Friday, October 1, 2010

The downside of living with nature

One of the things I love about where we live is that we're out in the country, basically "in the middle of nowhere". It's so very quiet, and I love it. I love seeing nature in all it's beauty, and hearing the wind blowing through the trees.


It has been a rough couple of weeks around here. We have lived here for 2 1/2 years now, and we have never before killed an animal. As you know, we disposed of 3 porcupines within 12 hours this week. (I cried over every one of them). Last week, it was squirrels. They had invaded our house and we had to get rid of 3 of them. (I cried over them too)

Today I hit my limit. I am looking after our neighbour's birds for a couple of weeks. That involves going over to their place everyday and feeding ducks, geese, guineas, pheasants and turkeys. It's noisy, but a fun activity for me. Today, though, when I was near the coop I heard a rustling sound. I looked over, and there was a raccoon with it's paw caught in a claw/vise like trap. (what I would call a bear trap, but much smaller). I rushed home thinking that we were going to have to deal with this somehow, but got inspired and phoned our other neighbour (the brother of the neighbour who is away) and asked him if he would look after it for me.

I really don't enjoy this part of country living. I broke into heaving, sobbing tears and poor John considered not going to his football game outing with his son and granddaughter because I was in such a state.

All is well now. But I am hoping, really hoping, that this is the last death that will be on my shoulders for quite some time.


aliceinparis said...

Oh Sara, I feel for you. I would be a mess too. I don't know what the answer is.

Janet said...

hi sara - I'm sorry for your grief
It takes time to come to terms with the fact that nature often is all to do with survival - to survive a racoon will raid chicken coops and fowl pens and will return again and again once they know it is a sure source of food. Porcupines will defend against domestic dogs and other would-be predators by using their spines - dogs die every year from infections and from migrating spines - and if not, cost their owners large vet fees. Coyotes have made it impossible to rear sheep in certain areas. Squirrels get into houses and cause great damage and compromise food storage and safety.
We should ask ourselves if the animal involved is endangered - if not, harvesting overpopulations or rogue animals can be considered an option as long as it is done humanely. It is a hard but true fact that living close to nature brings trade-offs. I'm sorry it is causing you pain....