Cows are such curious creatures and this one was the first to come to check us out as we photographed the herd in Ontario. She hasn’t even finished the grass you see sticking out of her mouth. I guess she was making sure we weren’t going to be a threat to her calf and the rest of the herd.
When we left our car in the parking lot to hike up the trail to the top of the cliffs in yesterday’s post, we had to walk a short way along the road and past some houses. As we went by this particular property, this affectionate little cat came out as if to welcome us.
I have to thank my photo scout, Joni, the Border Collie, for finding me these little models last night. And also my lighting assistant, +Ellie Kennard for holding the flashlight. These two poor little kits were immobilized by the barking of my scout and their mother was nowhere to be seen. I can only assume that they were reunited in the night (and lived happily ever after) as in the morning they were nowhere to be seen.
Always keen to go for a run, Joni is at her happiest out in the woods and fields with us. She carries her supplies in her Ruffwear Pallisades backpack, so we will not be without snacks and water on our treks.
Clicking on Joni’s photo takes you to my Animals photo gallery.
In a previous posting, where we talked about a very cold and snowy walk with Joni, our friend Ursula asked to see a photograph of how she looked at the end of her walk. We were out for 2 hours and the wind was blowing the snow swirling around the fields. Joni never seemed to mind as long as we kept throwing her toy.
So here she is, Ursula waiting for you to throw her a blue ball! You can bring Mira along with you, though she might find it a bit cold!
She took to it like a … border collie to sheep herding! Covered in mud at the end of the afternoon, she slept in the car on the way home and was tired for almost 2 days afterwards. Tired, but so happy.
A friend of her breeder’s helped us to get her into it and supplied the expertise and the sheep. She said that Joni has a great natural ability.
What we didn’t know, was that she had a bunch of kids with her. If you read Ellie Kennard’s posting with her photo here https://elliekennard.ca/time-to-check-out-129365 you can read the story up to the point where we had screwed a board across the opening and then gone out for the evening.
When we got back, pandemonium had broken out! There were screams from inside the cupola (they make a lot of noise for such cute little things) and frantic noises from the mother as she ripped and tore at the slats and board trying to get at her babies. (They must have been hiding within the rafters when we looked into the hole, so that we didn’t see any signs of them.)
At 10:30 pm, therefore, in the dark, I was faced with the prospect of getting up on the roof with a frantic, protective big mother raccoon to try to unscrew the plank we had put over the hole. I didn’t fancy that much, but the thought of letting those babies starve to death while the mother tore all the shingles off our roof appealed less. What I did, in the end, as you can see, was to climb to the top of the ladder and use a long stick to force the two bottom slats off. This allowed the mother to get in (they flatten themselves to the size of a rug) and reassure the kits. She tried to get them to leave with her, but they wouldn’t go. This photo was taken 11:13 pm, in the pitch dark, with a work light illuminating the faces of these little masked bandits.
Ellie is convinced that the mother knew that we were trying to help and did not represent a threat, which was why she did not attack me.
For those who want to know how we finally managed to get our guests to vacate, the secret was simpler than we could have guessed. They apparently hate rock music. So we put a radio in the bedroom under the cupola, turned our local rock station on full blast and left it on. Within 1 hour she was moving them out. With a lot of complaining and fussing the babies eventually must have followed her over the roof and down the crab apple tree to seek a quieter neighbourhood. They are wild animals. They will be happier in the wild as we will be happier with them in it. (They look soft and fluffy, by the way, but their fur is actually very coarse and stiff even as babies.)