Catching Up After Vacation

I fretted something fierce the week before FD and I headed to New York City. It was our first real vacation in seven years. I wanted everything to be done here on our ten acres so that on our return we would not have so much to deal with. FD’s sister from Dallas, Sissy Jo, offered to house sit for us while we were gone, watching our three little house dogs, and making sure Daisy and the fawns had water and feed. She also promised to water the gardens and flower beds and harvest the vegetables and blackberries, if there was anything to pick. And, if she didn’t mind, cleaning the pool a bit and making sure it was running up to par was yet another task we would appreciate her doing. I felt terrible leaving her with so much to do – yet I also knew these duties were just a small part of my normal, daily work routine. Even having completed all my preparations to “get everything done” and having Sissy Jo’s help while we were away, arriving back home after nine days away was still likely to be crazy.

So, it was a big relief when my concerns about the animals adjusting were quashed as soon as I contacted Sissy from NYC. Already the dogs were agreeable with her, and even shy and anti-social Mr. T was cooperating. I was a bit flabbergasted about that. Mr. T usually took three days to warm up to any of our guests. And Daisy deer had even eaten tomatoes and blackberries from Jo’s hands the very first day! Daisy does not usually have much to do with strangers. Regardless, it was happy news for me to hear everything was going well at home.

FD and I on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.

FD and I on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.

I will write more about the NYC trip itself in another blog post, but I have to say it was a grand time for FD and me, spending a week with my sister Jules and her family. We had arrived determined to see as many of the tourist attractions that we could in a week’s time, so each day we set off on a new adventure in the Big Apple.  Generally, we were all tuckered out by evening, but gleefully so.

The energy of the City that Never Sleeps was captivating and always brought something exciting and interesting to this group of small-town, Midwestern folks. And, on our last night in NYC, FD and I celebrated my birthday in grand style. This also happened to be the night our niece, Emily, played clarinet in the Middle School Honors Band Performance at Carnegie Hall. The performance and setting in the grand old music hall of NYC was spectacular! What an exceptional birthday it was!

Central Park was one of my favorite attractions. Our little group put on more than eleven miles that day walking Central Park and the surrounding area.

Central Park was one of my favorite attractions. Our little group put on more than seven miles that day walking Central Park and the surrounding area.

As wonderful as our vacation had been, I was ready to be home by the last day of our trip. Oh sure, the week of eating out and enjoying fabulous cuisine, not having to cook, and no household duties and chores, had spoiled me something fierce! But already, my mind was swimming with thoughts of all that would need to be done on our return. Sissy said it had rained a couple of times, so I knew the yard and pastures would need mowing. And I would have a mountain of laundry to do. Sissy mentioned there was a lot of summer squash and zucchini, and the tomatoes were ripening by the buckets full. This meant I would have to get busy freezing my winter sauces and soups.

I worried a bit about the dogs that last day too.  Sissy had to return to Dallas early in the morning of the day we were flying home. I hoped the three dogs would  be fine until we got home that evening. It had been comforting to hear from Sissy Jo that it was apparent to her that Mr. T could see just fine getting up the steps at night. For years I thought his vision was too bad for him to see very well getting up the steps since he often refused to climb them at night. I always had to go down and get him, and sometimes he got playful and ran off, making me chase him! Sissy said he managed just fine and never once did she have to go after him. I was glad Mr. T did not go back to his old tricks while Sissy was there.

Of course there was Daisy and the twins for me to wonder about as well. I thought about how the fawns would have grown. Sissy mentioned that Daisy was nursing the fawns in front of the house each morning and at noon, and often brought them out together several other times during the day. I noted that Daisy was doing things different than last year, and was anxious to watch her new habits and observe the twins. I also thought about Spirit. I wondered how she was managing on her own. Happily, Sissy had spotted her several times during the week, and even managed to toss her a few cherry tomatoes.

Upon finally pulling up to the house, it was apparent the yard, gardens and flower beds had flourished in the rain. Obviously, mowing would have to be my main priority the following day. While I scanned the yard and garden area, and fretted about how I was going to get everything whipped back into shape, FD promptly parked the truck and took off for the woods. Daisy and the fawns were his main concern.  I petted and loved on Zoe, Bear and Tori, and then began to unpack the mountain of clothes and start the laundry. Gads! There was so much to tackle. I stepped back outside in the scorching heat thinking I should pick all the produce in the gardens. Looking through heat waves rising up from the ground as I gazed at a garden full of tomatoes and squash, I remembered the cooler weather of NYC, with the gentle breezes tunneling between skyscrapers, and through the busy streets and honking horns. That was all just a memory now.

Sissy had been right about the gardens boasting a bumper crop. I came back from my harvesting with buckets of summer squash, zucchini and tomatoes. In the flower beds where I grow my herbs, my dill and oregano were out of control. My parsley, kale, lettuce, and cilantro had all bolted in the summer heat. Despite rain, some areas needed water again, so I knew that, after we finished mowing, I would surely be dragging the water hoses around.

As I laid down that night, I was thankful for the trip we had taken. It was an amazing time and I enjoyed the break from so much work here. But I also realized that, more than ever, I really love my life here. It is a busy life, and every day presents something wonderful and beautiful while I work outdoors and indoors. There are hard times and difficulties too. Still, it was good to experience something different – a unique place in the world, a whole different culture and way of life than what we know in the Midwestern US.  We observe and learn from our experiences, and hopefully gain an understanding about a very different way of life. Then we come home to what we know and are comfortable with – home to all of the people and critters we love – and it feels right. What better feeling is there to lay your head down at night and know that you are where you belong?

After a period of squealing and excited barking, Zoe settled down to her ranch dog stance - ready for another work day by my side.

After a period of squealing and excited barking, Zoe settled down to her ranch dog stance – ready for another work day by my side.

Bear is always ready to luxuriate in the air conditioned comfort of the house.  Food begging and couch potato loafing are his specialties.

Bear is always ready to luxuriate in the air-conditioned comfort of the house. Food begging and couch potato loafing are his specialties.

One week after our return, Mr. T resumed his silly game of refusing to climb the steps at night and sometimes making me chase him down. I guess the Mama is just too soft!!

One week after our return, Mr. T resumed his silly game of refusing to climb the steps at night and sometimes making me chase him down. I guess the Mama is just too soft!!

It happened again! Owl was perched in the blackberry patch and in the night was attacked likely by a Barred Owl from the woods. The same thing happened last year. Unfortunately, this time Owl lost his nose in the battle. We have placed him on a lower perch near the tomato garden, where so far he's kept pesky birds from having a peck at my bountiful tomato crop! Owl looks ferocious as ever, despite his handicap!

It happened again! Owl was perched in the blackberry patch and in the night was attacked likely by a real Barred Owl from the woods. The same thing happened last year. Unfortunately, this time Owl lost his nose in the battle. We have placed him on a lower perch near the tomato garden, where so far he’s kept pesky birds from having a peck at my bountiful tomato crop! Owl looks ferocious as ever, despite his handicap!

Mother hen hatched three little chicks shortly after we returned from our trip. This is a little Buff Orpington - just hatched!

Mother hen hatched three little chicks shortly after we returned from our trip. This is a little Buff Orpington – just hatched!

These two Barred Rock chicks were the first to break through their shells. Most of our chicken population is the Barred Rock breed.

These two Barred Rock chicks were the first to break through their shells. Most of our chicken population is the Barred Rock breed.

Daisy has the kids eating greens now. I am so thankful FD planted this clover patch. Daisy has used it all spring and summer for nourishment.

Daisy has the kids eating greens now. I am so thankful FD planted this clover patch. Daisy has used it all spring and summer for nourishment.

The twins will continue to nurse until they are about three months old. Heidi stomps her front legs as she nurses. Both twins head bang Daisy's udder to encourage more milk.  Poor Daisy!

The twins will continue to nurse until they are about three months old. Heidi stomps her front legs as she nurses. Both twins head bang Daisy’s udder to encourage more milk. Poor Daisy!

Both Dancer and Heidi have the business of relieving themselves down pat. Daisy no longer has to stimulate them to start that process, but she still does a lot of grooming on the little ones.

Both Dancer and Heidi have the business of relieving themselves down pat. Daisy no longer has to stimulate them to start that process, but she still does a lot of grooming on the little ones.

Daisy has trained Dancer and Heidi to drink water from the tub. They know to go to the high side of the tub for better access.

Daisy has trained Dancer and Heidi to drink water from the tub. They know to go to the high side of the tub for better access.

Daisy still loves to eat and rest in her old deer pen. We put a deer mix planting in half of the pen. Daisy used the high grasses and plants as her nursery for the twins the first weeks. Now they are big kids and often bed down in the pasture, but Daisy still loves to bed down in the area that was her very own nursery.

Daisy still loves to eat and rest in her old deer pen. We put a deer mix planting in half of the pen. Daisy used the high grasses and plants as her nursery for the twins the first weeks. Now they are big kids and often bed down in the pasture, but Daisy still loves to bed down in the area that was her very own nursery.

Heidi (Front) and Dancer (Rear)  often lay down together to rest while waiting on Mama Daisy to finish grazing nearby.

Heidi (Front) and Dancer (Rear) often lay down together to rest while waiting on Mama Daisy to finish grazing nearby.

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

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Flying High

Where does time go? I mean, really? We look at old photos and video and the memories come flooding back. We wonder, as we review just a short series of photographs, how a cute baby girl could grow into a pretty young lady in such a short time?  And, as I look back at my own life’s photos, I am amazed how quickly I became so, uh, mature!

This last trip to Nebraska made it quite apparent to FD and me that time is slipping away ever so fast. We generally stay with my sister Jules when we go up north, and this time, when our niece Em and her brother Sid came out of the front door to greet us, I swear they had grown a foot since we saw them in December of last year. Sid is quite athletic looking – all muscular and tall, and Em… well the braces are off, her blonde hair is longer, and she has evolved into quite a beautiful, young lady.

My sister and her family live in a very small farming community. My brother-in-law, CF,  is the town go-to man for everything, and performing maintenance to help keep the little village running is his job. He is also a member of the volunteer fire department and he actively sits in on town board meetings. When you live in a small community like this, people help one another, they look out for each other, and they get involved. I knew Memorial Day would be a busy one for CF, as he would be responsible to make sure things looked spot-on in the little town that day!

I, myself, have never been one to visit cemeteries on Memorial Day, and am ashamed to admit I have only attended a couple of Memorial Day services in my entire life. Growing up, my family always went to various cemeteries to decorate graves when our grandparents were alive, but after they passed away, this tradition just fell away from me.

Relaxing before the ceremony.

Relaxing before the ceremony.

Folks gathered round to listen to the message.

Folks gathered round to listen to the message.

Sid, Em and Jules singing National Anthem. CF (in red at the left) ALWAYS manages to avoid me and my camera!

Sid, Em and Jules singing National Anthem. CF (in red at the left) ALWAYS manages to avoid me and my camera!

An Auntie shares about the lives of her parents with a young niece and nephew.

An Auntie shares about the lives of her parents with a young niece and nephew.

So, switching back to this Memorial Day morning, CF was up bright and early to put flags up along main street and also to get the flags hung out at the cemetery.  After he returned, we all took off to the community building for breakfast where the locals gathered to eat a bite before heading off to memorial services at the cemetery. Always looking for photo opportunities, I grabbed my camera at the house before walking to the cemetery, just a couple of blocks away.

I was both amazed and impressed by all of the folks who showed up for Memorial Day services! There were people of all ages – some lived in town, some were rural folks, and many were visitors from out-of-town. Some pulled up in cars, but many walked the short distance from the community building just a few blocks away. Several folks helped the handicapped and the elderly, while parents and grandparents held the hands of little kids so they would stay put – at least for a while. Once the honor guard was situated, the main speaker, a veteran himself, gave a straightforward speech about appreciating and respecting not only our veterans, but the families who endured in their absence or were left behind when a loved one did not return. I had never thought about that before. As I looked around at all of the graves, I wondered about the people who had never been in a war, but who suffered because of a war. No one in my family had served in any war, so my family had never been directly affected by those circumstances. Suddenly, I was humbled in a way I had not been in a long time.

Of course I was not allowed to stay in thoughtful mode long because my danged iPhone began ringing in the middle of the services! Thank goodness the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway engines pulling about one hundred rail cars had roared through just prior to that moment. Still, I was mortified – I had made a spectacle of myself! Or so I thought. As it turned out, very few people looked my way, and I also saw about a dozen folks hurriedly reaching into their own pockets or purses to switch off their phones. Even so, I was prepared for some smart-aleck remarks after the services but, thankfully, no one said a word. And this simple courtesy made the experience of “small town America” all the more pleasing.

A BNSF train rolls by every ten to fifteen minutes! We endured three trains during the ceremony.

A BNSF train rolls by every ten to fifteen minutes! We endured three trains during the ceremony.

This was my point of view when my darned cell phone went ringing. Thankfully, the train moving by competed with my chime-type tune!

This was my point of view when my darned cell phone went ringing. Thankfully, the train moving by competed with my chime-type tune!

After the Memorial Day ceremony ended, I was happy for the chance to meet a gentleman and his wife who were originally from this area of Nebraska, but now reside in Ohio. Verne and I had connected online after he read my blog post, “A Bird’s Eye View“, and we vowed to get together if we were ever in the area at the same time.  I was even more excited to learn that he wanted to take us flying in his twin-engine plane that afternoon! And even more thrilling, Em was asked to co-pilot! Evidently, she had co-piloted with Verne once before.

I will not play the part of the bragging auntie who drones on and on about how her nieces and nephews are the brightest little stars in the galaxy. They are all gifts and each one shines brightly in their own right. However, I will say that Em is a courageous, free spirit, and I wish a hundred times over I had her tenacity and pluck to pursue and achieve dreams. She is a bright star in the Universe. She delights us with music by playing various instruments. She is athletic, she sings, she enjoys motocross, and she flies planes and helicopters. Every bit of this came to her because she worked at it. Her parents are just common people like the rest of us. But Em showed a true interest, kept asking questions, and sought opportunities with people who could help her. It was all won by hard work and a tenacity to keep after her dreams.

As we began preparing to board the plane, Verne told us it would be a bumpy flight that day. It was already heating up and big fluffy clouds were building. I was panicked by that! I am not a good flyer on bumpy flying days. Thank goodness Verne’s wife, who is also a pilot, was sitting in back with FD, CF and me, and she helped me deal with my anxiety. FD was probably happy about that too, since most of the flight he had to photograph the aerial shots and endure my death grip on his leg!! Still, Em did an excellent job at the helm, and Verne’s sense of humor and continual encouragement to Em helped me too. And CF, who sat across from me, gently chided me with his humor.  Again, like everything else I had experienced that day, this adventure was also about people helping people.

Verne and FD meet for the first time.

Verne and FD meet for the first time.

Jules and Sid stay behind - no more room in the plane!

Jules and Sid stay behind – no more room in the plane!

Em is excited to fly the twin engine!

Em is excited to fly the twin-engine!

Em flying with Verne encouraging.

Em flying with Verne encouraging.

Em the co-pilot.

Em the co-pilot.

Next week, Emily will be flying to New York City to play her clarinet in the Middle School Honors Performance at Carnegie Hall. She will fly her first commercial flight, not at the helm, but sitting back in coach. I am absolutely thrilled for her to be going to NYC! Can you imagine how exciting this will be for her? At the age of fourteen, as Emily is, I was shy and had no self-confidence at all. Now, at the age of 53, I am just beginning to find my courage and “pluck” in life. I always was a late bloomer! But oh, how I am loving this time of my life… flying high as I evolve into who I dream to be – a writer!

I want to share this video link “NYC Bound“. I have watched it a dozen times if not more, and each time my eyes well up with tears. Not because I see how Em is evolving and growing into this beautiful free-spirit, but because I should have been that girl growing up. I am happy when I see young people who follow their dreams and they fly high… because it is what they were born to do!

Em and me back in 2004 wrapped in a duck blanket on a chilly night by a bonfire.

Em and me back in 2004 wrapped in a duck blanket on a chilly night by a bonfire.

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

 

 

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Picnic On The Knoll

Catching sight of Daisy with her twin fawns can be quite a feat these days. Most of the time, I only see Daisy alone, grazing on various types of browse. Right now, she is a milk-making machine that needs its fuel! So yes, I have spent many long hours walking with Daisy and hoping to catch sight of the twins, only to be led on a wild goose chase that ends far too often with Daisy lying down to chew her cud. All of that walking around through the woods, and I just end up tired, hot, and insect bitten!

Always on the move and eating along the way, the main focus of Daisy’s days is about being a protective and nurturing mother. It is possible, I guess, that this is the real purpose to all of Daisy’s meandering about. Maybe these wanderings are actually her “patrol” time, for investigating new scent and monitoring predators and other visitors to the area. She is also very secretive and careful about approaching her babies when it is nursing time, so I consider myself lucky when I manage to catch her with one fawn or the other. And when I do, it is never about her taking me to them, but more about me accidentally spotting Daisy’s movement off in some trees or weeds that allows me to stumble upon them.

One recent afternoon, I caught Daisy letting the fawns run and play on the buggy path that winds through the woods up top of the canyon. Daisy’s ears were back, as if she was a little put out that the kids were not cooperating. As the two of them scampered about, Daisy mooed around after them, trying to get them to come to the knoll overlooking the canyon. Finally, after a good run, Heidi stopped and went to her mother to try for a little drink of milk. Daisy complied, but only for a few seconds before she moved forth to the tall grasses on the knoll, just a few yards away. There, she allowed Heidi to nurse a little more, and soon Dancer followed. In short time, they were both head-knocking Daisy’s udder to get their fill of afternoon milk.

After making sure both fawns were cleaned up from their meal, I watched Daisy lie down at the edge of the knoll that overlooks the canyon and provides views to our house, yard, and pasture.  I have often thought the knoll was the perfect spot for a lookout post and, evidently, Daisy thought so too! Also, I am sure it was necessary for Daisy to stick around for a while to get Heidi and Dancer settled and bedded down properly.

Three hours later, I walked a load of brush to the burn pile we have in a gully on the east side of the knoll. From the burn pile area, I could see Daisy’s ears barely visible in the tall weeds atop the knoll. She was still lying in the same spot and the canopy of towering trees was beginning to shade the area. I wondered when Daisy would leave her little charges to rest by themselves, while she again began to graze and patrol her territory? As I walked away with my empty wheelbarrow, I thought about how I could not imagine myself just sitting somewhere for three, solid hours. But Daisy seemed calm, and perhaps she was taking advantage of a chance to rest herself just a bit. Maybe she was enjoying family time, with her two little ones close by. Or, it could be that the warmth of this day, after endless days of cool and rain, simply felt good to her.

Heidi is on the left, and Dancer is on the right in all of these photographs.

Heidi is on the left, and Dancer is on the right in all of these photographs.

IMG_5364 IMG_5363

Reaching the storage building, I put my wheelbarrow away and walked to the house to fetch a bag of pecans and a bottle of water. Then I walked back to the knoll. I did not bother Daisy but, instead, found my own shady spot a little way across from her, where I could spend some time with my girl while I sipped some cool water and snacked on a few pecans. At times Daisy’s head would poke up from the weeds and I would greet her softly and gently, saying, “Hello Daisy Dew, it’s just the Mamma.” She seemed not to mind her human mother’s presence and I was hopeful that, by hanging about nearby, the twins would get used to the sound of my voice and the scent of my presence as well. For twenty minutes, I enjoyed the shade, the sounds of the woodlands, the vision of Daisy quietly chewing her cud as she rested in the flowering weeds, and the comfort of knowing her babies were resting safely nearby. Taking a sip of water before starting on another handful of pecans, I thought about the calm, quiet beauty of it all… and I realized that my Daisy sure knew how to pick a lovely spot for a family picnic!

Daisy nurses her babies and attempts to get them to lay down on the knoll to have an afternoon nap!

Daisy nurses her babies and attempts to get them to lay down on the knoll to have an afternoon nap!

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

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A Case Of Mistaken Identity…

Lately, FD and I have spotted Daisy’s rival doe “friend”, Scarlet, feeding at the base of the slope. Just yesterday, we found her and her doe fawn from last year nibbling on corn and eating deer chow from the feeders below. Scarlet is still very pregnant and I would not be surprised if she has triplets this time, she’s that big! Since having her baby two weeks ago, Daisy generally runs off any critters, including deer, that venture into the immediate area, so I was a little surprised to see Scarlet spending time at the feeder. But then, I was not sure where Daisy was at the time.

A very pregnant Scarlet!

A very pregnant Scarlet!

Big as a barrel, Scarlet heads back into the woods while her yearling doe snacks on a little deer chow.

Big as a barrel, Scarlet heads back into the woods while her yearling doe snacks on a little deer chow.

Because we typically spotted Scarlet alone, we suspected that she had hoofed off her twins from last year. After all, even Daisy had hoofed off Spirit just before giving birth to her fawn, and surely Scarlet would deliver hers any day now. Often, we would see the siblings together at the corn feeder in the early morning hours. We have also spotted Spirit bedded down alone in the pasture at night, and sometimes found her by herself, nibbling clover in one of the deer plots down below the slope. I felt bad for her, as I knew she had become so used to being at Daisy’s side for a year, only to be suddenly pushed away. This had to be a confusing time for Spirit.

But then one morning, Scarlet showed up with her doe fawn by her side. Apparently the doe had not been hoofed off yet! A couple of hours later, a pair of yearlings showed up for feed, so FD and I took a closer look through the binoculars. We quickly determined it was Spirit who was having a snack at the feeders with Scarlet’s buck, as the eyes were definitely Spirit’s more almond-shaped eyes. Our thoughts were confirmed when FD approached the deer and Spirit remained at the feeder, not bothered at all by his presence. The little buck snorted and moved back into the woods a distance, but keeping an eye on the situation with his new-found friend. Spirit was not rattled at all by the presence of this human, as this was her grampa after all!

Early morning finds Spirit eating clover down below the slope.

Early morning finds Spirit eating clover down below the slope.

Scarlet's Buck in velvet getting a little corn for breakfast. He and Spirit visit early in the mornings and sometimes bed down at night just beyond the feeding area.

Scarlet’s Buck in velvet getting a little corn for breakfast. He and Spirit visit early in the mornings and sometimes bed down at night just beyond the feeding area.

Spirit getting a good sip of water at the wildlife tub. Notice the mosquitoes on her face and she shakes her right rear leg to ward off irritating flies.

Spirit getting a good sip of water at the wildlife tub. Notice the mosquitoes on her face and she shakes her right rear leg to ward off irritating flies.

I marveled at the friendship the little buck and Spirit developed over the next few days. The buck was quite playful at times, and we watched him gambol and leap in the pasture, while Spirit stayed at the blackberry bushes, nibbling leaves and generally ignoring this silly friend of hers. Other times, we found them bedded down below the slope, lying within a few feet of each other, but also far enough back by the pecan orchard fence to keep Daisy from running them off. The two had become frequent visitors to the feeders, and I wondered if Spirit simply longed to be somewhere near her mother. After all, this had been the only home-base she had known as a fawn.

Having mistaken Spirit for Scarlet’s doe fawn in the beginning, I admit that I was disappointed in myself in a way. I thought I knew the deer around here so well, and just assumed the pair of yearlings I had been seeing were Scarlet’s twins. Here Spirit had been visiting quite often, and I had not even noticed it was her with the little buck. Oh well, I thought, from here on out I will just have to slow down and be more observant. As it was, I was missing out on all sorts of activity in the woodlands and its critters by keeping with my busy schedule. Mostly, I had been distracted by Daisy and her new baby, and trying to get photographs of her new little charge any chance I could. That feat alone proved very difficult, as Daisy was being super secretive this year and photographs of her and Heidi were hard to come by.

Two days ago, I was doing some hodge-podge mowing down in the canyon in the immediate area just below the slope. Hodge-podge is my term for disorderly, patchy mowing. With Daisy and Heidi bedded down somewhere nearby, and not wanting to disturb them, I do not feel I can mow everything like I normally do. Because of this, we let a good part of the “nursery” area go unmowed for a month or more, until the fawn is more mobile and Daisy begins to show it a wider range of her territory. We also do not burn brush at the burn pile all summer either. No sense in scaring off the grandkid you know!

I had just finished my mowing when I spotted Daisy on a knoll just up from the burn pile. This is the area where she often kept Rowdy last year, and where we had already seen Daisy bedding Heidi this year. Quickly, I ran inside the house for the camera, and then headed back to the knoll hoping for some pictures of Daisy and Heidi together. But Daisy has been famous for giving me the “slip” this year, disappearing in the blink of an eye and, sure enough, she was gone when I returned. Instead of heading back to the house though, I decided to take the buggy path down into the woods and see if perhaps Daisy had taken a lower path down through the vegetation on the side of the knoll.

Recent rains had left the buggy path slippery and treacherous for me and my big feet. I stayed to the sides of the path, being careful not to let poison ivy brush up against me. Already the darned mosquitoes were attacking me. About to go crazy with the sound of a tiny mosquito buzzing in my ear, I randomly swatted at my head and wondered how on earth any critter could dwell in these conditions? Suddenly, I saw movement coming from atop the knoll. Coming through the thick vegetation and down the side of the knoll just 25 feet from me, was Daisy and Heidi and… (gulp) my heart beat wildly!!

Daisy's Surprise_5330 Daisy's Surprise_5342

Just days ago, FD I had finally discounted our gut feelings about Daisy having twins. Despite her large belly and her huge udder, and after a couple of weeks of seeing only one fawn, I gave up on my inner voice. I had even commented to FD that the girl fawn he held in my first photograph of Daisy’s baby this year, sure looked different from the fawn I photographed in the iris beds in his mom’s backyard. I thought the markings and coloring sure seemed different, but eventually decided the fawn was just growing and changing as it became another week old. As it turns out, Daisy had fooled us all of this time.

I have not seen the fawns together since I stumbled on to them coming down the side of the knoll with Daisy that day, and the photographs I shot of them from the buggy path were in very dark conditions, so they are poor quality. But I was still able to glean some things about their personalities as I observed and photographed them. One fawn is mindful of Daisy – generally keeping near her and following. The other likes to be in the lead, and is a spunky and free-spirited little dancer. It takes off on a wild run, “mewing” delightedly like a kitten as it scampers around. Watching the two of them with Daisy was like watching a scene from a year ago with Rowdy and Spirit.  Spirit was a good girl, and Rowdy was always snooping around or running amuck!

Twins 2014_5347 Twins 2014_5348 Twins 2014_5349

So, the photo of FD holding Heidi in “While We Were Away…”, is the real Heidi. FD was able to physically determine she was a female. But the photos of the fawn in “Natural Beauty That Will Never Be Miss America Or Miss USA” are of the newly discovered twin that we do not yet know the sex of. After looking at last year’s photos of Rowdy and Spirit and observing closely the head structure and coloring, it could be that this mystery, blue-eyed beauty in my second post is a male. But, we will not know for sure for several more months because, until a buck fawn develops “buttons” - little bumps where his antlers will someday be – it is often difficult to determine sex.

Daisy and Twins_5354 Daisy and Twins_5355

Safely atop the knoll, Daisy bonds with her babies, attempting to get them settled for the afternoon.

Safely atop the knoll, Daisy bonds with her babies, attempting to get them settled for the afternoon.

It is clear that, with raising Spirit and Rowdy, and now Heidi and Dancer, Daisy has grown to be one clever mama. But it is also apparent that her job raising me up is not yet finished. Obviously, I have a lot more to learn about being a clever girl and tapping into instinct. Oh well, I am sure Daisy understands that her mamma is a little “different” and sometimes slow to learn. But I think she loves me anyway…

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

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