Once in a while, we’ve been given “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences up here on the hill, and another one began yesterday morning when neighbors Peter & Jeanne called at 0600 to say they had some “Oryx” in their yard, 9 of them to be exact and was hoping I could help keep them inside the yard and prevent a panic from one of them onto Skyline Blvd where morning commute cars may hit one of them.
I immediately knew WHO was their keeper and where they came from……about one mile down the road, mr. Reed Gleason has been helping to save this very rare, extinct in the wild, African “ORYX DAMMAH”, or Scimitar Oryx by operating a little breeding ranch for years. ….”back when” he started with 3, and currently HAS 9.
We KNEW we had to get Mr. Gleason here as soon as possible…..Peter drove down to the “ranch”….and we woke him up…he said he’d come down quickly….we returned to Peter’s yard…. they’re still enjoying life….. they looked quite bright in the sun:
***After some discussion, and ONE attempt to get them moving on the road, they were easily spooked by a fast car going by…and it was decided they’d stay for a couple hours until traffic was quiet again (and good thing, school was out…quiet for sure). SO. Peter, Jeanne, me, Mac & Tiki left for a dog walk….. and returned in about 2 hours….Reid’s car was there, but the animals were gone. We thought whew, done!
As I turned toward the house, I see Reid coming down my driveway ….oops….NOT done? he came back saying, “I ‘think’ they’re on their way…I got them up in your yard, and moving into that big field next door, so I think they’ll find their way.” . . . he left for home.
I get home, walk around behind the house….and see off in the distance, they’re STILL in that field on the far edge and moving toward 9336. What? I grab MAC, get him locked up, which TELLS him something’s wrong, so he’s barking. By the time I’m back out they’re walking right up to the yard’s edge:
I realized the bucks were trying to push me back so they could keep moving NOT for the garden, I realized, but towards the easy step down to Skyline Blvd and back to Peter & Jeanne’s (I thought):
ready for a shower (had a lunch date in Lake O….)…….
MY first thought was, OH NO, I don’t want one of these beautiful RARE things hit by a car in front of my place when Reed sees it….so I began waving my arms, saying “Let’s go kids, BACK BACK”…..and for some reason they responded, and began moving BACK to Ed’s field, my last picture, because I kept shepherding them northbound:
Whew! I watched until they were at Ed’s long driveway….and thought, I’m late for lunch, I HAVE to shower, MUST go….got back in the house, almost ready to shower, and heard cars stopping out front. OH NO! I go out front to see them on Skyline right in front of our place, and new neighbor PHIL there, his FIRST introduction to this NW Skyline oddity…..he said Reed was on his way. they were hoping to turn them back, AND……..then a car came, and they dashed DOWN the driveway of the neighbor just across the street….and disappeared into the woods. REED went after them.
I LEFT, had to, got ready, left, enjoyed a rather LONG lunch with Cousin Nancy M, and a long lost cousin Stan who I had not seen since our shared Grandmother’s funeral in ’82, and before that? Probably 1961 or 62…. That was a lot of fun. ON THE WAY THOUGH, I decided to make sure the ORYX got home….I drove past my place, to the Gleason “ranch” to see gates open. NO ORYX. Oh NO!
Here’s the rest of the story:
THIS MORNING, I get back from the dog walk….get Mac in the house, just start to get organized, and MAC starts to bark….here’s REID in my driveway………THERE are the ORYX! WELL, this time we have a couple extra cars to block the road, 3-4 neighbors, and we walk the animals down SKYLINE for a mile….the closer they got to their own turnoff, they got MORe and MORE excited….they were running by the time their turnoff lane arrived….and we’re happily in their pasture when we all arrived at the Gleasons. WHEW! WHAT a relief.
THAT was an amazing couple of unexpected mornings. I guess I can’ erase the African nature trip from my “Bucket List”.