Thursday, May 8, 2008

Eating Good

Like many people, we wean our wild birds off the feeder in Spring. That doesn't mean anyone goes
hungry but it does mean they tend to disperse more in search of the next meal. There is always a certain group that is a little bolder or a little smarter - I am not sure which - that hangs around the house and cleans up whatever scraps of chicken or llama feed happen to fall on the ground. Over the last two days I have taken a couple of photos to show what I mean.
It is funny because the llamas wouldn't think of letting another llama eat out of its bowl but they seem more than willing to put up with sharing with magpies, chuckars, rock doves and bunnies!

This morning I witnessed a full circle of life and death in the bunny population before I even made it out of my pajamas. It started because we had a load of hay delivered yesterday. There is nothing Frank the cat likes better than a new pile of hay. Normally the first thing we do when hay is delivered is to re-stack the entire pile so it doesn't fall over in the wind. Yesterday was one of those extremely rare days when it rained a wonderful spring rain all day and we decided to leave the pile the way it was so it could dry out before we re-stack and tarp it. It was leaning pretty good so we braced it with some poles and the ladder and pulled a tarp over the top to keep it from getting even wetter.
This morning Frank was at the door before first light, in a frenzy to get outside and smell the hay pile. He went so far as to climb the ladder so he could get a really good look at it all. Because the bobcat has been hanging around regularly I was keeping an eye on Frank out the window when I saw all the llamas run to the edge of the hill and look over. I grabbed the camera and headed out the door in pajamas and slippers to chase away the intruder - either a coyote or a bobcat, I assumed - and maybe get a good photo in the process. Instead I was surprised when I looked over the hill and saw below me the golden eagle with a rabbit in his talons. By the time I got the camera in position he had dropped the bunny and was flying off so I just caught a rear view.

As I turned around I saw that Frank had followed me to the hill so I turned and started back to get him into the safe zone. As we walked by the llama feed trough a bunny jumped out of the trough and ran at us. Both Frank and I recognized the maneuver as an effort to distract us and we looked into the trough where we saw the newest baby bunny I have ever seen in my life. He was tiny and wet with eyes still closed and ears still glued to his head. I realized I had a choice of getting a great photo or getting Frank out of there before his curiosity got the best of him so I did the only thing I could do - I scooped up the cat and headed for the house. By the time I looked out the window mama bunny was back and was moving her newborn under the trough where it will stay for a week or two until it is big enough to fend for itself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kathy - I love your blog. As usual, today's was GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing. annmarie