Monday, June 06, 2005

Fear

The other day we were up the road chatting with our neighbor, who casually mentioned seeing a bobcat on the road near our house last fall. Our current list of predators and generally dangerous critters that have actually been seen or heard on or near our farm includes:

bobcat
coyote
hawk
copperhead snake
wild hog
fox
scorpions

In addition we likely have Black Widow spiders, Brown Recluse spiders, rattlesnakes, and Water Moccasins.

Oy.

Some are dangerous to humans, but mostly my concern is for our animals. Generally speaking these predators avoid humans.

Oddly enough, hearing about the bobcat didn't really bother me. Isn't it interesting how we fear the unknown more than the known? When we first moved out here I was petrified of predators. Now I am cautious and attentive (and avoid the unlit barns after dark), but have better perspective on it all.

Being stung by a wasp the other day wasn't fun, but it was a gentle (if somewhat annoying) reminder that what we fear is often far more dramatic in our minds than in reality. The wasp sting burned like crazy... no fun, but it went away pretty quickly, and two days later I was swatting down a wasp's nest and killing wasps in the air with my shoe. Kind of like playing badminton. I knew the worst they could give to me, and I knew I'd survive it.

Which is not to say that I won't have a pounding heart if I look out to see a bobcat after one of my chickens!

Amusingly, the afternoon of the day my neighbor told me about the bobcat, Luke started acting weird and nervous. Here's what was scaring him:



On her way to see what Luke was after, Molly froze and growled at this:



And that night, as I was turning off lights to go to bed, I let the cat in, who stalked this:



Apparently humans aren't the only ones with irrational fears!

3 comments:

shannon said...

No raccoons at your place? I never really considered them more then a pest, but after seeing what they did to my pullets this morning!!!!!

Patti said...

Forgot about them! We've never actually seen one, but my husband has identified tracks at the creek several times. For whatever reason they have stayed away from the house and the chickens so far. Maybe the dogs scare them off? What happened to your pullets? I can easily imagine all sorts of yucky scenarios. :-(

Patti said...

Update in August: we have had positive ID on a black widow and a brown recluse... now just need to find those snakes (ugh).