Four days of rain have broken into a crisp clear sparkling weekend for the start of duck shooting season. Turns out the guns I heard earlier in the week were just skeet shooting for practice. As the gun fire echoes off the hills I remember the last time I lived in earshot of regular shooting. I was living in one of the very few poor neighbourhoods of Boulder, Colorado and between the pimps, drug dealers, wife beaters and just regular gun owners there were almost weekly incidents involving the police and their guns. At least this time I'm probably safe as long as I don't go outside dressed as a duck.
I found a cow corpse in a distant bush-adjacent paddock the other day, a pile of bones and surprisingly huge quantity of half digested grass with head, hide and hooves still decomposing. There was a shotgun pellet right by its head and two more (a different colour) in the grass a few meters away. Why would anyone(s) shoot a cow and leave it for the birds, taking its ear ID-tag? Hmmm.
My landlady has been searching all week for two, now three, calves missing from a paddock by the road. She says they are too small to be worth taking for the meat so it's another mystery where they have gone (perhaps fallen down a hole? but all three?).
But the nefarious doing that most directly effects me is the return of the unknown tree stripper. Apparently the week before I moved in someone came into the orchard and took every single last plum off the tree so that I never even saw what kind they were. Now, in the last few days, the feijoa and braeburn trees have been stripped of their last few dozen fruit. It wasn't me, my neighbours or the landlords... so who thinks they can not only help themselves to our fruit but take all of it!? Grrrr.