The hawk pair that nest in the bend of the river just south of Ginger's pasture are back again this year. It is highly upsetting to them whenever I go into the southwest corner of the pasture. Both parents fly out of sight, calling loudly in warning and alarm, "kerrrrrr, kerrrrr" (my best written impression). When I tied ribbons on the fence Friday morning, it upset them and they remained upset the entire morning, based on their calls. Saturday morning when I was cutting the fallen tree I must have been too close for far beyond their tolerance level. Both birds were agitated. I caught brief glimpses of one then the other through the trees. They called more frequently and urgently and they continued calling so long and loudly that we could easily hear them from the road later in the day.
Using binoculars I have tried to locate their nest from the safe distance of the road, at least a third of a mile away, but so far have had no luck. I consider their nesting on my creek, possibly on my property, as a mighty blessing. They hunt my pasture and meet in a tree in the winter months at dawn right out my window. They belong here and I hope I did not disturb them so much that they move their nest. They hunt a much larger area of prairie than just my few acres, but they are headquartered here. They are most welcome, even if they should ever take one of my chickens. It would be a small token of appreciation from one human being to all of red tail hawkind for every hawk heartlessly shot out of the sky by human beings who have viewed them as pests and an enemy.
Three o'clock am and the dogs were barking at something. Poor old Duke still barks, but his voice is muffled and weakened by age. The coyotes know the Guardian of Spirit Creek is too old to truly defend against their nighttime sneaking anymore. But in their circle, those wild cousins surely honor his brave warrior spirit as he alone protected this farm for the last thirteen years.
Jake is a strange dog, not a cross of German Shepherd and Chow as advertised, but of German Shepherd and some exotic small breed that gives him a sleek look and the propensity to not bark much. Both dogs were barking at something I judged as not too dangerous based on the lack of ferocity in their voices, maybe a racoon or a opossum. But then I heard Jake yelp. Oh oh. I went to investigate in my underwear. Underwear does not give a person any psychological advantage whatsoever - just FYI. I used the trusty headlamp to investigate what might be attacking that ding-a-ling pup with no farm savvy.
At first I thought Jake had cornered the rat that has been chewing through the wiring on my lawn tractor and the battle was ON! With double extra large underwear girding my loins and crowned with The Light, I charged forward to avenge my stricken tractor against the vermin, screaming like a righteous banshee! It was a small gray calico cat, almost starved, who calmly faced the horror of my vengence with perfect feline equamity. We stared at one another for a long moment and then I carefully reached toward her. She was friendly and happy to see a human being, even one in its underwear. I fed her dog food and water out of Jake's dog bowl. She is most welcome here, too. Hopefully she can avoid Jake's enthusiastic and possibly harmful intentions until I can get her to the vet, and nursed back into good heath. She was covered with fleas and ticks so I did not pick her up or try to bring her in the house. I hope she is still here this evening when I will have time to deal with her with my clothes on.