Saturday, September 30, 2006
Autumn along the creek
By this time of the year, the creek is low. Reflections, like the one above, can make telling which side is up difficult. The creek, like the land is waiting for fall rains which have yet to come. The forests are dry and logging is shut down again as until the real rains come, fire risk is still great.
Wild blackberries are almost finished, but the last ones are sweetest. As I walked back to take photos, the ravens cawed loudly in dismay. Who are you? Get away from here! I wish I could have caught them with the camera as they are gorgeous, big black birds with huge beaks. These are not the young ones that grew up down the creek from the house, but rather their parents. When they are not flying, or in a tree looking down on me with disdain, they stalk around the pasture as though they own the place; and more than once, due to their size, I've looked through the scope to be sure they are a bird and not a coyote.
The coyotes are mostly loud at night. During the day they sneak in, hoping to not be noticed. They killed one of our smaller lambs last week; so I am out several times during the day with my .22 in hopes of shooting them before they kill another. Temporarily the sheep have lost pasture privileges (they have always been brought in at night) and are being fed extra hay and kept around the orchard, barns, and house. Even getting a shot at the coyote will help dissuade it from coming in. Killing it will do better.
I don't like shooting coyotes as they have to eat. They are beautiful, but they also will not stop killing without being forced. Killing isn't a moral issue to them but rather one of necessity. So is my shooting one if it comes into the pasture.
In nature, like it or not, might makes right. Without me around, they have might over the sheep. With me, it will depend on how good a shot I am that day and how fast the coyote can run.
This picture is the cow and her calf from this summer. Junior keeps up with mama just fine now. And good he does as he's not large enough to be safe from the coyotes either. Mama with her horns would be a good dissuader though-- as good as me with my .22.