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Despite This We Stay for November 1st, 2012

by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO — I once worked with a lady who told me she had calling cards when she was a little girl. They are like a business card for people who don’t have a business, so each card just has a name on it. Though I think that’s odd, I believe I would prefer it instead of the calling cards I have been finding around our homestead.
First there are the coyote calling cards. We find those around the chicken pen and the greenhouse. The chicken pen I understand … “Oh, poop, I can’t get inside.” But the greenhouse? We also have the raccoon calling card near the garden, surely left there as revenge because they couldn’t climb the cheap woven wire fence around the garden. Seems the fence was manufactured using Elmer’s glue and is slowly disintegrating, so it has a tendency to flop around – raccoons hate it.
Of course we have the barn swallow calling cards that are deposited on everything within a 200 feet radius of the barn where they nest.
A couple times a year, we have cow-flop calling cards all over the homestead after the cows are magically transported by aliens across the fence and mosey on by the house on their way to nowhere. Cows, by the way, are some of the few animals I know of that will walk and poop at the same time. They can poop for half a mile and never stop moving. This is one of the few talents cows have. Adobe bugs are the same way. They crawl and squirt at the same time. Their poop reminds me of brown fabric paint. The bugs are very proud of their poop, so they deposit it everywhere they go. It takes some effort to clean up, and if you don’t get rid of the bugs first, they will just come back and squirt again.
Unless you study nature closely, you may not be aware that grasshoppers leave teeny little calling cards all over the place. Well, they have to – all those garden plants they consume have to go somewhere. If you have enough grasshoppers around, you will notice that their poop gathers in little drifts under the plants they are stripping. Each dropping looks like a tiny bale of black hay, which makes sense since they are basically performing a task similar to a hay baler: Take in green plants on one end, compact it, and push it out the other end.
We also find goose calling cards in the pasture field where they stop to spend the night on their journeys north or south – they are squirters, too. In the same field we’ll find elk calling cards, much more dignified than cow flop or goose squirt. The deer who visit our yard at night also leave their calling cards. Apparently every time they take a mouthful of food, it pushes something out the other end, because we find their calling cards around the apple trees and grape vines. The calling cards of bunnies are a dainty version of deer poop.
The granddaddy of all calling cards is bear poop. It is deposited in huge piles – again, in the vicinity of the apple trees. Bears are certainly not ashamed of their calling cards, and they deposit them in a number of places around the property, just for good measure. It seems they save up for the occasion.
All of this leads me to believe that we have a very good location for animals to poop. I guess that’s something to be proud of.