Monday, August 27, 2007

A Badger, What's That?

I live in the badger state, but I've never seen one in the wild. This morning, I got up and started an early morning walk/run on our farm. A storm front was coming and I wanted to get my workout in before the rain.

It's always fun going for an early morning walk. My dear Amber is still in her kennel, and its nice to explore the world without an eager dog chasing everything that moves. I spotted the Sandhill cranes, although they flew when they saw me jogging toward them. They let out some of their prehistoric bellering, which has earned them the nickname of pteradactyls at our house.

There was only one young deer on the trail, but I couldn't help but feel the cornfields were probably full of them. I did get a little nervous when I heard some heavy rustling in the woods and something growling. If there is a bear around, I usually know, as Amber runs the other way. I didn't see anything amongst the pines so I decided it must be a sickly sounding squirrel. They can make the funniest noises when scolding or scared.

Onward I walked and reached the main farm trail. I started down it, heading further from the farm and was surprised to find a fresh foxhole or den dug into the bank of the trail. This home had to be made by the biggest woodchuck or fox in existance, and I decided to take a photo of it. When I flipped my phone out to photo the excavation, I noticed a missed call from my husband. I decided I better call Leo to see what he wanted. He knew I was walking.

"I just wanted to let you know that Pat says there is a badger that's taken up residence on the farm. He says that you should be careful as they are not friendly animals and will attack. Where are you?"

Pat is our farmhand. I'm not certain that he has extensive knowledge on wildlife but the silly question from my husband caused me to nervously laugh and reply, "I believe I am standing in front of the said Badger's home." I hadn't planned on doing more jogging this morning, but I did decide a run from the scene was probably the best move.

I looped wide through the woods along the road on my way back to the farmyard. I do love nature but when a blue jay clamoring in the branches makes you skiddish, you know its time to go home. How do you get rid of a badger? I think one of my research projects for the day will be on badgers

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