Link of the Day: Iltis Oxhead Axes at Lee Valley . Anybody own one of these? Are they greater or lesser than a Wetterlings or the like?
"Run, rabbit run
Dig that hole, forget the sun
And when at last the work is done
Don't sit down
It's time to dig another one..."
Pink Floyd, "Breathe"
About a week ago, I read a report that a mini-horse had been killed by a mountain lion nearby. It was about five miles away as the crow flies, so the probability would be that the lion is (probably) around our house. With the fresh dusting of snow, I decided to go out and search the HHA (Happy-Half-Acre) and beyond to see what has been passing through. Mountain lions have been spotted within a hundred yards of our house but we have yet to see one of them on our property. My mom found lion scat when she was here last year, but it appeared very old. We haven't found any since.
I might add that when I took these pictures, we were having a streak of uncommonly cold weather. It was -20 below when I got out of bed. By the time I got my boots on, it was -15. That only happens here in the foothills one or two times a year.
I didn't expect what I found. When we moved here six years ago we had a fair amount of wild rabbits. The year after, the rabbits cleared out to a strong fox population. I haven't seen rabbits here since. Obviously, I'm not keeping my eyes open. These tracks are a little muddled, but they are definitely rabbit tracks. I might add that they were closely followed by fox tracks.
Mr. Fox taking a walk.
By the distance between the front and back tracks, I'd dare say that Mr. Rabbit was walking, but soon enough, he started to run.
With Mr. Fox in chase.
A walked up the path behind the HHA and the tracks presented the scenario.
Mr. Fox was canvasing the area sometime last night before 8pm. I know this because he had the same amount of snow in his tracks as were left in mine from last night. I got home around 8pm.
He went down over some large boulders and headed toward the road.
Whilst Mr. Fox was waiting on the rocks, Mr. Rabbit happened to be walking down the road.
Or was Mr. Rabbit was out for a jog, perhaps?
Not sure what happened here, but the two tracks intersect.
Okay, so maybe the fox wasn't hot on the rabbit. He was close behind, possibly tracking the rabbit. From the tracks, the rabbit had a pretty good idea that he was being followed. The tracks continued throughout the neighborhood, crisscrossing in the snow.
I didn't find any evidence that the fox was successful in his hunt. I'm sure that if I followed the trail long enough that the fox would either give up or win. Judging by the size of the rabbit tracks, he'll have to keep trying.
Name that skull.
I walked back to the house to build a fire and get warm. -20 below is almost a foreign concept to me now. I think about all the days I spent in northern Maine out in the cold and enjoying the weather. I'm not sure I would ever return to it full-time, but the nostalgia of the cold morning was sweet until the wind made me tear up and the tears froze to my cheeks. I have lost the warm blood that I was born with.
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.