|Spring is trying...|
Okay. so this was weird. Sometime between 6:30 and 7 PM I'm walking down the driveway on my way to get the horses. It's blowing pretty hard, but less than earlier. About halfway down the driveway I can hear a car coming from the south. It goes by at 45-50 mph. A little dark blue/black SUV - maybe a GEO Tracker? - with swirly gray detailing on the side. Not a vehicle I've ever seen before, or one that's typical of what usually goes by this far out. As soon as it's past the driveway I can hear it starting to slow down. When I get to the end of the driveway I can see brake lights and it's almost stopped about 1/4 mile down the road, and I hear BOOOM.
Nobody gets out of the car. The doors are all closed. It sits for about 10 seconds and then speeds up again, goes up the next mile and heads east. So my first thought is, "Oh goodie, idiots with a gun. Good thing they left." And then I thought, "Crap, the horses. Didn't hear a shot before though" And I set off up the hill in sort of a hurry.
Horses are fine, all the way back on the top of the pasture, not at all worried about the shot 'cause they've all lived through hunting season in SD, three of them next to a pheasant hunting place. I holler, they come galloping. I'm standing by the gate with an arm full of halters, happen to look down the road to the north, and here comes the little SUV again. It gets to about the place where it stopped before, stops again, and people get out and mill around for a few minutes, then get back in. Drive a bit further and repeat. Turn around in the driveway, drive slowly up the road, U-turn again and come back my way. Didn't look as if anybody went into the ditch at any point, so they either missed what they were shooting at or decided not to pick it up.
The horses and I are watching all this. Not that they'd make good witnesses, but they were definitely interested in the vehicle that wasn't behaving normally. And I'm thinking... hmmm, I have a camera in my pocket. Should I take a picture of the car as it goes by? See if I can get the plate? Nobody has permission to hunt, and nothing's in season that I know of, but... And: they have a gun. Do I really want to take a picture? Like that.
So they go by pretty fast, nobody in the car looking at me. Big guy in the back with his shoulder turned to the window so all I can see is a grey sweatshirt back. They didn't stop, slow down, or even wave to say "Hi, how are you?", which is very unusual for out here. And here's another thing: I looked, but I didn't see a plate on the rear of the car. KS doesn't have front plates. Either it was just really, really dirty (very possible, as I'm not sure you can read the one on the truck right now), or - to be a tad paranoid - they'd taken it off one of the times they were stopped.
I watched it out of sight up the hill. Brake lights came on again at the stop sign, but I couldn't tell which way they turned. I waited for a few minutes to see if they were going to come back. Debated leaving the horses up there. They were a bit snorty, probably because I was anxious, but decided that I didn't want to leave them there in case the people with the gun decided horses looked like good targets.
Despite the wind and my nerves, the trip down the hill went just fine. No reappearance of the SUV. I took the truck up to fill the water tubs so that I wouldn't have to do it in the morning and out of curiosity on the way back I drove on down to the mailbox past where they'd done all the backing and turning to see if I could spot what they'd been up to. Nothing I could see.
Not sure what they were up to. It's probably a mountain of a mole hill, but the whole thing struck me as off. I'll mention it to the cow folks when I see them and keep an eye out, I guess.
|Hedge posts: the new bane of my fencing endeavors.|
Probably should have known something was up
when I noticed that there wasn't a staple in one of them.
Just wire loops holding the barbwire.