Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring pronghorn

It seems like spring is a month early this year. The geese arrived the last weekend of February, and the prairie dogs are even peeking out, chattering at me and the dogs.

As you can see from this photo, by last weekend, the snowcover was gone from the sagebrush, and the pronghorn were looking great enjoying the weather. It’s an embarrassment of riches, but all the photos in this post were taken while I was standing in my front doorway.

When I’m in the house writing, I spend a lot of time glancing out the window, and I have cameras at the ready. The pronghorn antelope have been getting so close to the house, approaching Rant the Aziat and snorting at him. He knows he’s not allowed to chase, but he tries to keep them from coming to the yard. It’s a silly truce, because the antelope tease the dog, knowing full well their flight would keep them out of danger.

Now for the sniveling and whining. I spent most of last week in meetings in various towns in the county, driving my son to another town for a necessary trip to a shopping mall (gag, gag), attending social functions, etc. It was a week where I did nothing creative, and my cameras gathered dust. All week was spent with perfectly nice people, but being perfectly nice generally isn’t part of my nature, so of course by Monday morning, I was sick, headache, cold, crud. As I whined to my family from the couch in my flannel PJs yesterday, “See, people just make me sick.” A snowstorm arrived in a swirl, and I vowed to do nothing but read all day.

I felt better today, but had fallen behind on work, so today was spent at the computer all day. That is, until I heard Rena the Akbash raising hell, trying to jump over the yard fence to get out. I put her in the house so I could attempt to photograph the commotion. Someone had killed an antelope buck on the highway in front of the house, and four bald eagles and a few ravens had arrived for the feast.

Somehow, for some reason, two of the eagles went after the antelope herd that had taken up residency here by the house. The herd all bunched together and ran. I didn’t capture it well with my frantic scrambling, but it was pretty flipping cool to watch. The balds were not very serious about trying to take an antelope, and instead continued to play and interact, making their way back to the carcass.


Matt Mullenix said...

"It’s an embarrassment of riches,"

No Cat, you earn it. :-)

mdmnm said...

The eagles harassing the antelope is a pretty amazing thing to see, let along photograph. The eagles may not have been very serious, but the antelope not only bunched up but started flashing their rump patches- thanks for the story and photos!