Woodland Critters

Last night I was able to convince Lee to come out for a walk with Bentley around the farm.  I mounted up around 7:15 or so, just like usual and immediately set out around the fields. 

Let me interject for a moment with a small tangent, which is still a bit relative.  It was 7:30 and already we were getting that glow on the fields that happens as the sun gets lower.  I have to say, I hate this time of year because I start to realize summer is ending and the waning light leads to less riding time!

So with that said, the light was indeed casting a yellow glow upon the fields.  Bentley was charged up and walking briskly, and we left Lee in our dust.  We practised some backing uphill to get his muscles engaged, but still Lee barely caught up.  At one point, Lee called up to me and asked me to come back because I needed to “see something”

There were 2 very large and very beautiful does across the far field from us, that yellow light just catching them perfectly.  We watched them for a minute or so, before deciding to move onward.  Lee didn’t want Bentley out while they were out for fear they would spook, but they were nowhere near where we were riding and Bentley has been unflappable recently.

So we carried on along the fields, when we came to the gap in the treeline between our fields and the field where we saw the deer, I stopped to look again.  Strangely enough, one looked much smaller than the other, I thought I remembered 2 large ones?  I guess ones a baby?  Oh well, and I busied myself obtaining small pears from the snack tree for Bentley.  After a few minutes of this, Lee said “uh… that’s not a baby deer at all” looking again, the animal was moving a bit, and it was very clearly a LARGE coyote.  Now I am paying more attention, and the large deer was an enormous stag, could see his antlers very clearly.  At that point, we were probably 1/6th a mile away or less.

The stag and the coyote were having a faceoff.  We watched in fascination to see who would make the first move.  Decided the safest place for me was not on top of a horse, so I dismounted and watched.  The coyote started stalking the deer and went into the bush, and the stag soon went into the bush the other way.  Just before we decided to leave, 2 large does burst out of the bush and charged through the field towards us, getting about halfway here.

At that point, we decided it was best we get far away from the scene and warn others that tonight was not a night for hacking.  Lee took Bentley back to the barn and I went down to the plateau to warn the girls who were having their lesson there.  I wasn’t so concerned about the coyote as I was about what the reaction would be from the horses if any of the action came closer.  However, I was very pleased with how Bentley handled everything, didn’t care at all because he was allowed to graze!

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a horse that is no more than a stomach on legs!

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