Love for the Sandhill Crane
Thought I'd start out with some cool shots of this cool bird, the Sandhill Crane. I have been fascinated by them since I've moved here. There loud calls are very cool to me. Last night I came upon one nesting, and quickly got outta there so I didn't disturb her or him. She seemed to really be hunkering down and hoping I wasn't seeing her.
Here's the beautiful nesting zone, zoomed out. What a spot!!
I don't know what it is. The fellow I work for, who owns the property I take care of, and recreates on it frequently, has told me he never saw skunks before I got here. I feel like I'm always running into them. The last few months, we've had numerous run ins with a skunk. Once, he came all the way up on the back deck, while Katie and Andrea made jellies in the kitchen. Another time, he sprayed the driveway area for reasons I don't know. Another time, he ran under my legs as Katie climbed up the ladder to the hay barn. You could only the imagine the screaming that took place as I begged her to go faster up the ladder.
After the ladder incident, I figured it was time to get rid of him. I set up a live trap with a small cup of pig feed in it. After a few failed attempts, this morning I opened up the doors to the barn to this:
Luckily I tied a long length of bailing twine to the trap before I set it so that I could drag him out of the barn.
Here's my first real look at him.
During his commute to the truck, he passed by the horses, who wanted NO part of this scene! Very upset.
After only a small release of skunk essence, I realized that he couldn't spray while he was in the trap. I think because he couldn't raise his tail high enough. However, I wasn't totally convinced. I sat here for a few minutes debating how to get the trap into the truck. I wanted to bring him somewhere far away from where I work every morning.
People recommend drowning a skunk so that he doesn't release his essence upon death. I thought about that, but really had a hard time putting him in the creek. I kind of felt that it wasn't a humane thing to do. I actually contemplated driving far off and dropping him off. I know, he's a skunk, but I am a bit sensitive to living animals. He is stinky, but really kind of cool. And he eats bugs, snakes, small mice.....and chickens. Oh yeah!! He eats chickens. And he ate some of OUR chickens. So I decided to drive him up the road a way, with a .22 in the truck.
RIP Little Fella.
The animal lover in me got a bit sad from this photo.