Yesterday, this donkey was wayyyyyy out in the middle of a field along War Woman Road in Rabun County. The sun was beginning to set and the area was beautiful. I thought, I have to photograph this. I love late afternoon winter sunlight, especially when it tips the trees. Already, there are buds on them, which means spring is not very far away.

When I got out of the car with my camera, Donkey immediately saw me and started walking in my direction. I knew I was going to have a “donkey” moment. She was very determined to get to the fence where I was standing and lowered her head and walked her pathway through the high winter grasses. From the looks of the pull-off on the side of the road, others had done the same thing. Special Donkey? Lonely Donkey? Maybe, but she just kept walking toward me. Until she was very near.

I thought surely she would stop and check me out but she didn’t. Then I noticed that she is expecting a baby donkey! She didn’t know me “from Adam’s house cat,” as we say in the south, but I think she wanted someone to pet her. Cows have one row of teeth so I don’t think too much of petting them. They lick and smell and look at me with their beautiful big brown eyes, but donkeys have two rows of teeth and will bite or nip. What would this one do?

She simply asked to be petted and turned sideways so I could rub the side of her head and then stroke her neck. Actually, I never see donkeys in a field alone. They are always with sheep or a herd of cows. They are supposed to protect other animals from other wild animals like coyotes. I always feel like they are like horses and need to have some other animal with them. Since, this girl is going to have baby I concluded (with my college education) that she had “companionship” at some point!

Donkeys or Burros came to this country as pack animals and helped to build the West. At one point, the “West” was northeast Georgia as the country was settled and then moved more to the west from here. Used by miners during the Gold Rush of the 1800s, many of the tough little donkeys were later abandoned but found ways to survive some of the most extreme, unforgiving terrain. Don’t forget the beginning of the American Gold Rush began in north Georgia. Duke’s creek on the Richard Russell Parkway was one of the places it began!