our animal kingdom

It's funny how the daily rituals of the animals around the Farm can occassioanlly seem less than thrilling as we grow accustomed to sharing our little world with them. Being back in Michigan this past weekend made me very aware of this fact, as the only animals I saw were family pets; gas guzzling beasts on the southeastern Michigan highways, growling and lurching all around me; and the occasional robins, indicators of spring in the midwest. I told my family and friends stories about what we'd encountered lately around the Farm and they oohed and aahed, intrigued. So, I thought I would mention the latest and greatest animal sightings (my own and others) worth noting.
  • Moose: A few weeks back an acquaintance mentioned his having seen a moose. It was near dusk and the acquaintance was hiking one of the many Farm trails. I am assuming it was this same moose which was also reported to have been seen not far from this trail a few days later. Hearing of these sighting made me think that somewhere as these stories were being told, my friends TSO and KT both shuddered without knowing why. While they were in Alaska they were nearly trampled by a moose--see here for the story.
  • Red fox are seen around pretty frequently. One night while driving into town and back I saw three. Very beautiful creatures.
  • Coyotes: TSO and I went for a hike two weekends ago, and in our travelings we found a recently dead coyote. I don't know much about coyotes, but there were no obvious (to me) indicators of what killed this coyote. It didn't seem that old, or malnurshied, or like it had been attacked by anything else--sad to see such a thing of beauty dead.
  • Porcupines: Just the other morning, when I was arriving back at the Farm after my weekend in Michigan, I was greeted by the porcupine welcome wagon. Within about a mile stretch of the road I passed four porcupines; varying in size, the two smaller ones looked about as big as the one pictured on the NG link, the other two almost double that size. I was slightly amused when one of the porcupines decided to stop in the middle of the road in a Gandolfian "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" kinda moment.
Those are the most interesting sightings. There have been birds aplently all over the place, those who weather the winter and those retuning from warmer climes. The early spring robins, bluejays and cardinals have been joined by an army of other birds, many whose names I do not know. And the woodpeckers are at it again, pounding into trees in search of meals. I woke to one the other day and grumbled about the *damn noise* but realized that the sound of birds is so much nicer to wake to than the sounds of sirens, among other things. The peepers are out making themselves heard at night, and the frogs are out to--I know this as I ran over about a million a couple weeks ago during a rainstorm. Damn things love to get under my tires and make a most horrible popping noise. Ugh. Still no bear sightings yet, that I know of.

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