Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Wildlife at Su Casa B&B


The ponies, donkeys, llamas, goats and geese at Su Casa B&B in Kansas City are known and loved by b&b guests, friends, family and Facebook friends and fans. Guests frequently take pictures and videos of the animals and post them online. I always say they are the “true owners” of Su Casa. Over the years, Su Casa has been the home to horses, ponies, miniature donkeys, llamas, goats, ducks and geese. Through natural attrition, the count currently includes two ponies, two donkeys, one llama, one goat and one goose. In the summer, guests watch these characters grazing on grass and hay, and jumping or almost standing up to eat leaves. All year long, guests feed them carrots and apples while taking their pictures.

The Su Casa animals are present in the winter and continue to enjoy their indulgent lifestyle. But there are other animals as well, well hidden and camouflaged in the spring and summer, that are not fed and cared for by Su Casa, but are ever present. In the stark days of winter, they become much more visible. While cooking breakfast for guests this past New Year’s weekend, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful, large, red fox tiptoeing across the icy pond. I walked outside and continued to watch him, transfixed by his natural beauty. Since my digital camera is in the shop for repairs, I had no way of recording this rare moment. The fox is a stealthy, smart and very quick animal, totally adept at avoiding any attempts at traps or photographs. Many are the times that I have made a mad dash for my camera, returned immediately and the fox or fox family has disappeared. During the past 15 years, red foxes have killed several of my ducks and geese. While this is very disturbing, I also realize he is a wild animal and he needs to eat. Eventually, I came to the realization that I could not continue to have baby ducks and geese on the property because they inevitably met the fate of the furry fox. My two large domestic geese, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, fought him off on several occasions. Truth be told, the fox prefers the tender meat of the little babies. As a result, no more goslings or ducklings will be brought to this property.

On the same morning that the large red fox appeared on the iced-over pond, guests at breakfast looked out the window and observed a gorgeous buck sauntering through the neighborhood. He was a large, stately animal with huge antlers, no doubt on the lookout for the rest of his family. Thankfully, he was in a neighborhood with nobody taking pot shots at him. That horrid thought crossed my mind while staring, along with guests, at the beautiful beast.

Are these same animals present all year long at Su Casa B&B? Absolutely! All those and more. Don’t get me started on the Wild Turkeys, the Cardinals, Bluejays, Woodpeckers that you can hear pecking (sometimes on my house) in the early mornings, beautiful Barnswallows darting in and out and through the barn, as well as many other birds and, well, less desirable animals such as skunks and raccoons. They are always there – but are eminently more visible in the winter. So no, the pool is not open, you may not swim and probably cannot enjoy your private decks, but oh my goodness, what a wildlife show!

Lois Hoover, InnkeeperSu Casa B&B