Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Herding Displaced Ducks!

Traffic was stopped while ducks were herded across the road … what’s with that?

“That” is what makes the Carson Valley what it is. People not just loving the astounding views so predominant in the Valley, but also in love with it’s entire natural ambience, experience and traditions. Wildlife abounds in the Valley as evidenced by a cursory look around while motoring around. On a given day you’ll see deer, coyotes … we even saw a bobcat a month or so ago! In the Valley in a meadow! Wildlife has its troubles with the encroachment of mankind, but its wary nature helps it to survive. Contrast that with domestic animals that rely on man for their food, shelter and protection and you’ll understand what was with the duck herding.

It was probably us that you saw the other day as we were trying to save our non-flying ducks from getting run over. A neighbor called and told us two of our ducks had been hit and the others crossed the road. Another neighbor was there trying to keep the cars from the ducks when we arrived. While helping us she said that the cars wouldn’t stop as the ducks innocently went where they had never been – outside the fence and up on the road. Two were run over … smashed. While walking by the road we found … all by itself … a heart. Though a small duck heart … it was certainly more heart than the unbraking drivers exhibited in their zeal to arrive somewhere.

Our neighbor shared with us that cars don’t even stop now when they are moving their cattle across the highway from field to field, an essential component of responsible ranching, rotational grazing. What ever happened to stopping and enjoying a simple cattle drive? It isn’t a daily occurrence and is certainly worth the few minutes of delay in your day as you delight in the scampering of the calves, the nervosa of their mothers monitoring their moves, excited nipping of the herding dogs, and the calm performance of the horses and their cowboy partners. Enjoy the moment, and take time to smell the bovines … you’ll live longer.

Our Advice: New to the Valley? Don’t speed up when someone is rounding up their wayward critters – give them a hand. Whether herding a loose steer, or a gaggle of displaced ducks, it is easier with cooperation. You can help stop the traffic, or at least make sure you stop yourself. If you can, get positioned to help manipulate the animal into moving in the right direction. Enjoy the experience – it is a part of the Valley heritage and way of life. You can do your part – for the animal owner, the animals, and yourself. Let’s preserve a way of life by our actions, not rhetoric. You could be honking, like the school bus driver did to us, when you see people in office attire climbing over a fence chasing waddling ducks – the shared laughter brightened our day and surely would brighten yours if you saw and participated in such a scene.

Our ducks are back in their pen and will remain there until we can accomplish some fence management … mending. Next time you see a walking duck … take heart and help them get where they are going. You will arrive where you are going a happier person for it. Thank you for helping make the Valley the wonderful place it is to live.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs … Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781- 5472.

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