed true of the elk. I'm not quite sure what 15 llamas thought they could do to hold off 80 elk but they did have the advantage of the high ground as well as being on home territory.
It seemed to work as the elk were obviously nervous and eventually retreated to the back pasture where they have settled in once again. What a treat it has been having them here for the last few days!
The weather seems to have finally broken and Ken and I were actually able to get a nice run in this morning after the elk retreated. As we approached the irrigation ditch we saw one of our two resident golden eagles rise out of the cottonwoods. Since that is not a spot we see them too often we were curious to see what the attraction was. When we arrived at the spot the eagle had been we found the feathered remains of a magpie. It is unlikely the eagle killed the smaller bird - it was more likely the victim of one of our frequent falcons. The eagle was simply cleaning up the pieces. It was pretty amazing to find such a collection of black, white and iridescent magpie feathers. For some reason they are pretty illusive. I will have to check but I don't think it is legal to collect the feathers so they may simply have to be gifts to the wind.

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