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Wildlife at the farmette


It's a gorgeous day so far at the farmette, and we're planning on taking my Toronto friend Jane on a road trip up to Lion's Head and maybe Tobermory. We didn't need to go far this past week to have close encounters with wildlife - both inside the house and outdoors...ahhhh, the country life.

First, a skunk decided that rummaging around the side yard was a brilliant idea. It was just after dark, and Rob happened to look out the laundry room window. There he was, in all his glory - with a tail so huge and feathery, it would out-shine a Vegas show dancer. He had such an interesting gait - with the big butt and lumbering style - kind of like the A&W Root Bear, but dressed in black and white. Happily, he didn't have a close encounter of the feral cat kind or anything, so the new deck remains scent-free.

Then, an opossum decided to expire just behind the ​​yard fence near the honey-pile where we dump all our weeds, and sticks and other yard detritus. Nice and foetid and swarming with flies and other flesh-eating insects, the carcass was a huge attracter for the local turkey vultures. There's quite a collection of them in these parts, owing to our close proximity to the West Grey dump.

But never had they visited the farmette in such numbers. At least eight were lined up on the barn roof - eyeing up the delectable rotting corpse down below. We had had a real downpour just that morning, so they were also giving themselves a little sun-bath to dry out the damp feathers. They look even more gigantic when they stretch out to their full wing span. Extremely impressive.

Finally, a couple of nights ago, I heard a lot of scrabbling around the hardwood floor at about 3 a.m. Way too much commotion for that time of the night, so I got up out of my nice comfy bed to investigate. Sure enough, there was Lily, chasing a tiny grey mouse around - throwing it in the air, trapping it with her paws and letting it go to see where the poor thing would run in its panic.

Hobbes and Bea played back-up, because Lily was not letting anyone else in on the action. It figures that the smallest cat (she weighs about seven pounds) with no teeth (save her two front fangs) would be the one to hog all the fun. Rob came to the rescue with an empty coffee can and a pair of gloves, and after a brief and n0t-so-merry chase of his own, trapped the poor rodent and freed it in the back yard.

Poor thing. One minute, you're minding your own business, hunting for food scraps, and the next you're being tossed around like a leafy salad, corralled into a tin jail, and ejected into the dew-covered grass. At least he'll have a story to tell the others...and there will be others, given how old and porous the farmette house is.

So, that's a wrap for another week - can hardly wait to see what wild rural adventures await as we move into the dog days of summer 2017.


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