I ought to be HAPPY. When I went out to fill the water trough, it was NOT empty. And I would be, but for the fact that last time that happened, it was because the herd was out in the hayfield... And here, I'd spent the whole day feeling happy thinking that we'd probably gotten enough to make the water flow in the creek, which would be their first choice for drinking... So, I felt GUILTY instead, even though I know they well know how to get my attention if they really want it.
Debut and Crem were not in sight, either.
But I ought to be happy -- I actually felt a few drops of rain on my arms as I went out to turn it on. When I went back to shut the faucet off, the boards on the porch were damp. When I threw out cat food for the wild ones, they scattered, as again tiny drops fell... I'm working on the theory that something is better than nothing in the waterworks department.
But at dawn tomorrow, I'll be popping out to see if the herd is at the gate for a drink...
IF they should be, I will be approaching CAREFULLY. The last time I went up, at sunset, another smaller (female?) skunk was coming from the pond area down toward the trailer. I don't know if she lives up there habitually, or was just going to the closest ready source of water... or coming down to see if the feeder (the front porch) was empty. But I DO know that dawn and sunset are wild animal drinking times.
As I think back on it, I'm not sure who was more surprised by the meeting. She gave way, so I went on to let the horses in, which would have intimidated her, I'm sure, as they came through the gate on the fly, 19 strong... (Debut was with the mares and geldings, so only Crem and Omyno were where they belonged...)
There are so many places on the farm that the herd can wander to legitimately and be out of sight (unless one happens to be in a low-flying plane...)