Friday, March 5, 2010


Dave and I snow shoed across a lake in the wildlife area behind our house last week. Suddenly, at the far end of the lake, a coyote trotted from shore to shore, bushy tail streaming out behind. As we watched, motionless, it stopped several times and glanced around. When it reached the shore, the coyote turned and disappeared into the brush along the shoreline. As hard as we looked, we saw no further sign of the animal. Against the white snow cover on the lake, it had been obvious. In the small trees and dun brown cattails on the shore, the coyote was completely camouflaged.

At the beginning of lambing, every time we go out to barnyard, the ewes all stand up and move away from us. After several weeks of at least six trips to the barn per day, the sheep barely notice us. But when strangers come to see the baby lambs, the sheep go back to their pre-lambing behavior, panic in the presence of strangers.

If, however, we send the strangers out to the barn in our coveralls, the sheep barely notice them. Our coveralls have become our camouflage, at least in the barnyard.

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