Sunday, July 8, 2012

Changing of the Guard at the Grove: Scourching Days and Getting Drinks

For many years we had large dogs at our olive orchard.  Those big boys, who had been together for most of their years, left almost at the same time.

Soon, missing sweet times we were accustomed to with them, we checked out our local human society.  We were surprised when we brought home a very little, elderly dog with limited hearing and - as Darro describes - "foggy" eyesight.  The quickly-scampering-one who immediately put himself in charge of all security is a complete delight.

Yet even with the Changed Guard clearly in place, it turns out, the animal culture about the house began to change in just a few months.  From olive tree branches, observing feral cats discovered by letting go of quick movements they become almost invisible. Eventually knowingly quite bold, they began lounging close by - catching our eye and not worrying about his.
And now here they live assigning themselves to mice patrol. As we now have several cats (To stop at several we learned about charming cats into cages: eight fixed, two to go), I got them a large stainless steel pan for water that is kept filled in a nice shady location.  
Today the temperature reached 110° Farinhaight and - in an effort to keep their environment for drinking nice and cool - we maintained dampness on the ground around their dish.

But, ever enjoying a challenge, their choice of place to get a drink is when balancing upon the edge of the horse trough. I keep two troughs quite full of water with ramp-like olive branches for emergency grabbing.  With help from Natural Resources Conservation Services, wildlife ramps are designed and on order.
Okay! Thomas looking all comfortable makes nine.  One to go.

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