Friday, December 20, 2013

Rocks, Roots, Raccoon

Sarah B. was back in the States, and we have been trying to get out for a day in the field. Weather derailed our plans twice, but I took off Thursday and it was perfect weather, if a bit warm.

As there was a deer hunter on the farm where I initially intended to dig, we crossed over the river to another spot and trudged up hill to a nice fox sette.  No one home, which was not too surprising considering the weather.

We walked down the field to a nice bit of structure -- a place in the middle of a field where stones had been pushed by plough and pulled by sledge. Trees had grown up among the stones, and fallen trunks were inside and on top of the rocks and dirt.

Both dogs marked right away, but there was no digging here so I laced up the dogs and we headed off to a more likely spot, which was soon found.

The dogs marked again on a four-eyed hedgerow sette, but they could not get in much farther than their body length, and a little probing with the bar showed why:  rocks and roots, and a lot of both.

The dogs were pretty adamant that something was home, however, so we downed tools and tucked in with bar, shovel, posthole digger, and saw. 

Pulled the dog to listen to the raccoon.

To make a long story short, it was a raccoon, albeit not the typical loud snarler that I am used to. 

We initially thought it was a very small raccoon, but when we finally winkled him out of his root-fortified fortress, he was an adult, albeit a very thin one.  Not much fat on this fellow!

We hunted our way back to the truck, rounding up through the forest and checking some other settes along the way.  All were blank. 

As the day warmed up, the ground thawed and the fields were now transformed into sucking mud. 

Time for coffee, which we set out to do.  Anytime is a good time for coffee!


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