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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Horses, Cranes, Big Horn Sheep OH MY!

Once again I can only say I am tired.
This time the disruption started at 4 am., perhaps earlier.
Brutus has been in the back yard since his full moon walk about the other night. He is a very smart horse. I fully expect to come home and find that he has undone the combination lock on the shed and has let him self into the feed. Hasn't happened yet, but I figure any day now.
Well last night...this morning. He was standing under our window neighing and carrying on till we came to the window. He was upset but... I don't know. The horse across the street was upset, he was also neighing and screaming and thumping. The gate was closed but askew, I think he had been pushing on it. We couldn't figure out what was wrong. We check Whistler thinking maybe something had come out of the canyon again and perhaps gotten her. No. she was okay. My Love got some apples for him thinking he was hungry or something, nope not the problem. In fact he only eat one apple, he loves apples so that's not normal. Finally we went back to bed.
Never really got back to sleep though. He kept making noise. He was bumping some logs from the firewood around. He stayed right under the window the rest of the night. He kept staring up the street to the east.
Eldest had Saturday school and My Love didn't shut off the alarm clock so the alarm went off at 4:30 then 5:30. Eldest got up at 6 and wanted to go to school. Just before 7 we heard a car honk so I looked out the window again. There were 2 horses standing in the road!
Brutus was standing at the fence just looking at them. The cars weren't slowing down just honking and swerving!
So I thru on some clothes, the kids all did too. and we went out to save them. We took Brutus's lead. I got luck and the lead mare come up to me and let me clip the lead on. We thought they were the neighbors horses across the street. So I turned the mare to their drive and sent Monster to knock on there door and tell them we had their horses. Eldest took ahold of the halter on the buckskin, but he was already following the mare so it was more of a precaution.

Our neighbors were very confused to be woken up so early...they weren't their horses, they had sold all but one a few weeks ago. Great, so now what do we do? We had never seen these horse before! So we took them home and put them in Brutus field. I called the sheriff to see if anyone had reported a lost horse, no one had, then gave our information. Got everyone some water and made sure they couldn't get out easily or Brutus in (we really didn't need a horse fight) realized we were running late so flew to the car and off to school. 1/2 a mile away realized Eldest didn't have her glasses so we had to turn around...
then head back to town. I made sure she was set at school then came home. On the drive home I peered at every yard and pasture that had ever had horses or look like it might be able to to see if I could see any broken fence or open gates. Not one.

I half expected them to be gone by the time I got home, they were still there. The other kids spent some of the morning outside picking up the back yard and playing with all the horses. I was out there after hauling more water for Brutus and I heard a flock of birds calling each other. It was a flock of cranes, I like their call, loons have an even cooler one!
I watch them as they flew over calling... then something odd happened. The flock seemed to fall apart. They started circling and circling. I watched them for a good long time then knocked on the window for My Love. I showed him the cranes and we watched them...they were still circling honking in a distressed way. We wondered if they were looking for a field to rest in, we have ponds and a river near, perhaps they were going to land there... but they kept honking and circling! I commented that is was strange behavior, maybe a natural disaster was on it's way. Yeah I'm cheerful like that. A few minutes later they suddenly fell into their flight formation, stopped the distress honking, and headed off to the southeast... Well first due east, My Love said, "They are going the wrong way!" they seemed to have heard and adjusted and headed southeast. They were still heading southeast as they disappeared over the mesa.

We all loaded up to get Eldest, except Thunderous One, he was in trouble so had to stay home, anyway he was to tell anyone trying to take the horses to wait till we got home. My Love and I noticed a home that had sold last year (and didn't have it's light on for Halloween) had two big trailers of hay in the yard, the people (we didn't recognise) were in front of their backyard gates. My Love commented that that could be the house the strays were from. We looked at all the fields on the way into town talking about the horses the have been there, the new house someone had set, the snow on the Mountains... usual stuff.
We got to the school and a billion cars were lined up to pick up their kids. But we are gooood. We pulled over near the entrance, I stood up on the doorstop of the car and waved. Eldest saw me and walked over. See? We are good. :)
WE got out of there before the car that had entered before us had even gotten up to the school. Security was present too. Odd to see, but long over due, sadly.

We headed home a different way, I wanted to see an address I found while looking for a job. We were driving by the Elk ranch (which doesn't currently have any elk) and saw a cluster of cars at the last field. As we drove by we looked and saw there was a big horn sheep laying in the field! The farmer next to the ranch was out there as well.
When we got home we found out the horses were gone. I decided to go on an adventure. I loaded the kids up, yes even the Thunderous One, grabbed the digital camera and went on a 2 fold mission. Mission one, find the house with the horses came from and let them know what we had done as far as food and water and why we had them. Mission two was to go look at the big horn sheep.
So we set off down the road. You've probably already guessed where we found them... at the house with all the hay in the yard. I parked on the street and we all walked down the long drive to the house. I didn't drive it because it had fresh gravel laid and I didn't know if it was ready to be driven on, I was being polite. The horses saw the kids and neighed, that set the neighbors horse off he was running up and down his fence (2 houses away) neighing. We knock on the door and a lady who had obviously just gotten out of the shower answered. She had just moved here from Gunnision, she'd been living between the two places since February. I told her about the horses and she thanked us greatly. She was on her way to work so we didn't visit long. She had a cat that look just like Thunderous's therapy cat from years ago... it walked right up, ignoring the girls in it's intent goal, to him rubbed his legs then rolled over in front of him just begging for it's attention. He about cried, it reminded him of his beloved Jango so much. I felt terrible when she asked if we would like to have it and I had to say no.
We left and went to go see the sheep. There was a crowd of people at the fence, more then before. I parked on the far side of the road instead of trying to do a u-turn there. We went across the road and joined the crowd. Monster was very impressed! She exclaimed, "Wow, that's a big horn sheep!" her eyes wide, "I thought it would just be a sheep with big horns!" We each got to take pictures with the digital camera. It mostly laid in the field just beyond the fence chewing while watching us with little interest. It showed a great deal of interest when a guy in camp showed up. He and another hunter talked about how they like to 'bag a trophy like that!' They even called other hunters and told them about it. When the dude in hunters camo showed up the big horned sheep stood up and watched him intently. (See Dad! I told you animals aren't scared of cameras, but can spot a hunter from far! LOL!) He finally decide the hunter didn't have his gun and laid back down and relaxed. The farmer was explaining to some ladies that had wanted to walk on his property that the DOW had been there.... There had been reports of the Big horn walking on the highway last night. Their best guess was that he had come from the Black Canyon, but how or why they didn't know. They were hoping that he would go back on his own and they wouldn't have to intervene. So they didn't want anyone spooking him. So no, they couldn't walk in his land to get a closer look. Eldest was getting more and more outraged as she listened to the hunters talk about bagging this Big Horn... wait til the crowd thinned and the farmer left and they were sure they could get it in no time... So we left. The battery had died on the camera anyway. On the way home we decided to get my better camera and go back.
So we did, we stopped at Homer's and told him about the Big Horn. Then went back. Only one person was there and they left when we got there. So we took our time and enjoyed it and took several pictures. Eldest was relieved to see that the hunters had left. She has no problem with hunter, but that would have been poaching! Which is not right.
We decide the gnats were too bad to stand any longer and we left again. When we got home I called a friend and told her about the Big Horn so they could see it too. She called about 2 hours later to thank me. They had seen it and a big crowd was there when they got there, still there when they left. She also said the DOW was there as well, "to keep an eye on things" :)

I keep expecting something to happen now, so many odd animal happenings in one day.
any odd animal happening in your area today?

1 comment:

Jessica G. said...

Dang, no wonder you are exhausted!

I was half worried that the stray horse were actually abandoned and their unloading was what freaked out Brutus earlier.