Friday, December 12, 2008

Another Tale from the Franch

One of the primary pastimes we had during our dating relationship, aside from Bondo-ing Jeff’s old truck, was shooting prairie dogs. Now before you get all wound up, let me explain. To a farmer, these rodents are disaster. Its like having mice in your kitchen, but much worse. They dig up your fields, damaging your crops and creating holes that can break the legs of livestock who may slip in. So, Jeff and I took it upon ourselves to keep down the prairie dog population at the farm. Since they multiply with the speed of rabbits, its nigh onto impossible, but we had nothing better to do. We would hop on the four-wheeler or climb in Jeff’s old pick-up and make laps around the center pivot field, or head on down to the lower fields. Prairie dogs take an awful long time to figure out that they are being hunted, so we usually made several laps before they got the hint and hunkered down. In order not to disrupt the delicate sensibilities of my East coast readers, I will not go into any details about how easy a target they make and, well, never mind. It feels like we spent hundreds of hours on this pastime. One of the most memorable moments was in the spring. The wheat was just sprouting, coating the field in a soft blanket of fresh green. We shot a prairie dog and it fell right on its respective mound of dirt. For whatever reason, we sat there a moment and low and behold, an eagle swept down and landed on the mound. It is at this point, Jeff and I would have a ‘discussion’ about whether it was a golden eagle or a bald eagle. We had both in the area. I’m telling you, it was a golden eagle. If you have never seen one up close and personal, let me tell you: they are BIG! This bird must’ve stood a good three feet tall. We were not more than twenty feet away. There was this beautiful eagle sitting there against the sprouting wheat, and it looked at us for what seemed like forever. If he could’ve talked, he would’ve said ‘Thanks for dinner. This saved me the effort.’ After gazing at us he picked that fat prairie down up with his talons and took off. It was an amazing sight to see. It was no small prairie dog, but the eagle had no problem carrying it away. Now that’s not something you see everyday!

1 comment:

DayPhoto said...

No it isn't! And I agree with you, the pdogs are a pain. What is happening to us, are people are catching the little guys and transporting them out of thier (TOWN,CITY,Subdivison) and relocating them. Never do the people who relocate consider the impact on the area they are letting the little dogs loose.
(Go Figure)