I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this beautiful painting.
It's so idyllic, so bucolic,
so. . .peaceful.
But after this month, I am taking a closer look at nature's shadowy underbelly, and it ain't pretty.
There must be an expiration date on the "great Penn's famous treaty made." At least that's what it looks like in this corner of his woods.
This was the year I decided it was time to find homes for most of our critters. The llama and goats and 7 goslings left for greener pastures leaving only a trio of adult geese plus 3 goslings, 4 muscovey ducks, Misty the freecycle wonder dog, and the Great Bundini to roam Iron Acres.
I was enjoying the peace and quiet. But it didn't last long.
This is also the year the wild animal kingdom declared an all out assault on Iron Acres. I had no problem at all with the robins that made nests in the lilac and apple trees,
but I draw the line at the Peter Cottontail who invaded the garden, decimating the broccoli and cabbage (where's Farmer MacGregor and his hoe when you need them?),
one raccoon who took up residence in the attic, another who tried to gain entrance to the kitchen via the breezeway, the kamikaze honeybees who committed suicide in the den,
a young grackle who fell through the chimney into the fireplace, and the ground hogs leaving their holes and, ahem, "calling cards" in the pasture and yard.
This evening on my way home from the park, I was musing about all these goings on and thought about the one animal that had yet to engage in the battle of Iron Acres. A wily foe, puny but pungent. I was continuing these ruminations as I strolled down to the barn to check on the sitting ducks. I glanced into the barn and found the goose family to have taken up residence a few feet away in the open air. Normally they vigorously protest my approach, but tonight they were curiously calm and composed.
As I peered into the darkness, trying to discern the black and white outline of a mama muscovey, I spied instead a black and white outline with more of a plume than I remembered. It was then that I realized what I was watching was not mama muscovey . . .
. . .but (dundunduh!!) this!
Yes, gentle reader, Iron Acres has been officially skunked. Mr (or Ms, for reasons I am sure you will understand, I was in no hurry to solve that mystery) Skunk was too engrossed in duck eggs and the poultry feed to notice my attentions. THANK GOODNESS!!!
I wished Pepe(or Pepette) Le Pew a silent good night and stole away in the opposite direction.
That's not a hill I want to die on.