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Posted 12/30/2010 4:51pm by Eugene Wyatt.

The ewes have been spooked for a week or so; at first I thought it was the howling wind but now that has subsided; we walked out beyond the far fence and found tracks everywhere.  Coyotes.  They hadn't crossed the fence as far as we could see but being just on the other side is too close. 

We checked the fence and made sure it was carrying a charge—it was—then we erected more fence and charged other lengths that had been off.  The idea was to be unpredictable; when the coyotes come back they'd see newness, they'd see change, they'd know that man had been there and they'd leave.

Pounding in the fence stakes today, I had the Beach Boys tune I Get Around going through my mind, particularly the line that relates to coyotes,

My buddies and me are getting real well known
Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone

O and I do believe the bad guys will leave us alone.  I often believe that about adversity. I can't offer you reasons for my belief.  It is so because I believe it to be so.  I have believed this lyric ever since I first heard it, despite my former therapist, Albert Ellis, who would, if he knew, look up, shake his head, smile wryly and say, "Magical thinking."  

After my dozen or so sessions with him, along with reading everything he'd popularly written, I had an insight (for which he would take no credit, I'm sure) that A RATIONAL ACT CAN BE A CHOICE TO ACT IRRATIONALY: it's choosing freedom in the face of rational or public constraint, it's art,  it's like  novelist Jean Genet who chose as a young man a life of  petty crime according to Jean Paul Sartre in his Saint Genet, a critical biography; and of course, among other things, it's believing the Beach Boys.  

But O I don't want to see warm sheep blood melting that white, white snow tomorrow.

Tonight, just before I go to bed with Proust's  À l'ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs I'll drive out in the blackness to where I found the tracks today, roll down the window of the truck, stick my .357  revolver out in the cold air like a pistolero, like Gold Hat in The Treasure of Sierra Madre and  say to Humphrey Bogart as Dobbs like he's really a coyote, "Badges? ...I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" and fire in the quiet air frightening anything within earshot.

Saying, "I'm here bad guys, I'm here with my buddies."


The next morning: The ewes were out near where the coyote tracks were found; but they were relaxed, lounging around, chewing cud, gestating.  We expect the first of their 300 lambs in 2 months and 14 days.

Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone

Tags: Coyotes
Posted 12/22/2010 6:01pm by Eugene Wyatt.

This morning before sunrise the local coyotes were singing beautifully, a spectacular polyphonic chant, singing one to the other and singing one to all, a wild howling chorus to the full moon in the fields near the barn.  They seemed to be where the round bales are; they were too close to the sheep.  I pointed my pistol in the direction of the mesmerizing fugue and fired  up over their heads into the cold air—3 muzzle flashes—when the gun echo died away all was quiet and darker still.

Tags: Coyotes
Posted 12/6/2007 2:00pm by Catskill Merino.


Ram from Breeding Group


A shepherd must look at his sheep everyday.  Oddly this ram sauntered over from his breeding group to have a look back at me.  It's rare that sheep who haven't been turned into pets will approach humans; truthfully I felt honored to be considered inhuman by this non-human.  On my way back to the barn, I noticed the electric line between the  charger and the net fence was down.  The feed truck must have hit it earlier in the week; the sheep had been in a un-electrified enclosure for 2 days and nights. Dangerous because at night the coyotes are close in, but they've been stung by the fence and keep a respectful distance; even more dangerous because a ram, believing “the grass is greener…” can easily tangle his horns in an un-electrified net fence that he no longer respects as he sticks his snout through the opening for a frozen blade or two.  Struggling to free himself he will take the net fence down opening the flock to the coyotes.  I like to look at sheep, it’s the best part of my job.