I hadn’t seen raccoon tracks in a long time, but when I headed uphill to start the olive tree soakers, there they were. The picture above shows them along with several other tracks: Car, Me, Cat, and Rabbit. A record of our passing is made daily in the sand, and if we stop to study it, we are reminded that we’re not alone. The tracks are spread out over time mainly because we can’t all occupy the same space at the same time. If the car makes a track, I will be in the car. When I make a track, the car is elsewhere. When the raccoons make their tracks, I, the car, the cat, and the rabbits are absent. You get the idea.
People of an analytical bent could create a chart showing the presence/absence/time relationship of the various actors in this scenario. One thing that could be anomalous is that some of the bunnies around here are fearless regarding human presence; we could make tracks together. One of the rabbits has actually befriended the cat (or at least isn’t afraid of it)! That’s probably a temporary situation; I better keep the cat well-fed so he doesn’t get any ideas.
When I feed one of our old horses, sometimes I almost have to boot a couple of rabbits away in order to pour the feed into her trough. Currently only one squirrel is fearless enough to sniff at my sandals. It reminds me of the times a decade or so ago when we had a low-to-the ground horse trough that would nearly fill up with squirrels (fourteen at a time!) waiting for the raining down of grain and pellets. I would have to stand in the trough and shove the squirrels to one end to give the poor old horse access to his feed. Our bunk (an off-the-ground trough and hay-holding combo feeder) gets visited by the ravens, who only rarely use it as a toilet, much to Geronimo’s approval.
I really enjoy the company of our wild animals. As for man-made animals, I reserve judgment. Well, no, I don’t reserve judgment. People have created house cats, for instance. Ours is a cross between [deleted] and [deleted]. Horses are…I better hold my tongue since there are dozens of them around here most of the year, along with people who really like them. Dogs are cool as long as they retrieve a thrown ball and don’t get it too wet and slimy.