Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Junior Diaries

Amidst all of the Wynonna drama of the past week, the Mama and Junior saga continued, and I know y'all are wanting an update. 
I kept a running diary of my sightings so I wouldn't forget the details. Here goes:

Sunday evening, July 20
Smooch and I saw Junior with two other pronghorns on our way out to find Hank.
They caught wind of us and started running. My assumption was that Baby Daddy had come to visit
and Mama must be feeling much better if she could run so well. 



We watched them cross the back 40 and head north off the ranch.

About 20 minutes later, Smooch and I headed home.


 Who should appear right in front of us but Junior!



We chatted awhile, then he ran off. He was by himself. Where was Mama?

I downloaded all the pictures I'd taken and enlarged/enhanced/analyzed them. 
Neither of the two pronghorns accompanying Junior was Mama.



Monday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.
Junior was grazing behind the barn...all alone. He eventually ran off to the southwest...all alone. *gulp* The last time I had seen Mama was Saturday morning, and at that time her leg wound looked so horrible I couldn't post the picture of it. I could only conclude that she had succumbed to her injuries. There was no other logical reason Junior would be alone.

Tuesday, July 22, 6:30 a.m.
Smooch and I were jogging down the dirt road. We saw Junior just south of the back 40...all by himself. We had a long conversation, albeit one-sided, but I was very impressed that he stood there and listened. I told him he was welcome to stay and that I'd keep the water tub filled for him. Smooch and I jogged off and left him standing there.

Tuesday, July 22, 3:30 p.m.
It started to rain pretty hard and I went out to the front porch to see if Lucy and the boys were in the vicinity. They all came racing to the barn from the northwest pasture. God forbid they should get wet and melt. Then Junior came racing over from the same direction! He didn't come into the barn, heading for shelter in the nearby trees instead. He had to have been grazing with them and didn't want to get wet either.

Wednesday, July 23, 6:30 a.m.
Smooch and I were on our morning jog and saw Junior in the same place he was Tuesday morning, all by himself. Again, I talked to him for awhile while he stood there watching us, unafraid. We left, jogged to our turnaround point, then waved to him on our way home.

Wednesday, July 23, 8 p.m.
Smooch and I were in the Ranger, coming back home after visiting the herd. Smooch started whining. I looked where she was looking and sure enough, there was Junior. I turned off the Ranger and walked over to Junior, "over" being a respectful distance about 50 feet away. We had another of our long, one-sided conversations. I again told him he was welcome to stay but also explained that he'd probably be better off joining a passing herd of pronghorns.

Thursday, July 24
Didn't see Junior.

Friday, July 25
Didn't see Junior.

Saturday, July 26
Didn't see Junior.
Without him to talk to, I was left to talk to myself:
          Me #1: Damnit.
          Me #2: He did the right thing and will live a long and happy life.





21 comments:

  1. It was good while it lasted. Hope he comes back for a visit.

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  2. Ah nature. They give us such pleasure to look at but we're not allowed to touch.

    BA SP

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  3. Yes, but he knows where the love is if he ver needs it.

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  4. Anne Boleyn7/27/14, 5:44 AM

    I hope that after a respectful time, and enough desert sun and scavenging, you and Lucy will come across Mama and she will become part of your bone herd. How lucky we are to have shared this experience with you! Long live Junior!

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    1. My fear is that we will find her sooner than later. I will give her a proper burial if we do.

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  5. I think it is interesting that mama knew that junior would be safe on your property. Animals are so much smarter than we give them credit for. Our house has been designated by all the deer as the safe place. They bring their babies up to the house to stay during the day while they are out foraging. I too hope that junior met up with a heard now that he is on his own. Bet he will stop by in the future. Thanks for the update.
    Lisa G in TN

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    1. Lisa, I'm betting he'll be a regular visitor, though once he grows up it will be hard to identify him. I hope he will always stop to listen to me babble.

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  6. I do hope Jr finds a herd to run with, so sad about Mama.. poor Mama and poor Jr

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  7. We will all miss them. God speed, Junior.

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  8. I think he kept coming back to the same place just to let you know he was okay, found some friends and appreciated your care.

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  9. Sounds like the safe haven you provided for them gave Junior the time he needed to grow enough to keep up with the herd, and Mama the comfort of knowing he'd be okay. It's interesting that the dad kept coming back to check - I wonder if the other adult pronghorn was an auntie called in for an opinion? (Dad: "So.....do you think he is big enough to come along with the herd now?" Auntie: "Let's give him a few more days. We can come back for him Thursday morning").

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    1. You've mastered pronghorn-speak, Jean! I think this is exactly what happened.

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  10. I wonder if he wasn't looking for a herd when he grazed with your bunch & came home with them in the rain. After a few days he said, "These guys look kinda funny, no horns or anything normal." Then he moseyed on & found some pronghorns with plenty of room for another little guy. Hope he comes by to say hey sometime! You gave him a safe start in tough circumstances for him. Poor mama!

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  11. LC, I'm sure Junior was taking all you had to say into account. I am also sure that his visits back were to let you know he appreciated your care and a safe place for he and his Mom to stay. He'll be back, no doubt. You live such a blessed life out there in the middle of nowhere and close to the heart. xoxo Oma and the Cuckoos

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing this adventure and the photos. You don't see stuff like this in the city! Junior knows where to come if he is scared or needs help in the future. Mama sensed your ranch would protect him until he could join other pronghorns. This rather reminds me of Bambi (that movie still has me in hysterical tears when Fala passes away).

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  13. Just got back to my computer and read about Junior and Wynonna. Perhaps Momma and Wynonna took the same 'train' to wider pastures. Thinking of you all!

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  14. Positive thoughts that you are a safe haven and that he (and aunties & uncles) will be back soon. I'm also praying that mom is getting well.

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  15. It's been a hard week at the 7MSN for sure. You gave Jr. and Mama a gift that untamed nature couldn't: a safe place. You let mama rest peacefully while tending to her young. And what a privilege to be a part of that. Thank you for sharing it all with us.
    And for other thoughts rambling around in my head as I read this post: you're jogging?? In the NM summer?? What a woman!
    Here's to a drama free week.....

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  16. An American in Tokyo7/27/14, 9:25 PM

    You are the pronghorn whisperer! He knew it was time to go join the herd because you told him to.

    I'm sure he will come visit his step-mom whenever he gets a chance! ;)

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  17. I've had Mama Pronghorn on my mind a lot. People who romanticise a wild life for animals as being so free and wonderful forget that this is how a wild animal ends their life; either fast and violently or growing slowly weaker, with no-one to ease the pain. I'm glad you could provide Mama with a safe place to raise her baby that bit more, and hope Junior can make it. Run free Mama!

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