This 12-year-old Southern Pacific Rattlesnake was about 20 feet from our door. She was well over 5 feet in length. My son said, “Aren’t you going to take her picture?”
I was so shocked by her too close presence that I forgot about taking pics which is a first for me, and I was a bit rattled when I finally took them! This is the wild west, and the rattlesnakes live here, and always have.
On another note, a genetic study was published a few days ago, which clarified there is only one true north american wolf, the grey wolf, others are coyote/wolf hybrids.
The Holler is really a Holler and not only for the birds.
It is for low-down, on the ground, critter life as well. Meet the new, free range calf.
And, meet the guys who are overly fond of new free range calves.
We were quite done with watching the coyotes prey on the defenseless calves, and the cowboy intermittently shoot the coyotes.
This approach solved nothing.
The cowboy who grazes the free range cattle on the 1200 acre state-owned nature preserve that abuts The Holler, finally came up with a creative solution.
You know I value creativity. It is why I love bloggers so much!
Anyhoo, meet the new juvenile Ankole-Watusi bull. Imagine how big he is gonna be when he is all “growed” up!
These are African free range cattle that grow horns up to eight feet from tip to tip. At night, in Africa, when predators are active, the Ankole adults place the calves in the center, while the adults, and their eight foot horns defend the perimeter through intimidation. They are highly protective of calves and able to repel African predators. These cattle can subsist in drought conditions with low water and feed.
They are currently interbred in Europe and North America and, and news to me, The Holler. I had no idea of the Ankole solution until my telephoto saw them, and I sent it straight from my camera, to your eyes!
I am grateful to my camera because Ankole can be quite aggressive towards humans. If my camera hadn’t alerted me to their presence, I would still be hiking in the preserve, not expecting an ambush by potentially aggressive African bulls!
The coyotes are now in a state of détente. When the Ankoles lower their horns in the coyotes direction, off the coyotes trot. Coyotes regulate their estrus and birth cycles in accordance with environmental conditions. They are intelligent and adaptable. As they are able to kill less calves, they will limit their birth rates, and subsist on rodents.
Of course the poor squirrels have no say in this matter, but at least they can run fast into their extensive burrows.
The wild critters seem happy we are back at The Holler. They staged quite the homecoming! Even Wiley E. came out in broad daylight, sashayed by, and winked at me and I have the pic to prove it!
Look how fat and healthy he is! I don’t even want to think about what he’s been eating. He’s not too shy is he?
And what big teeth you have Mr. Coyote! This is a different Wiley. Possibly a Willette. We have lots and lots of Wileys and Willettes at The Holler.
Beep Beep is always content snooping around us. He is a hobbyist human watcher. He doesn’t even pay attention to Wiley E….. Smart Beeper.
The shy little woodpecker even dropped by to say hello!
After six years I have finally learned to make a credible hawk call. I called, they came. Or maybe they were just flying by. But I think they respond to my call and it confuses the ravens too. They keep looking for the hawk on the ground!
And of course The Holler Hummers. I miss them so much when I am away.
Europe is incredible but they don’t have Wileys or Beeps or Hummers. Wild animals just make the very best neighbors. I like having them on my HOA!
And The Holler? Well it is rural, rustic, and in a horrible drought, but even so, it is awful purty.
Cheers to you from all the happy Holler critters~
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He doesn’t want to play nice with me! This coyote surprised me and stood his ground. He stared at me and even lowered his head as if preparing to charge. Gets your heart beating faster then your morning cup of joe!
All of these photos were taken at early, misty, dawn.
Like most wild animals, the coyotes know you are there, well before you know they are! Usually they move off, but the large alpha males sometimes don’t, and this always gets my full attention
They are gorgeous, highly-adaptive, intelligent animals. This one looks away.
Sometimes they watch you, but typically, move off rather quickly.
This one hears something that interests him more than me, which is always good.
They have incredible hearing and are remorseless pack hunters, bringing down calves, despite the efforts of the herds and the bulls to protect them.
This is a younger one.
They are definitely nothing like your friendly dog Spot! Please stay tuned for Lords of the Holler Part II: Night Terrors!