Country Living Series

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Winter wildlife

As we settle into our new home, the one thing that strikes me over and over is how much wildlife is in the area, the notable exception (so far) being predators. We've seen coyotes (I saw one trot by across the road from us as I was putting up this blog post, but was unable to get a photo). We haven't (yet) seen bears, cougars, or wolves. I'm confident they're in the area and I know we'll see them at some point, but not yet.

Deer are easily the most abundant large animal we see. They are everywhere, and seemingly so tame that they hardly trouble themselves to get out of the way when we're driving or even walking.

The other evening a small herd moseyed through our yard before jumping the fence into the pasture, where the previous owners had left a couple of salt blocks.




Almost always on this distant hillside, we'll see a herd of deer grazing or relaxing.

(As a side note: When we get our garden built, ten foot fences, baby!)

It's hard to see, but this lousy photo depicts two bald eagles. My camera was on maximum zoom and then the photo is cropped and enlarged, so the result is pretty bad.

And of course, turkeys. My goodness, there are turkeys everywhere.

We also have pheasant, to Mr. Darcy's delight. (Being an upland bird dog, he loves chasing birds. When we let him.)

And quail. We get some big fat quail around here.

 


But the biggest thrill for me, so far, was seeing a herd of elk grazing on a neighbor's pasture. Apparently this herd -- consisting of about 14 animals -- moves around quite a bit and is well-known in the vicinity. Can't wait until they make an appearance on our property.



What can we expect to see next?

17 comments:

  1. Even in the burbs of Folsom, California we see turkeys and quail. There used to be quite a few quail, until people started letting their cats roam! Keep your cats inside! Deer are still seen farther up in El Dorado County. It's nice to know that wildlife continues to migrate in. Now, Canadian Geese? Ick! They are loud, obnoxious, fouling every walkway, street, car, and house. They really are irritating. Our community got a service called Goose Patrol, which is 2 border collies that run the hell out of those geese. So far, we have experienced a quieter and cleaner community.

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    1. Why do you have to say something like that. If you don’t agree with the person or think they are an idiot why say it? A little kindness goes a long way.

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    2. I've heard of people using Border Collies for that purpose (chasing off Canada Geese) and have often thought our pup would appreciate the work. His only "job" is to keep the yard free of wild birds and our neighbor's flock of guinea hens; which he does with a gusto, lol. I kinda wish he'd leave the songbirds alone but, oh well, it gives him a sense of purpose!

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  2. You are very blessed to see God's beautiful creation everyday. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

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  3. There is something special about watching wildlife roam through the property .We too are blessed with turkey, deer and quail as frequent visitors to our home. Enjoy.
    Bluesman

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  4. Are you going to leave those salt blocks out ?

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    1. Might as well. I don't mind the wildlife using them, and hopefully within a year we'll have our own cattle again.

      - Patrice

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  5. Are you going to leave those salt blocks out ?

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  6. Keep your rifle sighted in, practice your shotgun swing and try to keep a little extra space in the deep freeze.

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  7. I live in Grangeville and we have had some elk come down into the outer area of town. I had some bobcat trails through the snow the last couple of days... does make you keep an eye on your pets and chickens in the coop at night. We have bear sighting quite often around here.

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  8. Lovely amount of wild life!

    Yes, come gardens, highhhhh fences will appear. -grin-

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  9. I am a little further south. Have some deer that roam through the yard and the wooded areas on both sides. Have a group of 8-10 turkeys that wander through every other day or so. Have some hawks and owls that like to perch over my pond or in the trees to hunt. Bats go looking for mosquitos at dusk. Cottontails, of course. Haven't seen them in person but the neighbors camera shows bobcats.

    Agree with how nasty Canadian geese can leave things. I used to have a pair that raised goslings every year until my drake (I keep ducks) decided they were trespassing and harassed them until they left and didn't come back. Wish I had a video of that mallard drake chasing off a gander. lol.

    kathy in MS

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  10. I too enjoy seeing the critters. I miss the quail. Used to tell hubby that I spoke quail. In the mornings, they said “Rise and shine. Rise and shine.” In the evenings, they said “Time for bed. Time for bed.” 😊

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  11. When I am here at The Ranch, I am regularly treated to deer and turkey. There are others around, and I have seen upon occasion coyote, fox, and bear (bear scat is all about). There has been one mountain lion sighting on the property, but I have yet to see it.

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  12. We usually (and always hope to) have some honkers (Canadian Geese) raise goslings on our big dam each year, along with the teal, mallards, woodies and others we sometimes have on the small dam. Always hoping the babies survive the predators. Once saw a Bald Eagle dive at the small dam and leave with something...muskrat?? We have thousands and thousands of geese, Sandhill cranes and others. Always am glad to see them all, as so many bird numbers are declining..we have been here for almost 30 years and have seen the numbers drop..

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  13. Those are the fattest quail I've ever seen. Kinda like chukkars

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