Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Surprise!

Look what happened last night after I went to bed at 9! 

The weatherman has told us so many times this year already that we were to have a "snow event" that neither of us believed him.  Keith turned in earlier than I, but told me he had gotten back up at 10 and had seen the snow when he let the dogs out, but didn't awaken me.  

I had put the critter cam out last night, but got no pictures.  We set it at 2 minute intervals, as 15 minutes of watching a possum eat is onerous.  

Something took the chicken carcass that I threw out there.... (not one of ours... store bought) 

It stopped here for a minute.  Do you see the tracks leading off? 

I followed some. 

Look where these lead... to the mound by the old cistern, the one place I wanted the pugs to stay away from.  The cistern has debris in it, but is still dangerous.  I hope to fence this whole tree off this spring.  I suspect that this was Kathy and Troy's black kitty, who has been on the critter cam this week several times. 

Fox?  They disappeared down into the pasture.  

There was one more set... I should have followed them, to see where the canines are getting in. 

However, I took a picture of something just now that I wanted you all to see. 

I wish this would have been in focus!  I caught him just as he was calling to a friend.  That's not what I wanted to show you, though. 

First, I have to explain to new readers... we are the first house on our gravel road.  There is a pasture on the corner that abuts our yard and pasture... it belongs to our neighbors to the east.  Across from our place is a wild area that we call "The Wild Area".... it is the site of a church that is supposedly going to build their new building this year, and how we will miss this area.  There is a neighbor across from us, abutting the Wild Area, but he is so far back from the road you can't see his house.  

At the corner, there is a "T".  Across from our corner is a pasture of about 140 acres, of rolling hills.  It has been for sale since we moved here, and they are asking some ridiculous amount for it like 2 million dollars, literally. 
The farm that this pasture belonged to has another ten acre parcel.  On it sits a fine red barn, and a house that was burned out, and a trailer that someone lived in for a short while.... and some small outbuildings. 
This whole place belongs to a woman who inherited it from her dad many years ago.  She kept many animals there, and at one point, got into trouble and those animals were seized because she was not caring for them properly. 
Unfortunately, they could not seize everything. 

That's right, they were up by the fence for once, so I looped around and came back to take pictures (and I know Keith is going to get me when he sees these, because it is a bad place to stop on the highway)....
These bison belonged to her father... and they have just been abandoned, this lady now lives in California. 
There are 14 of them.  On ten acres.   Never touched, never fed... never watered. 
There is a pond. 

We are starting our ninth year here this summer.  I have only seen one person in there one time.  In the picture above, you can see the roof of the house just barely behind the tree and driveway line.  You can see a small white barn... the red barn is beyond it.  At some point the buffalo broke the fence into the drive and can go back and forth, but they don't often come up by the road.  Once, one got out, and the sheriff's deputies came and put it back in with their cars, so now, instead of a wood gate, there is a tube gate at the end of the driveway.  

I made an attempt, two years ago, to find out what I could about these poor animals.  I contacted the Leavenworth County Humane Society, which is in it's incipient stages.  Crystal Blackdeer, the president, was kind enough to research it and let me know... they are in the nominal care of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's department, and are allowed to run on ten acres of the property.  Supposedly there was a caretaker there at one time... there is a white trailer behind the burned house.... but no one has lived there since we have been there. 
After the woman went to California, the buffalo were essentially abandoned.  Since they have not been vaccinated or treated in any way, I don't think they are "adoptable", and they are, after all, dangerous wild animals. 

In the pasture next to them is a huge pond which still has water... I asked Keith several times last summer "Would the buffalo go through the fence for water" and he thinks yes. 

I tried to get a picture of the calf born last year, but the adults closed in around it. 

I took one of these images and cropped it a little so you could see them close up. 

I didn't stay long, I was in a bad place on a wet highway. 

So two years ago, I called the Sheriff's dept. to ask about these buffalo, and talked to the undersheriff, who was about 74 years old at the time.  I was totally patronized and was told 
"These are wild animals, little lady, and they can take care of themselves". 

I don't know how 14 or 15 buffalo are supposed to take care of themselves on a ten acre pasture that hasn't been mowed in 8 years, and is being overgrown with red cedar trees.... 
We have a new Sheriff as of last month, and my husband knows him well. 
I hope to report back at some point that SOMEONE is going to do something about this. The US Humane Society is aware of these animals, and at some point, (also supposedly) someone did a flyover to make sure there was still water in the pond for them to drink.  What they did the two winters we had horrible snow, I don't know.  All I know is, I have spent a lot of time worrying about them.  I purposely go the other way sometimes, to avoid their pasture. 

Someone else was watching them too, because mine was not the only set of tracks this morning in the snow. 

That's it (early) for today, from Calamity Acres. 


  1. Wow Mary Ann, that is amazing. I can't believe no one will do anything about them, how sad. I'm glad you care, but it's too bad you can't do more.

  2. Bless your heart for worrying about them. If someone were to just make sure they didn't run out of food and water, I bet the will continue to do fine there. Possibly better than if adopted out. What a story this is! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kinda pretty with a dusting of snow.....tons here......How sad about the buffalo, they still need food and water.....Some people......Hope someone cares for them, glad you do......Blessings Francine.

  4. Replies
    1. I actually thought about calling Ted Turner, but these bison have been turned out on their own for almost ten years. No one testing for brucellocis, Johnes, etc.... who knows what they have.... and I don't think anyone would take them because of this. It's so sad! I don't see a good end for this herd.

  5. Hello from Oregon. Stopping by from BMB.

  6. That's such a sad story about the bison. I hope they get help.

  7. That is so sad! I can't believe they were just abandoned like that. I'm pretty shocked that they have survived as long as they have. Too bad no one will step up and do something to save them. I know you would if you could!

  8. oh my gosh that is so sad. I don't see a good end for this herd either...but that is possibly better for them than the way they are living as the moment (if that makes sense) - as you have pointed out where do they shelter during the snow/winter???

    Amy from Ireland

  9. How sad they are there abandoned and left to forage for themselves. It's unbelievable that no one is doing anything to help them. At least you know that you have tried to bring it all to the attention of those that could do something. We have 3-4 inches of new snow here today. Hope your Sunday is a restful and relaxing one!

  10. Sad, I think the most of the burros across the road died. The guy just moved off and left them. I hated it. But they were wild as hares and I sure wasn't going to try and catch them.


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