"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The month of blood!

Sounds like a horror movie doesn't it? This month we have been besieged by predators all around. I don't know why, food must be hard to come by at the moment.
The pigeons have been constantly stalked by a bolder than usual Grey Goshawk, the Pythons are on the move in the warmer than usual weather, the mouse plague is still going strong despite the efforts of the three cats and wild dogs are roaming nearby each night although our maremma, Alessa, has been keeping them at a distance.
Last night the chooks were attacked by Quolls. We had finished dinner when we heard a commotion from the chook shed and the sound of a chook in distress. I grabbed a torch and ran out to the chook shed in thongs (footwear- not the undies!) pausing long enough to grab the axe as I shot past. I was fairly certain a big scrub python was running amok in with the chooks. However, when I got there I was confronted by a sizeable Quoll busily savaging a chook and feathers everywhere. The strangest thing was that he was completely unconcerned by my presence and continued killing his meal with me standing close enough to touch him.  It was only when I began banging the wire and making a fuss did he reluctantly retreat. A large Rhode island red chook lay dead and half eaten, a bantam hen lay dead and savaged and another hen was wounded. I was amazed at not only the savagery of the attack but also the complete lack of concern at my presence. I secured the chook shed, which had been left open through my own neglect, and removed the bodies to a nearby location so the quolls could hopefully finish their meal and not try to dig into the pens. The large, I am guessing, male quoll was soon joined by a smaller quoll, probably female. Once again largely unworried by the nearby humans.
Here I am conflicted. Quolls are an endangered species and so I overjoyed at having them living in the area. Conflicted with the need to protect my livestock. I suppose the solution will be to ensure all possible prey are secured each night and to accept the losses of any that are not.

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