I sat outside most of the afternoon, relaxing in a lawn chair enjoying a good book. As I sat there soaking up the sun, the snow melted around me. The chicken coop roof is clear after being baked in the sun all day, and the snow fossils of old footprints are melting away.
The chickens have been enjoying the warmer weather and are basking in the sunlight. For a couple of months, I hadn’t gotten more than an egg per day from the three girls, and sometimes not even that. But in the last week, I’ve gotten more than a dozen.
The chickens are eating better too, finding food in the melting snow that they missed the first time around. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones scratching at the chicken coop for food.
A few nights ago, we got a few inches of snow. I woke up and let the girls out and fed them. In my early morning haze, I failed to notice the set of tracks headed behind the cabin, around the coop and run, and then off into the woods.
An hour or so later, after I had made some coffee, I looked out the big window and noticed the tracks. I was puzzled, knowing that Pico often walked a similar route around the coop. But then I noticed that the tracks came from behind the cabin – not an area that Pico frequents.
I grabbed my camera and went out to do some tracking. Immediately I noticed the tracks were smaller than Pico’s. Working backwards from the coop, I followed the tracks around the cabin to the window next to my bed. A sly little fox had walked right up to my window without ever waking Pico. Some guard dog.
The fox had come from the direction of the Upper Camp, and even crossed paths with some rabbits over by the woodshed. The night before I hadn’t cooped the chickens because it was so warm, but now they are on lock-down every night.
I’ve only seen the fox tracks one other time, but it still puts me on edge. I know it won’t be able to get the girls at night when they’re in the coop. I just hope the fox isn’t desperate enough to come around during the day.