Out here on the ranch I am accustomed to seeing all the birds and coyotes and wildlife that one would see in the outdoors. However, this week’s encounters have been a bit more of a National Geographic/Animal Planet scene. I’ve seen black birds pecking at and a chasing a hawk, a turkey chasing a coyote in the middle of the pasture with wings spread, and even a cow perform some population control with a young coyote. Then there’s the geese that nested on the pond in front of the house. What was like 6 geese has now turned into 25. Let’s not forget all of the fun I had with beavers this Spring.

I have spent quite a bit of time on the tractor this week in the hay-field and you wouldn’t think of seeing much there. I saw a buzzards feasting on the snakes that found the mower blades (I don’t feel the least bit sorry for the snakes), two young fawns that were bedded down in the grass, dozens of cowbirds descend on the tractor to eat the bugs left behind the mower. I even saw a solid white cowbird that had lost his yellow feathers. He looked kinda naked compared to the rest. Then there were the hawks that would circle above and swoop down to catch the field mice stirred up by the mower. That was pretty cool to witness.

Thursday, I was cleaning out the pickup at the barn and as I went to toss some trash, my wrist scraped across a 4 foot cotton mouth snake that was draped across the trash barrel. Talk about messing your jeans… After a few moments to collect myself, I promptly sent him on to meet his maker. Then Friday, I was filling up the pickup at the diesel tank when I noticed a squirrel jump into a steel corral post. Don’t ask why, but for some unknown reason, I thought it would be cool to go over and peer in to see where he went. Maybe I thought it was a gateway to Wonderland or something, but as soon as I look into the post, out comes the squirrel, hissing, and he jumped on my head and ran up a nearby tree. True Story. I really didn’t know what to make of the situation, or my bright choices. Curiosity killed the cat, right?

Saturday I had an interesting, close-up encounter with a hawk that appeared to have an injured wing. I’ve seen plenty of them in the sky, but never this close. He seemed pretty agitated, so I just snapped a picture and left him alone. I’ve had a few people ask why I didn’t help the poor thing. Sure there are probably places you can take injured birds to heal em up, but the way I look at it, an injury to a wing is Mother Nature’s way of population control. The strong survive, and I am sure a coyote came along and fed her kids.

Well, that’s the way things worked out in my National Geographic week. How was your’s?