Sunday afternoon. A warm day, 25°F, sunny when we left the house but cloudy when we got back. We went out for a little exercise, to get an idea of where predators are traveling, and thoroughly enjoy the outdoors. Steve brought a hatchet with him to do a little clearing. He cut branches and let them fall to the ground. I tossed them aside. The trail needs little work now that it’s well established.
We started on the west side of the north trail, went out toward the big bog, turned in check on the beaver lodge, and then followed the eastern side to the property line. From there it’s a sharp right down the southern property line to the orchard.
Ava, seen here sporting a lovely green tank top to cover the sore spot on her back, followed tracks and explored the dormant beaver lodge. Zoey, too busy to stand still for a photo, shoved her snout into tracks from animals she didn’t recognize. We know of three bobcats in the woodlot. She paid little attention to their tracks. One set of tracks, smaller than the tom cat and larger than the female with last year’s kit, kept her attention. A fourth cat? We think so.
Back in our livestock days we had browsers instead of grazers – cattle that do well on browse, the same foods deer eat, and don’t require healthy pasture. The Dexter and Belted Galloway cows, and the Toggenburg, Saanen, Nubian and other goats went to the woods for the day while the horses stayed in the pasture. We used electric fence to keep our animals in and wild animals out. Well, other than moose. Moose go any damn where they want in spite of the zap. There isn’t much snow this winter so it was easy to spot the lengths of high tensile wire we missed when we pulled in the fence. I marked them with flagging. Maybe I’ll go back to get them. Probably I won’t. It’s not bothering anything, and it’s a reminder each time I see it of how different life was when the barn was full.