The coyotes went on a rampage over a period of several nights. We kept chasing them off, but then one night after I was woken by all their hysterical hyena-like noises, I went out on the porch to yell at them to shut up, but realized it was all in vain. I was outnumbered. One pack was in my front yard, one was in my back yard, one was down in the arroyo, one was on the hill, one was in my neighbor's yard to the south, and one was in my neighbor's yard to the north. It sounded like at least twenty coyotes all together. They were screaming so loud that they couldn't have heard me yelling or banging pots and pans, so I just turned on all the outdoor lights and tried to go back to sleep.
The rabbits became sparse during that time, because the coyotes had figured out that the rabbits come out when we feed the horses. We'd see packs of coyotes roaming our yard, trying to be stealthy about sneaking up on rabbits. My husband walked around the corner of the hay barn and ran into a couple of coyotes who didn't seem to care that he was there. We continued to discourage them from making themselves at home.
The worst part was that my baby bunny disappeared. She was no longer meeting us behind the hay barn at feeding time. It would make sense that she'd be one of the first to get eaten, because she was brave enough to approach me and let me pet her. I tried to be optimistic and tell myself that she was just in hiding, or perhaps nesting or off somewhere mating. This morning I had several bunnies approach me that looked like her, but when I reached out to pet them, they hopped away. I'd been out of commission for so long that I had forgotten what my baby bunny looked like. I used to be able to spot her from several yards away, but now all the bunnies were looking alike to me.
After feeding and cleaning up after all the horses, I was pulling the wagon to the manure pile and came upon a rabbit that would not move out of my way. "Could this be my bunny?" I thought.
I pulled the wagon around her and she followed me. I stopped, sprinkled some grain on the 2x4 on the ground, and she hopped right up to my hand and started eating. I stroked her face. "Ahhhh, yes, this is my bunny."
I was so relieved. I wish I could put her in a hutch to keep her safe from the coyotes, but I have to leave nature alone. I've already crossed the line by developing a relationship with a wild rabbit.
The butterflies are mating...
Last weekend I went out of town to photograph a friend's wedding. The families did a great job putting together such a beautiful ceremony. The bride rode up on her horse at a lope, dismounted, and then her father, her horse, and her dog escorted her up the aisle to her groom.
It was a western wedding, and my motel room was right across the street from a Boot Barn, so I bought myself some western boots...
The Boot Barn boots were on sale too at $50 off. They have this faux alligator skin look to them...
The funny thing was that I wandered into the store in clogs, intending to just browse, but I saw so many styles I liked that I asked the clerk if she had a pair of socks lying around that I could borrow so that I could try some boots on. She disappeared for a little bit and returned with a wadded up, dirty pair of socks. I suspect that she removed her own socks in order to help me out.
Right before I left for the wedding, Bombay managed to conk himself on the head, and had this large lump about the size of a tennis ball. I didn't know what had happened to him and never saw the incident, but I knew he had a head injury when I saw him shaking his head and stretching his jaw from side to side. I held a cold compress to it for a while, and he seemed to appreciate it. That horse has received so much nursing from me over the years that he just holds still for the mending, and I don't have to hassle with hunting down a halter and lead rope. The lump was gone by the time I felt well enough to start doing barn chores again.