In the previous post, Chewing On Bamboo Part 1, you got to hear about the disturbances caused by deer and elk (mostly elk) and the subsequent fun we have been having trying to protect our precious seedlings with their cages and bamboo stakes.
Up til now, Mike has been the more aggressive harassment master. He has made it his mission to make life for the elk in our woods as uncomfortable as possible. With several trips a day up the hill and into the forest, he whistles, sing-songs limericks and bad jokes, revs the motor of the Gator, and he hollers barks, whooots, and catcalls at our 4-legged creatures. The dogs consider the many runs up and down the hill with Mike as a treat and they scoot through the woods with the vigor that they had as young pups. The dogs are trying to assist but mostly it is just a fun activity for them.
And now it seems that the idea of keeping a close eye on the elk has gotten to me. My early rising habit has me sitting at my dining room table facing the big field behind the house as the morning sky just begins to lighten. I usually do my posts about this time of day anyway, its just now that I am distracted as I also spend more time scanning the field for movement of the majestic creatures that are now considered ‘the enemy’ for the purpose of salvaging our seedlings.
This morning, with just enough light and the fog starting to lift, I spotted 33 elk in the field. This field is not being used for forest or farming and the grass is growing like crazy. The elk are welcome to munch and crunch the 60 acres as much as they desire. My job at this point was to watch the creatures to make sure they went back into the forest behind them where there are no new seedlings planted that could be destroyed. About an hour later, they started meandering toward the old landing, from there it would be short hop to get across Timber Road, a skip down the embankment to the river, and several splash/jumps to the other side and into our 6 acre hay field.
My footfalls down the hallway woke up Mike and I told him that the herd was headed to the 6 acre field. I ran to the garage and slipped on my boots, grabbed the leash and one dog and headed up the road. Mike loaded the other dog on the Gator and headed over to the field in case I was unable to keep the herd from crossing over.
Between me and the dog, we were able to turn the herd up into the big canyon where we hoped they would stay the rest of the day.