Friday, January 21, 2011

It's A Wild Life...

Yesterday, in the midst of an unusually heavy snow storm for St. Louis, Big Daddy and I loaded up the dogs and headed to the farm. Hey, if you're gonna be snowed in, why not make it in a place where you can have some fun? This is what we saw when we turned off the paved road...


As you can see, by the time we arrived the snow had stopped falling, and the sun was making every effort to bring us all the way up to freezing. It never made it, but we sure appreciated its effort!

As soon as we unloaded all our gear, the first order of business was to go on a hunt for some dead, dry wood. With so much of the "farm" wooded, there is no lack of dead wood. The trick is to find a tree that has fallen and gotten hung up somewhere above the ground out of the snow, but not so far above the ground that Big Daddy can't easily reach it and work his chain saw magic. 

I know, you're probably thinking, "Why in the world would they wait until there's snow on the ground to gather wood?" We didn't. Last summer and fall, we gathered lots of wood in the process of clearing out poison ivy, chigger habitat, cool paths down to the pond and more cool paths around the perimeter of the property - we just didn't get enough old, dead wood. See, we have lots of wood piles just like this one scattered around the back yard ...


...(yes, there really is about a cord of wood under that tree!), but those logs won't be ready for burning until next winter or even the following one. In the meantime, we get to pretend we're modern-day pioneers and go on wood quests. And that's where the wild life we lead usually leads us to the real wildlife - like this guy...


He and his momma must have been nesting in a tree that Big Daddy cut into logs and loaded into the back of the Mule. Why they waited to leave their nest until all the logs were loaded is beyond me, but there they were running around the bed of the Mule wondering what happened to their house. First Big Daddy grabbed the bigger one, but she immediately jumped out of his hands and burrowed into the loose undergrowth of the nearest tree. This little guy was much more skittish, and by the time we got him, he bailed out and hid under the back tire of the Mule. Every time I got  him to move, he just ran to the cover of another tire. I finally coaxed him out into the open, where I snapped a quick picture. I was afraid that, if I tried to pick him up again, he would run off in the wrong direction, so we left him right there hoping his momma would reclaim him before he froze to death or became a snack for one of the many predators around here. Such is the wild life of wildlife at Le Rustique.

1 comment:

  1. Love this photo of the little mouse and your story!

    ReplyDelete

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