Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today was very long. Not long in a bad way either.

The couple who live on up the road from us let their dog out this morning and she got in a tangle with a coyote. My neighbor saw it, and shot at it, but missed. Their dog, Dixie (a boxer) got hurt and is on antibiotics, but she is ok. Poor baby, she is so sweet.

It makes me think of yesterday when my dogs were going crazy barking in that direction. There is an animal corridor that follows the hollow and runs along the side of our property and on to the river. I went out there and looked around hoping to spot deer or the fox who comes by. But I saw nothing. I know there was more than a squirrel or wild rabbit because the dogs were so freaked out. It could have been the coyote.

A couple years back one came and got a neighbor's goats. That time the coyote was shot and killed. I shuddered a little when they told me the story. Now I am thinking about the same scenario but if it was my  sweet nanny goat Deer. I have the rifle ready. If it was between her and a coyote... well you know who I would pick.

I did some research on coyotes. It was thought that the ridges of these mountains kept them at bay, but now WV is a wild and wonderful place for coyotes as well. Something interesting I read about spotting them: a coyote will run with his tail down, a wolf runs with his tail straight and a dog will run with his tail up. So if you catch a glance of one, you will know by the tail. Coyotes eat small mammals, like squirrels mice and rats, and they have been known to take down a deer. But they like farm animals. I guess they are easy targets. I am closing everybody in tonight. Sling Blade the pig came down from the garden all on his own It was like he knew he needed to be closed up. Otherwise, it would have taken a whole lot of toast with maple syrup to get him to come. He seemed really happy to be with the goats. Happy to have a place to scratch his back. He kept knocking the water buckets over so Rusty gave him a kiddie pool. Cute. They are a happy little family, the goats, pig and chickens. They make me feel happy.

I gave my neighbor Shirl some plants. I remember last Spring, I was giving his wife (may she rest in peace) some potted herbs. He said: "I will take those" and promptly took them from her! He wanted to plant them in his garden. I remembered that, and thought I would give him some good starts this year. He seemed happy to get them. He shared some red rhubarb starts with us. He talked about dogs and gardening and coyotes. He was impressed with my eggs hatch ratio. In some way that was a real compliment to me. I really like him. I like his stories. He was good friends with Mr. Belcher, who lived here in our farmhouse. I absorb as much as possible from him. He is an old time-y WV farmer for sure.

So after 5 attempts I got my sweet Blue Topaz bred. Well, the buck Yoda did, but I did bring her to his cage. She was happy to see him today. Making little bunny noises. She lifted with no problem, seconds later Yoda dropped over. Now both of my new does from Appalachian Rain should have litters. I can't wait to see the babies.

I am going to harvest Blue Topaz in a few days. Her prime wool is just on the cusp of being ready. She is so pretty. I will have to take a photo of her just before she gets her hair cut. I think I want to keep all the mamas trimmed up.

 Evening came and even though supper was not made, it was still light out. Sophia was treasure hunting and asked me if I would like to join her. She found some cool medicine bottles. She knows I love old bottles and was pleased with my response. Then she told me to wait, she had to get some supplies. She came back with some orange flagging tape and a marker. She began to tag where she had found "amazing finds". A small tree branch got tagged because it had nearly poked her eye. She wanted to go further, so we went down into the hollow and I found some more old bottles. Rusty joined us. Sophia asked  if she could have this land. She wants to own her own piece of land and name it, put some signs up and flag it off. There is now a big plan in effect, she wants to take pictures of her plant findings, bones and the like and keep it all in a book of amazing finds. She is a natural born scientist. I am amazed of her drive for knowledge.

After we all came out of the woods we sat on the ground watching the goats and pig. Odin (foxhound) and Bella (beagle) sat with us too. It was a nice moment. After a while Sophia asked us if she was going to inherit the house. I wonder what was going on in her head? I would have asked, but I didn't want to make the conversation go anywhere it wasn't already in her head. She loves it here.

I love it here.

In Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.


Odin the foxhound.

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