Sunday night, August 18, I left the office about midnight and drove home. As I completed the turn from Airport Drive onto 630th St, my headlights reflected off two eyes running toward the car on the right side. About 25 feet ahead of me, the animal turned and ran across the road headed north. It apeared to be solid black, furry and about 14-16 inches high. The tail was short, less than eight inches long; its body was flatter than a typical dog, more like a raccoon body, and its head was shaped somewhere between a dog and a bear. It appeared to have paws more like a bear than a dog, but I did not see claws.
Monday morning, I gave the above description to Rick Dahl, our talented graphic designer, and he came up with the drawing that accompanies this column.
I've never seen anything quite like it, but it may be some breed of dog. I am hoping someone out there may know what it is that I saw or that someone else may see it and get a picture. If so, I would appreciate a call or visit to inform me.
Our chickens are doing a good job of reducing our grasshopper numbers but haven't completely solved the problem.
I've gotten pretty good at catching the grasshoppers by hand and have been doing that and throwing them to the chickens while walking around our property. The chickens now come running when I appear near them. Saturday afternoon, they followed Emily and I for most of our afternoon walk.
I don't mind having them follow us, but I am a little bit troubled by the appreciation I am beginning to experience of their cleverness, character and individuality. I know that the better I get to know them, the harder it is going to be to butcher them, especially with the resistance to doing that which Melanie and Emily will exhibit when the time comes for execution.
We have found quite a few Monarch caterpillars on our milkweed the past couple weeks. We had not seen any until well into August and feared there might not be any this year. We've only seen a couple Monarch butterflies, and apparently they really were a couple. There has been a dearth of all kinds of insects this year, even mosquitoes. I don't miss the mosquitoes but do miss the butterflies.