Got all geared up and headed out to the barn for feeding time last night... rubber boots for wading through the flood waters, light jacket, headlamp, and of course, the bucket of feed. Was enjoying the walk in the rain-free weather when I looked up to see a cottontail rabbit hopping around the floodwaters along the dry rises in the yard. What a beautiful sight! Oh man, left the cell phone camera in the house as I usually do on wet days to avoid dropping it in a puddle. Walked on towards the barn, enjoying the moment. As I was approaching the horse stall, I heard a strange sound. Was my feral cat friend back in the barn? I turned to look. No cat. Then I hear it again. Looking around I spot the source.... It's an opossum climbing in one of the old abandoned rabbit cages stacked in the corner. What excitement! I haven's seen an opossum in years. Quick, the camera. Oh man, that's right, it's in the house! I head quickly back to the house, grab my cell phone and professional camera. Returned just as quickly to the barn. Yes! He's still in the cage. Snapped a few good shots and headed back to the house. Wondering, as I exit the barn wading through the high waters, just how many animals have passed through the barn never seen. Over the years, in addition to the anticipated residents, there have been other opossums, unwanted rat snakes, rats, birds and the recent feral cat. Possibly the skunk residing in the barnyard passed through the barn. Yes, I presume so. But what else? Bobcats that have been spotted on my property? There was the morning I scared a couple of coyotes out of the barnyard that were standing just outside the barn door hunting for fresh chicken. I wonder? What other types of critters? How many? How often? Questions that can never be answered. Oh, the stories those barn walls could tell! Back at the house now, I open the door, slide the boots off and go on with my evening. The barn, too, will go on with its evening routine of sheltering all the unseen visitors as they pass through.
A Mattingly - Owner and operator of Our Little Barnyard. Can't believe it's been over twenty years since I started living the farm dream! What an amazing and challenging journey it has been!
Our Little Barnyard
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