Wednesday, July 29, 2015
I'm outside looking for ringtails and I hear voices coming out of the river. In time I find a raft beached on a sand bar which frees itself and heads on down the river in a nearly full moon night. Then there are headlights in Jackson Hole and we signal them as to where we are but they drive on by. A mother ringtail has brought her two babies up to the lodge just as her mother did and we patiently spend the night teaching them to eat hot dogs off the marshmellow sticks. Not a good video but entertaining dialogue of the night. We'll do better tonight.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Kobae started hiking about a week before he did last year. For the last few days I've seen him looking down the driveway thinking about it and on Sunday we were off. Only about an hour or so. I had my boots ready and a fanny pack all full of stuff and ready to go so he didn't get much of a lead on me this time. I had forgotten how much work he was to try and keep him out of trouble.
Friday, July 24, 2015
With the small throat clearing Gray fox having found it's family it didn't visit the lodge last night at all which cleared the way for the ringtails to make up for the hot dogs they hadn't gotten the last week or so. The normally shy one weighing in at probably about 2.5 pounds came down the pole eight times taking a hot dog each time. I checked the wrapper and it ate one pound of meat and now, minus any presents it left on my roof, weighs 3.5 pounds. The second more aggressive ringtail showed up and took four hot dogs in about five minutes.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
The new really small Gray fox is driving me nuts. All night within a few hundred feet of the lodge it goes around with it's clearing it's throat growl. I can't get a good night picture of it. Last night I went out and fed the small ringtail some hotdogs in the rafters and I could hear the fox a hundred feet or so straight out from the front porch. Then in the distance, out towards the front gate (well really the only gate now after the floods) I hear a high pitched bark, then the small fox growling picks up, then the pitch bark. I can tell they are closing on each other. The growl and bark come at a quicker rate and it appears mother and child are reunited as I can hear the tone pitch with each and then for the rest of the night silence. It appears for the last week the small fox has been without it's parent(s) and lost before it was quite ready. We shall see tonight but it looks like we might have a happy ending. Was a pretty neat end to an evening.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I don't know. Got everybody out of Kane Creek and when I got back I noticed I didn't have any guests scheduled for a week so I felt like reading a book, and then another, and another and for the last week I just read and cleaned every day. Went to town once to get groceries and take some to Johnny across the river. Other than that, didn't go anywhere, or even pick up a camera. But, even without going anywhere stuff has happened over the last week or so. The batteries overheated in the solar and had to skip the batteries and run solar straight from the generator to the lodge. Holy cow, that was a lot of power that had to go somewhere so I ask everyone to turn their air conditioners on high. Still, I put four pieces of bread in the toaster and five seconds later they popped up smoking and black. Got it sorted out though. Some people pull up on dirt bikes and an ATV. We're walking around the lodge and they ask me about Caveman Ranch across the river and I'm starting to explain I'm just watching the place until the family sorts everything out and then the lady who was on the ATV points across the river and says "What's that?" I look across the river and there's a mountain lion walking over towards the garage area. Johnny is just up the stairs sitting outside smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. I have the binoculars and everybody is yelling at him and the lady has a real loud whistle while I try to raise him on the walkie. Johnnie has the radio on and is singing "Girl Crush" or something and can't hear us. Two deer take off down the runway and we don't see the mountain lion again. About 7pm the porch lights come on so at least I know Johnny didn't get eaten or the mountain lion has figured out the light switches. Next day I ask Johnny why he didn't have the walkie on and he says "Saving batteries." I knew there was a mountain lion here because the cat came up and told me. Ok John. About a week ago the food bowl started going completely empty by morning every day. A fifth Gray fox has shown up. Very small and very afraid. It walks around the lodge all night growling. Not a real growl, more like it's cleaning it's throat. None of the regular ringtails have been showing up as a result except for a new real small one who once it reaches here sleeps up in the rafters after getting it's hot dogs until morning when it can see the coast is clear and then heads back down to the river. The Gray fox makes one more sweep my here every morning around 7:30 or 8. It chased a white-tailed antelope squirrel under the porch but when the white-tailed got cover and turned to sound the warning to the others the fox growled at it as if it was scared. So it is every morning. The new small ringtail comes to the water bowl first every night and takes a bath. When I walk out with the first hot dogs of the night there always wet tracks (all four) going under the porch and then again down the porch to the food bowl and by morning what water is left in the bowl is brown dirty. Three nights ago right out side the office window I heard the ringtail scream as if in pain and I figured a fox had got it but the next night there were the tracks and my friend up in the rafters.