Thursday, July 23, 2009

SOMEbody's Got to Do It.

Luka, our little Icelandic sheepdog, has taken on a new role around the farm. She is The Enforcer, with an ego the size of Texas (or perhaps Iceland) and a zero tolerance policy for extraneous critters... and there have been quite a few extraneous critters of late.

You see, it all started with pigs.

Ever since "The Daves" squealed into our lives we've had a varmint issue. It's not their fault, but pigs are, well... pigs. And they eat. They eat quite a lot. To feed the pig guys, we collect left over produce (almost all organic!) and other tasty items from a local grocery store, and all these goodies have to be stored. Plastic tubs are hardly a deterrant.

The Daves have attracted a following. We've found the footprints-- all sorts of footprints all over the broad surface of the storage tubs. We've also found bitten milk containers and gallons of spilled milk.

As so often happens in farming, one thing (pigs) begets another (pig food storage issues), begets another (varmints!). Hopefully, this will not beget the deaths of many well-loved hens. So far (Knock on wood) the poultry have been left alone. But we worry about them come fall, when the the Daves have "moved on" (Yes, another Maggie's Farm euphemism for slaughter). We also worry about bears, which stop by from time to time even without the added lure of pig food.

Luka has no use for worry. She's decided to take matters into her own paws when it comes to the varmint issue. In the last few weeks, she's cornered a possum (Dan snapped this picture of the event)
treed a large and very noisy racoon (Who knew they could screech like that???) and killed two snakes and a young skunk.

Now, we know we are supposed to be tough and unemotional when it comes to the bottom line. Farmers have little sympathy for harmful hangers-on, but the dead skunk got to me. It was adolescent at best and left belly-up beside the barn, its pointy little teeth bared.

Here's another thing about the skunk: It got a bit of revenge on Luka and the rest of us. we've had a pretty ripe few days here on Maggie's Farm.

Luka, however, wears her new perfume like a badge of honor. Here she is looking just a bit too proud of herself...

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