Wild Encounters

While out at pasture I am seen and heard by the wildlife but seldom is it the other way around, such is their state of awareness and my state of busyness.  So when the chance encounters happen they bring me up short and make me pay attention.

Noticing a ewe off on her own I head over to investigate.  She is located just over a rise, standing tall and looking intently down slope.  She barely acknowledges my approach on the Ranger and she doesn’t move off.  Cresting the rise I see that she has a lamb at her feet.  What is she watching then? 

I catch a brief glimpse of what has her attention as I come over the hill.  There is a deer standing at the fence, only 60 - 70 feet away, and at the deer’s feet is the ewe’s second lamb.  Not being held transfixed by her own young visiting with strangers, the deer startles at my appearance and bounds off.  The ewe and I watch it go.  Finding itself suddenly alone, the second lamb bleats loudly and the ewes rushes down hill to collect it, murmuring the whole way.   I sense the ewe’s relief but smile at the thought of the deer and lamb saying hello to each other.

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As I drive around the pasture a crow flies low and near the Ranger.  I slow to watch as it approaches and passes by.  It is close enough for me to see it cocking its head, one way and then the other, eyeball looking down to the earth each time.  Ah, I suspect it is searching for left over remnants of lambing - afterbirth.  It looks very much like a crow might look if texting while flying. 
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I discover the body of a lamb - just the body.  The entire head is missing.  What creature takes the head before the body?  We suspect an owl and we have a great horned owl nesting about half a mile away, with two fledglings in the nest.  Co-existence with the land and wildlife at its finest hour. 



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