January 15, 2001

Welcome,

It's the middle of January, the sun is out and all of the forecasts for rain have been wrong. The elk; there are eleven in the bunch, have been spending a lot of time munching on the grass around the house. I quickly put up a fence around my garden to keep them out of the winter rye I planted as a cover crop last fall. But there's one who keeps insisting that winter rye is just what she wants to eat when she comes here. This cow has jumped over the fence, so I built it higher. Then she climbed into the garden, going in-between the rails, so I added another row of rails. A few days ago she broke in and stomped all over the garlic, which is just starting to come up, on her way to a choice strip of rye. This time I replaced the broken rails with stronger ones and propped up the posts from the back so they couldn't be pushed in. I've badly underestimated the strength and height of a fence that will keep elk on the side that I want them on.

Elk; these are all cows and yearlings because the bulls have gone into seclusion after the rut and the hunting season, are very approachable at this time of year. They bedded down for a night last week sometime, less than thirty yards from the house. I've had some very interesting conversations with the rye-eating cow at a distance of twenty paces. They are out making the rounds now. It takes about a week for them to travel their territory, so it will be about four days before my fence is tested again. By the time they get back the grass will have grown a little and the new growth will be sweet. That's just the way they like it. Oh, by the way, garlic is a tough plant and will be fine. The elk will stick to their current routine for another couple of months before they " herd up" to make preparations for having children so, after the middle of March I won't see them again until after the rut in October. So it will be safe to plant and harvest my garden.

                                                    Take it with ease,

                                                                            Jim

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December 27, 2000
January 15, 2001
February 13, 2001
March 25, 2001
September 10, 2001
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