Unexpected Moments on the Farm

May 25, 2021
Unexpected Visitors
The animals made a ruckus this morning, and I dragged myself out of bed even though I was still tired. Once downstairs I looked out the kitchen door (it’s glass). There was a huge raptor eating something in the yard. I walked quickly down the stairs and into the yard in my clean socks, wondering if it was eating one of our birds. I wasn’t yelling like I usually do when I see a raptor eating one of our animals – in case it wasn’t – not being convinced either way. The bird spread its enormous wings and flew into the stand of trees inside our track. It had been eating part of a dead animal (this could be another story). Not one of ours.
I went back inside to make some coffee. What kind of bird was it? It was huge! Brown with some whitish stippling. After I’d had my coffee I decided to move the partial carcass it had been working on to the clearcut behind us. As I passed the area it had flown to, it flew down in front of me and landed on a broken branch halfway up a fir tree. I talked to it (I talk to all animals, even deaf ones) and said, “this is for you, buddy. I’m just putting it in the clearcut.” It stayed on its perch until I went back indoors.
As I walked inside, I heard a small voice call out, “Hi!” I answered. I told Viggo about the bird. He asked if the tree it had landed in had a bent top. He said the one with the bent top was the eagle tree. I hadn’t looked up at the top, but I thought it probably was the eagle tree. As Viggo was coming downstairs, slowly, I looked up juvenile eagles on the computer. The bird I’d seen definitely was a juvenile eagle.
Viggo and George went to Seattle today, and I was left working at home alone with the animals. The eagles were very active, very vocal. I didn’t see the juvenile anymore, but the adults were visible much of the day. Our “wild” chickens and turkeys were not.
I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I should mow the yard.
While walking back to the house after tossing mid-day hay, I saw a large wild rabbit in the tall grass. It didn’t run but stopped chewing and lowered its head, ears pressed flat. I didn’t want to scare it so I said, silently, as I walked by, “It’s ok, little one. In this moment, you’re ok.” Where will that rabbit and its friends and family go when I cut the grass? So far there are other places, and for that I am grateful.
Although it’s not what I’d expected, the amount of life that springs up in unexpected places as we build our little farm is astounding. I am honored to be a part of it. Overwhelmed, often worn out, but honored and grateful.