A Starry Night

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Almost everyone enjoys a beautiful sunset but with most of the U.S. population living near large cities, the show in the sky stops when the sun goes down.  Around here I’ve noticed that on almost any night when the moon is new or hiding behind the ridges, it’s hard to walk outside without being distracted by the ocean of stars above your head.  The night sky is spectacular and the Milky Way is usually on full display.  It can’t look too much different than it did thousands of years ago when Native Americans thrived among these same ridges and valleys.  There are no cell phone towers or glaring lights from nearby cities junking up the view and it’s rare to see the blinking lights of a distant jet.  Hanging out with the beasts in the fields at night it’s not uncommon to see the flash of a meteor out of the corner of your eye, and still have enough time to look up and watch it flame-out on the horizon.  The feeling one gets when gazing on such a scene is much like Van Gogh’s  “The Starry Night” , a vast, animated sky that almost feels alive.

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Extreme Measures

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Innocent…for now.

 

As predicted,  the murderer showed up again, picking off my best hens one-by-one.  I soon caught a break when I found fresh tracks around a pile of feathers.  Ah, a fox.  Remember that 2013 smash hit  “What Does the Fox Say”?  Well, I fantasized that this particular fox would say, “Damn, I picked the wrong barnyard” right before I blew his head clean off with double aught buckshot.  I spent the weekend upstairs in the barn, sitting in an old rocking chair with a gun across my lap but he never showed.  Monday afternoon came and another chicken disappeared…I clearly needed to bring in the experts.  I contacted a local farmer and a few days later the “experts” arrived in the form of two, eight week old Great Pyrenees puppies.  But what could they do, looking like innocent white plush toys?  As it turns out, a lot. manny-wide-resize Great Pyrs are bred to be livestock guardian dogs, not house dogs and once fully grown they will flat-out destroy anything that dares to harm their livestock.  The fox seemed to sense this and immediately the killing stopped. So now instead of being used as a sniper location, the rocking chair is once again a great place to just sit and enjoy the scenery.

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