A few animal tidbits to share with you all.
Today I went for a hike in the woods with four dogs. They all behaved very well, stayed fairly close, and looked so beautiful running in the evening sunlight among the changing tree colors. Our trees are not quite at their peak yet, but are looking great. While we were on top of the ridge among the sugar maples and oaks, a lovely turkey hen glided gently down across our path and landed somewhere in the woods below us.
Yesterday I did the same hike with the same dogs. We were almost back to the house and I decided to take a lower trail on the hillside than the usual ridgetop trail. As I was cutting down below a thicket I heard a commotion and looked up. There was a huge 8 point buck jumping up over a log and that thicket almost up over my head! I reached and grabbed for Peach (our foster dog) to keep her from chasing it and called to my other dogs not to chase. They were good and didn't run after it. It was a beautiful sight to see prance down the hillside across the valley and on up to the other ridge. When I got home and told my husband about it, he said he had seen it walk up behind the house and then quickly take off up over the hill. I think one of the dogs spooked it. I hope it makes it through this upcoming hunting season.
Yesterday morning as I was walking down to my car to go to work, I looked up and saw four wild ducks flapping their wings frantically through the misty morning sky. Then in unison they stopped their flapping and guided themselves down into the fog rising up from our pond. I didn't actually see them land, but heard the slightest splatter as they touched down on the water. It was a very soothing and comforting way to start the day.
Sunday morning I noticed one of our ducks was missing when I went out for the morning feed. Then as I shook the can of cracked corn, she came running up from the garden. I didn't think much about it. But later in the day when I was resting in the hammock, the dogs scared her up out of that same location. So I went and investigated and found a nest with 15 eggs in it! She is a little mixed up in her nesting season, and there's no way any ducklings could survive such cold temperatures at night. (We've had a few nights in the 30s and 40s already.) So we robbed her of all but a few eggs, and we will most definitely use them for ourselves. They are a beautiful pastel greenish color.