Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fox on the Run

Yes, the fox is still on the run.  The chickens are still in the barn, and the third and final batch arrives this week, so the first batch has GOT to get back out on pasture within the next couple days.  Their pen has been fixed and reinforced and the electric fence has been perked up and adjusted.  Mark and I are yawning a bit more than usual these days as we find ourselves standing at the edge of the field at all hours of the night surrounded by biting insects and complete silence, panning a weak flashlight for any sign of reflective eyes shining back, gun cocked at the ready. 
The dog will bark and we'll tiredly roll out of bed, half-knowing that there won't be anything to shoot at by the time we get out there.  Then, once we're there, adrenaline holding our eyes open, it's just a perfectly nice night/morning to be out and about. 
SO, we're not sure our next move, since we know that no matter how reinforced the fence and pen are, the fox is capable of digging underneath as well.  As I said, "That first night after we put the birds back out will be a rather sleepless one."  Mark has left the cattle trailer in the field for the week for the fox to get used to it, with the intention of using it as a blind, but she's a wily little thing.  Here's hoping her appetite is stronger than her sense of smell and she'll walk right by the blind with the man inside.  Now if only the aim on the rifle.....

As I sit here writing this I can hear two distinct sounds.  The first is steadily falling rain. It's making for some beautiful green grass and happy crops.  We haven't had much rain lately and it will be welcome by anyone who doesn't have hay laying on the ground. Unfortunately we're not one of those people and our forecast which looked clear through to Tuesday, two days ago, is now rather gray looking.  It's also sounding like more than the 1mm they were calling for, so we'll see how much rain hay can withstand.  It's a really beautiful crop of hay too, so will be a shame if we lose it.
The other sound I hear is of a man finally admitting defeat to nature, after worrying over the hay for too long as the forecast slowly changed over from good to bad to worse.  He's finally dug his car out from storage and is testing the loudness, I think.  I don't much about the car except that it's noisy and fairly useless.  But apparently a lot of fun,  So between that and rain, it's another Saturday on the farm.

Any tips for dealing with foxes would be appreciated.  Also, any experience with rained-on hay would also be appreciated. 

My sister, April, plays a big role in keeping the kids knee deep in great books and a recent favorite is a book called simply, "Farm" by Elisha Cooper, who HAD to have grown up on a farm, if not still live on one as it has all sorts of insights that could only come from farm progeny.  Anyway, there's a little section that rings especially true these days. 
"At the edge of the fields, butterflies bounce.  In the garden, bees zoom from bud to bud. 
The girl steps on a bee.  The boy gets bit by mosquitos.  The cats swallow grasshoppers and hack them up. 
At night, everyone itches."

Hope this finds you being able to enjoy the bright side of the rain?


1 comment:

  1. Great posts Sally ( and I do not mean the wooden kind!). I am wondering if genetics have any role to play in the fox saga? Seems to me I have heard similar stories around here!!