Saturday, October 22, 2011
Cougar sighting -and- my day in 9 pictures
"Danni? Frank saw a cougar tonight," my neighbor said to me on the phone last night.
Frank is my neighbor's son, an avid hunter, who knows his animals. He spotted the cougar on the edge of our property line.
We've never had one so close. We thought our biggest threat was from coyotes and raccoons.
Do you know the rules about cougars?
Here are the "Guidelines for Living with Cougars": (as taken from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife webpage):
If you live in cougar country:
•Learn your neighborhood. Be aware of any wildlife corridors or places where deer or elk concentrate.
•Walk pets during the day and keep them on a leash.
•Keep pets indoors at dawn and dusk. Shelter them for the night.
•Feed pets indoors.
•Don't leave food and garbage outside.
•Use animal-proof garbage cans if necessary.
•Remove heavy brush from near the house and play areas.
•Install motion-activated light outdoors along walkways and driveways.
•Be more cautious at dawn and dusk when cougars are most active.
•Do not feed any wildlife. By attracting other wildlife, you may attract a cougar.
•Keep areas around bird feeders clean.
•Deer-proof your garden and yard with nets, lights, fencing.
•Fence and shelter livestock. Move them to sheds or barns at night.
Needless to say, we locked the chickens up tight (as we do every night) in their Fort Knox of a chicken coop, Honey chicken was securely-secured in her dog crate on the side porch, and the goat boys, Pete and Reggie, were shut into their goat house (they complained bitterly about this).
After much deliberation, the donkeys and Kai llama were left in their pasture because of something a friend of mine mentioned to me: my barn is not secure. It has open cut outs for the windows and the door to the inside is a gate rather than anything that closes in a solid fashion. My friend, Linda, told me that "it is better to have them free to stomp or chase a predator than be trapped in an enclosure that a cougar might be able to get into with them." Hard to argue with that.
But I worried. All night. Jim had his shotgun loaded and under the bed. We left a window in our bedroom open. You know, so we could hear stuff. Thankfully, there was nothing to hear. All was quiet and well. And all animals were just fine this morning.
Frank says the cougars are just "passing through" this time of year....but that their "visit" could last seven to ten days. Ugh.
My day today was a little anticlimactic after last night, but this is how it went.
Roxy and I packed up and headed out:
I had lunch with my bestie from middle school:
Roxy loves Melissa almost as much as I do:
We then attended my sweet niece's soccer game. She's the cutie in the neon goalie shirt:
Roxy and my mom's dog, Wolfi, teamed up and gave a feisty terrier the evil eye(s):
My handsome nephew finally smiled for my camera:
My other gorgeous nephew delighted in being the boss of Roxy for a few minutes:
I later participated in a meeting where consensus was reached. (How awesome is it when this happens?!):
I got back to the farm and realized how happy it makes me to be here:
And then I promptly locked everyone up again so they'd be safe from the cougar.