The fire that almost burned me out last August swept across a swath about twenty miles long before it got to me. This is a view of what it left behind. Nothing. Hardly a blade of grass in sight, and it goes for miles. Even with a wet spring and summer it will take ten to fifteen years for this part of the range recover. Maybe longer. Meanwhile, the sand is moving, moving. In places it will cover the road in a year or two. This may seem like tough, hardy, robust country and in many ways it is. But it's also as fragile as tundra.
A few days ago I noticed that the dogs were very interested in something over behind some big bales. I was unhappy to find it was a dead muley doe. It looked like an older deer and there were no signs of anything but a natural death. The coyotes had already been at her pretty good and the dogs found the whole thing fascinating— even Mags, the Boston. (It isn't polite anymore to call her a "Boston Terrorist.") I hooked it up to the Rhino and we towed it out on the prairie. I haven't checked, but I'm sure that by now (two days later) there is nothing left. Coyotes are fast and thorough workers.