Saturday, August 23, 2008

Emma's Piles

When I moved onto my place it hadn't been inhabited for quite a few years. It's ringed on three sides by a wind-break of, mostly, cottonwoods. Cottonwoods are "dirty trees," shedding lots of dead branches, bark, and other kinds of tree dreck. There were days of work gathering up the limbs, branches, and even whole fallen trees. 

I have a fireplace, so I was grateful for the wood. Since open fires are so dangerous out here I had no plans to burn the rest of it. I just made two long piles of the brush and limbs, both about fifty feet long and six or so feet high. The plan was to slowly do away with them by burning the good stuff in the fireplace and carting the rest to a nearby landfill.

But my Shorthair, Emma, discovered immediately that the brush piles were favorite hangouts for rabbits, all manner of birds, and who knows what other interesting creepy-crawlies. First thing every morning she has to go out and make the rounds of "her" piles. Then, every couple of hours, she has to repeat the ritual. She loves them so much that I no longer have any intention of getting rid of the brush piles. They will go their own way in their own time. Meanwhile, they give Emma more pleasure than a bibliophile could get out of the Library of Congress.

In the picture she is on a point on a rabbit within the pile. She never catches them, but she lives in hope!


Anonymous said...

Make sure you've got the hydrogen peroxide handy -- skunks like brush piles too.


Anonymous said...

That looks like good fireplace wood. I'd burn it on up myself. Emma would have to find a new place to root around.

Rio Arriba said...

Yeah, 'Berg, I'm ready for something like that. Tomato juice and peroxide on hand at all times! Strangely, although we have plenty I have not seen a skunk or tracks on the place at all. We have a whole list of critters that need watching (less for Emma than for Mags)— skunks, foxes, coyotes, badgers, snakes, great horned owls, eagles, and two years ago a mountain lion in the driveway.

I try to be alert at all times.