Friday, December 16, 2011

Yule Blues

A slight pall was cast over our holiday cheer at Andalusia last week when two of our three guineas were killed by foxes or coyotes. The sole survivor of this attack got along the best he could, but he was clearly missing his comrades. He showed little interest in eating and just hung around the aviary for companionship. No longer did he come running up to me when I went out to feed the peafowl, as he and the others once did. It was as if he had given up on life. On Friday of last week I spotted him wandering around in the pasture on the east side of the house. The last time I saw him was when I was leaving work that day. Since then there hasn't been a sign of him anywhere. Craig and I think that he went off in search of another flock. All the same, I've been holding on to the irrational hope that he might return. I finally gave up today and took in his water container. While I can't claim that the guineas had become pets, I had become kind of attached to them and now miss them running up to the car to greet me when I drive in in the morning. The fate of the guineas did not come as a big surprise, however. As I've mentioned on this blog before, there is far more wildlife out here now than when the O'Connors were living at the farm fifty years ago. This was brought home to us this morning when we discovered the trash can in which we keep the peacock feed had been pried open by some critter. There was cracked corn scattered all over the place. We think the perpetrator might have been a raccoon, but the mystery remains. How could a raccoon open a garbage can, take out the bags of cracked corn without toppling over the can? To ward off a future intrusion we have secured the can with a bungee cord and hope that will discourage vermin.
- Mark