Happenings on the ranch

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Dung Beetles in our pasture

Now for something that most of you have never noticed, but I’m rather confident happens around you every spring. This is something I’ve been unconsciously seeking the whole time this spring seasons has been warming and greening us up. Once, I came upon this pair of Dung Beetles, I found a relief I’ve not known for some time. Odd isn’t it? Well, these little creatures even made it onto TED in 2012 with Marcus Bryne.

Do you have any idea of why these two bothered to dig up and then shape a small batch of cow “dung” as a ball? Do you wonder where they’re going with that “shit”?

Their larvae were intentionally encased in that sphere of feces. As I took a few photos of these two beetles jointly rolling their slice of a cow patty away, I did wonder where they were going to bury their scat covered larvae to mature?

IMG_1429Before you leave this little page, I’d also like to make you aware of a loss, out here. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been following two Killdeer in hatching their eggs. This morning, as I left the house to let mom’s cat out of the building we use to farrow hogs in, I noticed something was missing. I couldn’t spot either of those birds who had been setting on this nest. Upon investigation, I found the nest empty. Not empty, but with scattered egg shells, but empty and without remnants of a single shell. Out here that means that either a skunk or raccoon came upon the nest and emptied it.

So, there has been a brief and natural sense of loss. We were looking forward to watching two Killdeer scampering around with their fledglings only to come to this point. Those adult Killdeer are gone, as is natural, and I can hope to spot a few Killdeer chicks out in the pastures.

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