I've had a few interesting animal encounters here on the farm this week. What makes these encounters interesting is that they were with surprise guests. I like surprises.
Do you see this?:
Yes, that's my stock tank. Yes, there's handsome Mr. Goldy. And, yes, the stock tank is frozen. But the part that fascinates me is the single, perfect, muddy, cat paw print preserved on top of the ice:
We don't have a cat. I *love* them, but my allergies insist otherwise. So aside from not knowing who this cat is, whatever was he doing?
Chasing after Mr. Goldy, the stock tank fishy?
Leaning in for a drink, only to lose balance, start to fall in, but then catch himself on the (surprise!) frozen surface?:
I don't think I'll ever know, but I did think it was cool that when I broke the ice that morning, it broke around the print, and it was still visible as I netted it out:
Oh, and guess what/who I saw leaving the barn driveway later that morning:
I've seen this guy around - he's very big, very wild, and roams our property like he thinks it belongs to him.
This might explain why the Critter Farm barn mouse population hasn't been so big lately. Funny, but I'm kind of excited about the prospect of a cat adopting us and hanging out by our barn. Should I name him? I think I'll call him something clever, like.... Barn Cat.
So then, there we were, Chester and Beau, the donkeys, Kai llama and I, hanging out in the pasture when I saw something hopping up the hill. "Is that a frog," I said to Kai:
Kai ran after it, trying to get a closer look for me:
And then she kept following it as it continually hopped just out of her sniffing reach:
Finally, I was able to get close enough to identify it myself:
I think it might be a baby pine siskin, though why there would be babies this time of year baffles me, as well as the fact that it has a greenish coloring that isn't quite right for the pine siskin. The orange splotch on its head isn't consistent with the siskin either. At first I thought it was blood on his head, but the little guy didn't act wounded (aside from hopping, instead of flying, through the pasture) and the color just didn't look like blood to me:
He just kept a'hopping up the pasture until he scooted underneath the electric fence and into the brush:
This little guy has been here every day this week:
He may be the one who keeps knocking my garden netting down. That's going to have to stop come spring, you...you... deer, you:
He was very surprised when I walked out on my porch to take pictures of him. Probably as surprised as Pete and Reggie were to see an unknown hoofed animal running straight for their house: