Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Bare Bones

Bare Bone by J. Binford-Bell

Mornings in Black Lake, New Mexico include walks with the fur kids. And the camera. Mardi Gras and Magique are sniffing out everything and I am snooping around trying to find a new subject on a well worn path. Which brings me to the bare bones.

Both my immediate neighbors and myself have medium to large size dogs that we treat and amuse with marrow bones. Cid's, an organic food store in Taos, is our major source of these canine treasures. And I am often totally shocked at the number of these I must buy when I clean up the yard before mowing or gather them into a basket when sorting through the living room. This is expected. But I and my neighbor fence our dogs except for these morning excursions. So why are there so many of these on the path?

Winged Thief by J. Binford-Bell

I think I must blame it on the ravens. They seem to be attracted by round white objects. I know this because I am four miles from the Angel Fire Resort Golf Course and there are also golf balls in my yard. I find them when I pick up the bones before mowing. I am told that the Ravens think they are eggs and drop them from on high to break them open. Golf balls must be very disappointing for them. And they look funny flying with them in their mouths. I have, however, never seen them with a bone in the air.

Course it could be some small land based mammal that is squeezing through the largish openings in our fences and stealing the bones. They are welcome to them. But part of me wants to install a motion activated camera so I can find out what goes on in my neighborhood at night or when I am gone.

A couple nights ago I was awakened by a pack of coyotes at 2:30 in the morning. My paranoid neighbor has night goggles and guns (should I be concerned?) and he went out at that hour unconcerned about tripping over dog bones in his yard, and reports that it was six coyotes trying to down a full sized elk in the field behind our fenced yards. BTW the fence is not an issue here as the elk bound over it all the time. The elk got in a couple lucky kicks and after 45 minutes the battle was called without a clear winner.

This all made it suddenly clear to me that on any given morning walk I might find more than bare bones. There could be a severely wounded elk or coyote, or the cooling body of one or both. I live on the edge of civilization and the wild has not conceded that ground just yet.

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