Monday, June 08, 2009

Pronghorn peace

I’ve been watching a young pronghorn doe this past week, as she’s been hanging out, alone, in the hay meadow on the north side of the highway. The native grass is growing really well, the irrigation ditch is full, and it’s very beautiful, quiet and peaceful. The most disturbance that occurs there is when the ranch truck drives in once a day to feed Bambino, the fat bull residing in the corral for about another week (at which time he gets to go back to his cow herd).

Every day, I drive in slowly, soaking up the scene, watching the ducks splashing in the irrigation water, willets and curlews probing in the mud, ospreys and redtails screeching above, killdeer trying to distract me away from their nests, cottontails nibbling this and that. There is so much wildlife here at this time of year it’s amazing, and we try to leave everything alone since the atmosphere here is very similar to the peace we seek on the lambing ground with our ewes.

Today, the lone doe had a small smudge of brown standing next to her - she had given birth to her first fawn. By the time I got the truck turned around to leave, and get a few shots with the camera, the baby had laid back down, hiding, and the mother had disappeared on the hillside above the meadow. I guiltily took a few shots with my big lens, and left. When I drove back down the highway a few hours later, I noticed the doe was back in the meadow, nonchalantly grazing and taking it easy. Ah, peace on earth.

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