My wife was coming home from work the other morning. She travels across Gun House Hill Road, which runs from Hobart to Harpersfield. It’s not unusual to see a dozen deer or so on any given day. They’re in the fields and crossing the road, making the trip more or less like an obstacle course.
But the other day, a large coyote sat up on top of a farmer’s round bale not far from the road. He sat there like a king on his throne with his ears up, surveying his territory. I guess he could hunt for breakfast from that high perch easier than traveling through the belly-deep snow.
Animals easily adapt and often take advantage of things like that. There’s a large bobcat that has lived on my hill for several years. I’ve seen him a couple of times. It’s fun to follow his tracks as he hunts through the swamps and woodlands. He’ll wander through the underbrush looking for a rabbit and walk up every downed tree that comes along. Like a bow hunter in a tree stand, you can see better from above.
I leased an old log cabin in the Adirondacks for many years on International Paper Company land. One winter, a huge bear decided to hibernate underneath the cabin. In the evening while we sat around and played cards, we would sometimes hear him moan and snore. He didn’t bother us, and we didn’t think we bothered him. Come spring, he disappeared and didn’t return the next year. I guess our partying disturbed him a little, so he probably decided to find a quieter place to spend his winter.
One of the funniest stories I’ve come across over the years takes place on the Barkaboon Creek down near the Pepacton Reservoir. An older woman has lived along that brook all of her life. She had a dog, a few cats and one old horse.