Friday, January 22, 2016

Wanna Go For A Walk?

As I'm sure everyone well knows, I love winter and especially love snow.  Just before time to start evening chores yesterday, Kate, Tilly, Hank, Comby and I decided to take a walk and go back to check for tracks at the ponds.

We looked at tiny mouse and bird tracks, little rabbit tracks and then found an interesting set of tracks crossing the not so frozen Frog Pond.  I'm not sure who made them. They were single file like a cat, maybe, but I don't think the ice would have supported a cat.

When I climbed over the dam for the big pond and saw the heron tracks, I decided to go back for the camera.  My original intent was to document interesting tracks, but as so often happens, the story ended up being the walk itself.  Enjoy!  I know I did :-).

Tiny tracks along the creek.

I'm sure Hank knows who made these tracks.

What first caught my eye was the set of skid marks (upper right).  Our heron has been here all winter. Did you know that herons will catch small rodents out in the middle of fields?  I'm guessing mice are not their first choice since they are mostly seen in creeks and ponds around here, but now when I see one out in the fields, I watch a little closer.

More single foot tracks crossing a busy intersection.  Any thoughts?

"I don't really care about heron tracks.  I'm going to go check the muskrat dens."

I was taking pictures of Hank on the far side of the pond when he crossed over the ice to the peninsula :-o.  I guess hope he knows what he's doing.  Luckily the water is not deep there, but still... Be careful!

Weaslie's in most of these pictures.  You just can't see her under the weeds.  Kate is checking tracks by the tree on the left.  Tilly is in front of the tree on the right.

And Comby is everywhere.  I was trying to explain to someone why it's so funny that Comby is always sleeping in the calendars when he's actually the hardest working only working cat on the farm. I don't think they believed me.  We know better :-).

Taking the high road home.

I love this picture of Hank watching Kate.

Looking back at the barn.  One of my favorite spots.

Hank loves to go for walks, but if we stay out too long, he heads back in without us.  I guess he's been away from his sheep as long as he wants.  Normally he'd be sitting up near the barn with them, but part of his flock (me, Comby, Kate and Tilly) is still out back, so he's sitting down by the creek, splitting the difference.

Headed up to punch the clock.

Headed back to the heated cat condo.  I give Comby credit though.  The only other set of cat tracks anywhere on the farm are the ones that might be crossing the pond.  Claire Bear and Eli haven't ventured out in days.  They don't know care what they are missing ;-).


farm buddy said...

Those are GREAT pictures! I enjoyed looking at all of them!

thecrazysheeplady said...

I wish you'd do a blog. Your walks are epic! :-D

fjord girl said...

You live in such a beautiful spot. Charming story and images.

Mrs Shoes said...

There is a family with a 'Hank' in our area. The man told me that they got him as a puppy, he never leaves the stock, & that he won't allow himself to be touched by them at all. The dog was seriously injured once & the vet had to come to there place and dart the dog so that he could get to it at all. Needless to say, I've seen the dog in the pastures but never up close; he doesn't even like children - ONLY livestock.
Hank seems so friendly, AND he looks likes he has seen a brush once in a while. Is his temperament an exception to the breed, or is it my neighbours dog who is atypical?

MarmePurl said...

Going on walks with bloggers had to be one of my all time favorite virtual pastimes.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great walk! You might have a stray cat, and those skid marks look like a landing bird! Cool more ways than one! Love Hank looking at Kate:)

Lori Skoog said...

I especially like the Comby picture in the weeds.

T.L. Merrybard said...

My guess is that the neighbour didn't socialise or handle the dog enough when he was a pup. The Dancing donkey ( has a nearby friend who recently raised a litter for someone and in the end kept a pup and the mum, who are both doing great. If you are really interested, you might like to back track on that blog and follow the story. A lot of dog breeds can become difficult if not carefully socialised, including stock guardian breeds. Of course they vary within the breeds too, but anyone taking one on should certainly do their research and make sure they do right by the dog by making sure they do everything needed to help that dog become a functioning member of society outside the sheep paddock as well as in it.

Mary Ann said...

Oh, gosh, another set of wonderful pictures. I took pictures all week of tracks in the little snow we got! I love to see what's coming and going.

Lisa W said...

Ah, as lovely in the snow as it is in the heat of summer! Bet you have even more today - national news even mentioned the snow in Lexington :-)

Terry and Linda said...

Monkey is just like your two, but Sammy, even at his advanced age is like Comby...there is just so much more to life than sleeping.


Susan said...

ALL good pictures esp the one of Hank 'splitting the difference'! what a guy! Hopefully you never got what I am seeing of the snow-mageddon further up the coast.

Lisa Smith said...

Oh Sara, thank you for taking the pics of Comby; I absolutely love them. It is so nice, as an armchair/bedside traveler, to feel like I'm going on a walk with all of you. I wish I could explain how much Comby's pics mean to me. My Jasper, who looked just like Comby, has been gone 6 1/2 years now, & it took me at least 4 of those years to feel like my grief was no longer so raw. Jasper was one of those truly extraordinary cats whose personality & love for their human almost seemed to transcend believability. In return for nearly 19 amazing years with Jasper, I thought I'd pay it forward by requesting & adopting the cat most likely NOT to be adopted by our local shelter. They gave me Amanda, who had been returned by not 1 but 2 different families & deemed "unadoptable". She was in a separate room away from the adoptable population, while they determined her fate. It's 4 years later now & she has made a few very minor steps of progress, but continues to keep me at "paws length". I never dreamed she would be such a challenge, or how truly traumatized she must have been. Ironically, my 36 year old son had a stray ginger kitty show up at his house last Fall; starving, flea-riddled, & scared of people. In his case, though, as soon as the kitty was tended to & in good shape again, he opened his little kitty heart wide & has embraced my son & is as close to 100% bonded with him as can be. Sometimes I marvel at the irony of the way life's events unfold with regard to our relationships with animals. Sorry to have made this comment so long. . . . I just wanted you to know how much your posts & photos touch my heart, especially your dear Comby.

Warm Regards, Lisa in Oregon

Shirley said...

Thanks for the tour! Comby is a pretty cool cat. Love the high road shot.
I've seen blue heron in the fields here, stalking mice. They move eeeeever so slowly!


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