This Sunday started off as most... We slept in, had a big breakfast, then went to work. It was a beautiful day outside, breezy, sunny, blue skies. I told Kevin after the barn chores instead of splitting wood, we should go for a hike.
I found this freshly left snake skin in my barn on top of a bale of hay:
When I got in from the barn, I wasn't feeling well at all. It's not often I actually decide I should lie down, but I did this afternoon. Later in the afternoon Kevin asked me if I felt like I could go for a walk and I did. I'm so glad I pushed myself to. I felt better than I thought I would and we discovered all kinds of things.
One of the first things we ran into was this little Porcupine who was at the bottom of the tree when we walked right up on him without him or us noticing! He's this years baby, still tiny...
Then we went to the creek to get some pictures of it in all it's fall red colors.
We went to an area that we've walked in many times but not recently. It's usually a very, shall we say, uneventful place to visit, a nice spot, but it's deeper in the woods and other than Partridge we don't often see too much. I found all kinds of mushrooms, a lot of the usual ones....
but also this strange orange one:
Then we got close to the south facing slope that goes down to one of our creeks, it's basically a rock ledge. We came across a pile of fairly fresh bear scat, and this lead to us over the next little while finding more, and more, bear leavings in the same general area, on trails, off trails. Everywhere.
We ended up finding, 22 piles of all fairly fresh bear scat. None older than the past two weeks, some as fresh as today or yesterday. We are sure there must be a den on that slope. As it was nearly dark outside (meaning it was even darker in the forest) we didn't want to get too close. We were probably too close as it was. We kept a close eye on the trees and were careful to check whenever we heard a branch snapping, nut falling, or general forest noise. We have never seen so much bear sign in one area, the only place Kevin has ever seen such a thing is in Alaska, and we walk our bush all fall, spring, and winter. We see bear sign all the time, but never, ever, like this.
We even found beds. These beds are bigger than a deer bed, and also there was scat beside them. We found three, two close together and one further away on another spot.
When it was almost dark and we were heading out, I was looking behind me because I had heard something, and Kevin pushed a branch over right in front of me. Yes, that surprised me just a little!
We also found these strange berries:
Lichen and moss
On the way home we saw two spike bucks running together. They were a couple fields away from the house and we've not seen them before. They ran across our trail and quickly hid themselves so we could not see their faces. One of them might be one of the fawns we had last year, Socks. We only had one male fawn last year, our other fawn was a doe. The fawn who was killed on our pond in front of our house was a little buck, but a stranger to us.
When I got up to the barn to put the animals inside it was dark. I got everyone safely away and was putting the last group of goats in their pen, when Wrambler, my Haflinger came in the barn and picked up an ENTIRE bale of hay! Our square bales weigh about 40-45 pounds and he just grabbed it by the strings, picked up the whole bale, and was walking away with it! I must admit it was one of the funniest things I've seen in a very long time. Yesterday our cousins came over, and Pete was out saying hello to Wrambler, and giving him a good rub. When he turned around to walk back towards us, Wrambler followed him. Pete had been to the barber shop and they put tonic in his hair. Wrambler smelled his hair and right away, curled the lip all the way up, exposing his teeth, and doing the absolute goofiest face an animal can make, short of a Billy goat in heat. It was too funny, and poor Pete didn't know what was going on behind him! Of course, I had no camera. Never when you need it!
Kevin put new holes in Izzies halter for me yesterday as well. The easiest way to do that with a nylon halter is to heat up a nail, and then just push it through the halter at the place you want the hole, this also seals the fabric. It works perfectly without damaging the halter.
Now the halter will fit her right now, and for quite a while while she still grows up.
We had a beautiful sunset tonight, pink skies at night, sailors delight...
I got in the house from the barn after 8 PM. I made eggplant Parmesan for dinner tonight, which we ate late, and now it's time for a hot cup of tea, and soon, bed. I'll share the recipe another day, maybe tomorrow. I used goat cheese mozzarella this time which made it a lot more tangy than cows milk mozzarella does.