Ambush at Dawn

As we were leaving the Caverns of Sonora, we saw this beautiful Checkered Garter Snake in the middle of the road.  I hope someone doesn’t hit him.  There isn’t much traffic there and he was trying to warm up.  He is one of the prettiest snakes I have seen.

Checkered Garter Snake in West Texas

We arrived at our next campsite in West Texas in Balmorhea State Park and saw more new birds.  We also saw endangered fish.  The place was over run with rabbits.  They were everywhere.  It was unbelievable.

When we arrived at the camp site, the camp host came to tell us that a local pair of Great Horned Owls had tried to take a Chihuahua and a Llasa Apso from some campers.  They didn’t succeed in taking the dogs because the dogs were on leashes.  They warned us to watch for any small dogs we might have.  The owls are raising three chicks and are aggressive at getting food for them.

Dart is 32 pounds.  We didn’t think Great Horned Owls would try to take a 32 pound sheltie.  This morning, as the sun was rising, Regis took Dart out for a walk.  The two owls tag teamed and try to get Dart and make him the main course for breakfast for their owlets.  Regis grabbed Dart and the owl swooped down after him.  Regis made it back to the motor home and swapped Dart for a camera.  When Regis went back to take pictures of the pair, they were no longer interested in him.  They wanted the Sheltie that he had in his arms earlier.

Great Horned Owl who tried to serve my dog as breakfast for its young.

The owls are not put off by the presence of people and attempt to take what they want.  After not being successful serving Sheltie for breakfast, the owl settled for serving rabbit instead.

We headed for New Mexico today.  I hope it is safer for Dart!

2 Comments on “Ambush at Dawn

  1. Yike! I can’t imagine the owls going after a dog 4 times heavier than they are! (3-4 lbs per bird) But I’ve heard they can carry off animals several times their weight. Pretty scary.. Hope you don’t have to worry about that the rest of your trip!


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