Saturday, July 19, 2008

Let the Experts Run the Farm

OK, I'll admit it. The barking of a Great Pyrenees is nothing to be trifled with - or to sleep through. Add 2 more to the chorus and the 3 of them can wake the dead!

Usually they'll bark only for 15 minutes or so and give up. This morning about 4 a.m. they all went spastic and kept it up for way longer that the usual. The neighbors have quite a few apple trees and when the apples begin to ripen, which is about now, the deer come in to dine. Since I didn't hear anything else about I figured that's what was upsetting them. So.... I got up, hastily got dressed, put on my muck boots, and wearily traipsed out to bring everyone into the barnyard and close the paddock gate so they couldn't get out far enough into the pasture to be disturbed. Of course I was muttering the whole time about stupid dogs that couldn't tell the difference between a predator and a vegetarian deer.

As I was taking off my boots and entering the house I heard the distinct chorus of coyotes in the field down the road. Boy, did I feel stupid! Had to go back to the barn and apologize to the dogs.

This morning when I opened the gate to the pasture, Levite, our dominant male, led the procession out as is his usual way of making sure everyone is safe. He has everyone wait at the gate, goes out just far enough to make sure everything is safe, then turns back to his flock and using some secret code that only the sheep understand, tells them to follow keeping a distance of about 15 feet behind. They all orderly file out to begin their day's activities. I did notice that when Levite marked his territory and did his usual scratching of the dirt, he kicked it in my direction. I'm sure he was thinking "Stupid humans can't tell the difference between vegetarian deer and predators!"

Best to leave the managing of the farm to the experts!

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