Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scary Creatures!

It's not Halloween yet but there are some scary creatures on the farm. Friend Lynn-Marie discovered one in my blog photo of a load of manure from cleaning out a buck pen. Lynn-Marie says:

"Hey, did you know that you had a manure-monster in the little trailer that the tractor is hitched
to near the bottom of your blog? He looks very upset too...grumpy, frowny face up against the mound of yuck, shoulder and long arm fringed in a lighter color with his hand hanging over the edge of the trailer! He's probably upset from being dug up and dumped in there -- you should go out and talk to him before he gets really mad and crawls out some night! lol He's the first thing I saw when I looked at that photo."

I had a hard time making out the creature so her husband Luther drew a box around it with arrows. Here's the original photo. Can you see the manure monster? I couldn't until Luther sent the next photo, but now I can't see anything else!

Here is the monster corralled:

That load of manure was safely dumped in the chicken yard and the manure monster disappeared. We haven't lost any chickens so it must have gone peacefully.

But I ran into another frightening creature tonight, on my way back to the goat barn after feeding the horses. I almost literally ran into it. It was dark and I had no flashlight. While feeding the horses, Jessie Anne, who is always the first to spot anything strange in the area, startled away from her food and stared toward the pitch black orchard... the orchard I had to traverse from horse barn back to goat barn. Mister Smith stared in that direction, too. But he didn't act particularly frightened, so I figured it was deer. I've scared them out from under the apple trees several times this summer/fall. So I started walking slowly, talking loudly all the way, "WHATEVER IS OUT HERE NEEDS TO LEAVE NOW. I'M COMING THROUGH. DEER, IF THAT'S YOU, GO AWAY NOW. I'M WALKING TO THE GOAT BARN. GO AWAY."

I heard nothing moving so I just kept walking and talking. When I was nearly to the big apple tree right next to the path, a very large, very dark and solid object lumbered slowly across the path a few feet in front of me, headed toward the woods. I stopped but kept talking. "JUST KEEP GOING PLEASE. YOU NEED TO LEAVE NOW. I AM GOING TO THE GOAT BARN. I AM GOING TO KEEP WALKING. GO AWAY PLEASE." I heard the creature crunch, crunch crunching through the brush in no particular hurry. It was, of course, a bear. And a bear not in any rush to leave the fallen apples under the tree. I will never, never, never again go to the horse barn after dark without a flashlight.

I called Johnny on my cell phone and told him I'd just run into a bear. "Do you want me to bring the camera?" he asked.

"No, dear, it's dark out. I just want to keep talking to you until I reach the goat barn. I am never going to the horses again without a flashlight." Johnny was laughing. He has a very strange sense of humor.

I was very glad to reach the lights of the barn.

I think the bears are closer in this year because of the scarcity of berries for them. Also, the seedling apples on the far side of the horse pasture, where we usually find bear scats in the fall, have way fewer apples than usual and most have not started to drop yet. The same is true everywhere in our area. The bears are hungry.

I suspect the horses have been seeing a lot of the bears and so are becoming accustomed to them. I'm not. I'm not going anywhere after dark without a flashlight. Johnny can have the camera.


  1. Oh dear!! (or, if you have children or grandchildren of a certain age who used to watch the Winnie-the-Pooh movie or read the book... as Piglet says when he's scared: "OH! Oh, d-d-d-d-d-dear!") Where was your dog? You need a headlamp for sure! That's a *little* too close for comfort! And it must be a husband thing... mine would have done the same thing! :)

  2. The dogs stay with their charges and bark whenever the bear is around. I guess they figure I'm not in need of protecting. But this night, I don't think either dog knew the bear was in the orchard... it's a long way from the goat barn and even farther from the sheep/llama shed. A very long way in the dark...