I should keep a camera by the bed. Lily, the good farm dog, has taken on a new job. Early in the morning she lets me know that she has to go out and protect the… frogs. A great blue heron has discovered our water feature where there are frogs galore. And fish. Ugly goldfish. I’d love it if the heron ate the fish so that I could have an excuse to get prettier ones. But no, Lily goes out and does her job, and the heron goes fish-less. Although, I assume it’s eaten some frogs. Must be getting something because it keeps coming back, despite the dog that chases it away.
I live a short 35 minute drive to Boston (that is, not during rush hour!) so it’s not like we are way out in the country. However, this little town is an oasis surrounded by suburbs. By a fluke of nature – lots of rocks and wetlands – it wasn’t overbuilt. And in the 1960s a large dairy farm here got turned into a state park. Also, Harvard University owns 900 acres of forest right next door. There’s a lovely river that runs along the boundary of our town and other waterways that reach into New Hampshire. Which means that we have wildlife corridors. A moose was spotted on my street the other day. I didn’t see it. But I do think I should keep that camera ready.
We have numerous predators. Coyotes. Bobcat. Fisher cats and other weasels. Fox. Hawks. But I worry most about domestic dogs. We’ve had golden retrievers, pointers, jack russells, vizlas, all come gallomping through the yard, circling the coops and harassing the chickens. Their owners must think that they are home, lazing in the yard while their people are at work. But they’re not. The other day, two overweight dogs wearing collars and bandanas came tearing through the yard, frantically in pursuit of deer. They were in full prey drive, their eyes rolled back so you could see the whites. Oblivious to the road they crossed to get here. Poor Lily, the good farm dog, could do nothing to protect her property. I was glad that little Scooter was inside. Those dogs could easily have switched from chasing the deer to going after a tiny brown dog.
Our dogs stay in the yard. We have an invisible fence, which was the right economic and aesthetic choice for our property. But I’m thinking about putting up a solid fence. Not to keep out the coyotes, but to keep out the dogs.