I’m not sure what it is about a hole in the ground that I find comforting but—wait a minute. Yes I do. It’s safe (like a foxhole), it’s cool, the bedding can be freshened with a few swipes of the paw … and it’s my own private hideout.
I have three of them at home on the farm. One is under a lilac bush near the hot tub. I’ve been working on that one for years. It’s by far my favourite and my best work. It’s hidden by shrub and deep enough I can curl up inside and rest my head on the top edge. I have to freshen it each spring, dig out the dead leaves and other rubble, but, otherwise, it’s just the way I like it.
I have a second hideout under the caragana hedge near the back door. I don’t use it as often as the hot tub location, but it’s nice to have something on the west side of the house close to the deck with the dining table.
The third is under a big cottonwood tree near the tack shed and hitching rails. I dug this one for its proximity to the riding prep area. When they tore down an old building that sat next to the tree and turned the concrete pad that was left into a fire pit patio, a good location got even better. You see, I like that hidden away feeling, but I never want to be too far from the people and the action.
Here in the desert, the ground is often rocky and not conducive to digging dog-sized holes so I haven’t tried to do much nesting until recently. At Wickenburg, there was a small mesquite bush just off the front of the trailer. It didn’t provide a lot of cover but the ground was soft and sandy underneath so I gave it a whirl. Not quite like the caragana and lilacs of home but, you know, not bad.
Riding on that success, I was pretty excited when we arrived at Craggy Wash and had sandy, loose soil. Since I’m never sure how long we’re going to stay in any one location (and neither are my people) I got to work right away underneath the trailer of the Wolverine. It was shady and a good vantage point for keeping an eye on things. Unfortunately, it lacked the brushy cover that I prefer.
I started on a second spot beneath a neighbouring creosote. It was okay, but on the sunny side of the bush and not very cool in the afternoon.
I started a third nest under the fifth wheel but it was hard to dig under there with the trailer right over me and the ground more packed so I didn’t get beyond a slight depression in the earth.
Number four was under a creosote shrub on the north side of the trailer. It had shade almost all day, visual cover from the shrub, and nice soft soil. I wish I’d noticed that location earlier in our stay. The hole wasn’t yet big enough for me to lie in when we moved camp yesterday.
At our new camp spot, there won’t be any nesting. We’re parked in a gravel lot. Seems I’ll have to settle for ruffling up the covers on the bed or the couch.
We’re staying at Lake Havasu State Park for Bluegrass on the Beach. Well, Teresa and Nollind are here for Bluegrass on the Beach. Chico and I will be catching up on our rest and listening to bluegrass music drift over from the stage. Three days of banjo. Good thing my hearing isn’t what it used to be.