On New Years Day the elk started moving into our fields just after sunset. Just before sunrise the elk moved back over the fences, through the neighbors fields and back up the mountain side. They bedded down in the sagebrush and on the mountain side.
The snow was pawed up and overturned by the elk leaving patches of alfalfa exposed. It is funny how nature works together if we just let it. In moved the coyotes hunting through the churned up snow for voles. A vole is a little rodent a little bigger than a mouse, but still just as creepy. (can you tell I hate mice) Voles are a little vicious. I have seen them stand up on their back feet to fight our Border Collie, Ritz and our cat Chester, as they try to kill them. They don’t give up without a fight.
A vole digs holes in the alfalfa fields. They destroy the plants by eating the roots of the plant. They can destroy a field very quickly. In the winter under the snow they make tunnels on top of the ground under the snow. They eat the alfalfa, the bark off of the trees, and anything they can find. This is why we are happy to see the coyotes move in. As long as they stay out of my chickens and animals we get along just fine. Coyotes are very good hunters and eat many voles in a day.
Before it snowed the coyotes were hunting in the fields. Hunting was easier than, they didn’t have to dig through the snow and the drifts. I love watching them thru the binoculars when they hunt the voles. They stand so still watching, and then suddenly they jump up into the air and pounce on the little critters. Maybe someday I will get a camera with a fancy zoom lens so I can share the fun.
We have other hunters helping to thin out the vole population. We have two owls that show up when it gets dark. We see them fly onto the top of the house and the pivot. We hear them hoot throughout the night. We have many crows and various breeds of hawks that scan the fields looking for their next meal . I love watching the animals as they move through our fields.
Yesterday we had a young moose come into the field. He really likes the grass at the creek and also moves into the alfalfa field to eat. I really enjoy the beauty of each of the animals. They are so interesting to watch.
I Love life on our farm. The entertainment around here is great.
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