Friday, August 01, 2008

Best laid plans

... or if two things have gone wrong, wait for the third (or fourth or fifth).

Wednesday began the string with trying to upgrade Mozilla to 3.0 which Hotmail said I should do. At first it was fine and then everything went south quickly. I lost email and couldn't get into sites. I am a long ways from a techie but could figure out my Mozilla upgrade had damaged something else; so I did a restore to an earlier date at which time I got back internet and email. Mozilla no longer worked at all.

That meant struggling with getting bookmarks set up in Explorer, discovering my version of Explorer does not spell check, and back to more unexpected pop-ups. Before lunch, I decided to check on the sheep who were out in the big pasture *dum de dum dum*.

Blocked somewhat from seeing the whole picture, I saw a single ewe running across the field. When it's hot, that's unusual; then I saw what I thought was a small animal chasing after her. Was it her lamb or something else? This had been intended to be a casual observation; so I was dressed in sundress, sandals, and no rifle.

In such situations, there is no time to debate what's going on. Better to be wrong and run into the field yelling like a banshee just in case it was a coyote. Even in my younger days I was no sprinter; so by the time I got to where I had seen the ewe running, there was no coyote but the sheep were grazing peacefully. They didn't look like they had felt under attack.

Okay, no problem. Nothing had been there. Sheep can be nutty. If the neighbors thought I was too, nothing new. I looked around for awhile before I went back in the house and called Farm Boss, who was at work having changed hats to Techie Boss, about the Mozilla problem.

While I was talking to him, walking around with the phone as is my wont, I was looking out the window toward the fields and sheep. It didn't look right and I told him I had to go quick. I dropped the phone on the bed and headed out. This time with my .22.

Before I got to the sheep, I saw the coyote. It was looking avidly at what it expected to be lunch and at first ignored me. I couldn't get a clear shot with the sheep in the way, and I had limited confidence in using the scope with the possibility of animals that could dash between me and the intended target. Coyote eats sheep-- bad. I shoot sheep-- worse. So I kept moving and the coyote did too. The sheep? Although they had obviously all run into the barnyard, they did not seem panicked.

It's odd that the coyote even came back so recently after seeing me in the field, but it clearly had the idea that humans don't stick around. When it got almost to the back of the place, where the oblivious, no longer nicknamed guard cows were taking their noon nap, it turned to look and see if I might have left. I was in a better position to take a shot, but it was long one. Unfortunately, I missed. This time it decided I meant business and left the pasture.

It won't be gone permanently. I am now believe it was what I had seen running the first time, and it probably hid in the brush until I had gone back inside. It got one lamb several weeks ago (around the time we took the trip to Central Oregon) and Farm Boss got a shot at it then but also missed for it being too far away. We need some target practice at that distance, because once they get lamb (or mutton, they aren't picky), they have a taste for it. This is the dry season and unless humans are shooting at them, sheep are easy prey. I don't blame the coyotes but I also can't let them eat our sheep if I can help it.

I left the sheep out but spent the afternoon checking frequently-- in more appropriate garb for going into the pasture. For fun, and because nothing else had been, I took a self-timed picture of me and my gun. I love my .22 as I got it when I was 12 for the very same purpose, patrolling to protect what was then my parents' sheep from attacking neighborhood dogs.

In case you did not know, you can tell which predator killed a sheep based on how the kill is. A dog kills more like a wolf tearing an animal up, but a coyote is smaller and has to go for the throat to bring down much the larger animals.

So that was two. Was there going to be more? You know there was, or I'd not have started the way I did.

Farm Boss got home and reinstalled Mozilla after a glass of red wine -- without losing my bookmarks. Hallulujah, everything worked again. After dinner, he went out to fix the irrigation pump that wasn't working.

And along came the third (unless you count the irrigation pump which I won't since it wasn't working before Wednesday). The internet dish, Hughes Net, went out and has yet to be fixed as it evidently is something that requires more than Farm Boss's tools and who knows how long it'll take to get a repairman out this far.

So fortunately, we still have dial up but it's slow and requires using the phone line. When we depended on dial up all the time, we had two phone lines; but now there is one. Dial-up is definitely better than none, but makes everything slow and some sites are out of the question.

At least that was three and hopefully the old saw will stand true about things go in threes... and might I add grrrrrrr

4 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Ah, you did have a busy day! I enjoyed reading about it in your true story fashion. Too bad we can't go after some of the national predators the same way.

robin andrea said...

Sorry to read about your coyote and computer woes. I hope you're Hughes Net Dish comes back up very soon. We were on dial-up for a few days. It is slow, but it's definitely do-able. I'm a little surprised by the coyote's behavior, hanging around like that. Very brazen.

Mary Lou said...

Oh I lost DSL the other day and went NUTS!!! But it came back.. I cant afford the satellite up here. But I have DISH tv!! and the cable is the reason I switched to DISH. It was always going out. too bad it is the only carrier for DSL i can get here. Now COMCAST and VERIZON are both RIGHT OVER THER on the highway...see them? But in my developement which is 100 yds away they are not allowed because BROADSTRIPE has the contract. ARRRRGHHHH>>>> but I guess it is much better than Dial up.. I only had one phone line, and as much as I WAS on the computer, no body could call me. ah well

Wish i could shoot the coyotes over my back fence. against the law here on the island though. SO naturally they are taking over!!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

My goodness...These were Biggies! I mean you are not talking about little things going wrong....
Someone was just advising me about downloading Mozilla...I am relectant to do any of that stuff because something always happens...So, though it would be nice to have another alternative to Internet Explorer....I think I'll pass on that one!
Poor Sheep, having to deal with Cayote's....And poor you, too!
As to your thingy going out...I do not ebvy you THAT problem, either...!
I hope tomorrow is much much better!