As I stepped outside last night to check the weather before heading to bed, I felt the frigid blast of a northerly cutting into me. For more than a week, the weather experts had been predicting a winter storm to hit Oklahoma over the Christmas holiday. Being from Nebraska originally, I always welcomed a little snow… or a lot of snow. I still had my beat-up snow shovel, the same one I had used since I was in my early 20′s. Of course I still had an old grain scoop too, one that my Dad had sent along in the trunk of my car the first winter after I moved away from home. The grain scoop came in handy for big snows where the snow was wet and heavy. For the most part though, Oklahoma rarely gets more than a couple of inches of snow, so the flat snow shovel works better in most cases. Thinking back on my snow shovels prompted me to spend a good part of the day yesterday preparing for the winter storm that was predicted to arrive late in the night of Christmas Eve, or the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Day. I was more than a little excited.
While standing on the front porch last night, waiting for my three Japanese Chin to do their “business” for the last time, I said the prayer I whispered every night. I always thanked Universe/God for taking care of Daisy deer, protecting her and providing all that she needed to survive. I included all the critters and beasts of the land in the prayer too. As I rounded up the Chin to come back in the house, I shivered a bit. The wind was bitterly cold and damp. My weather-predicting knees had been aching all day long. I hoped Daisy found a protected area to bed down in last night. I was not so sure I could survive in such conditions!
Upon rising this morning, I walked to the sliding glass doors to look out at the canyon, and was disappointed to see only a skiff of snow. What a dud. Those weather forecasters were completely incompetent! I quickly dressed, donned my coat, and marched to the front door to let Zoe, Bear, and Tori outside. Stepping out, I noticed it was just beginning to sleet a little and there was a thin layer of ice under the skiff of snow. Under these conditions, the dogs didn’t take long to do their business. Only Tori seemed excited about the bit of white fluff.
Just as I arrived inside, FD exclaimed that Daisy was at the corn feeder! I quickly sliced an apple while FD got his coat. It had been four days since we had seen Daisy. For more than a month, we had seen her only a handful of times, and the local deer herd had not been around at all. We were fairly certain that a couple of wild dogs that I had often seen on the place lately, were the culprits in keeping the deer away. One day, I spotted the dogs chasing Daisy around our house, her tail high and on a dead run! I was angry. The neighbors all around also had trouble with these two dogs chasing cattle, killing cats and other varmints. I was worried that eventually they would find our chickens.
This morning, Daisy was loving, showering us with licks. Sometimes she is quite aloof but today she seemed happy to see her people. Her coat was plastered with clumps of ice, and the sleet was beginning to pile up on her back. I removed the patches of ice and petted her coat. She ate an entire apple, and contentedly munched on corn. She was just beginning to enjoy a little deer chow when she became alert, then startled and high-tailed it to the south! Looking to the north where we last saw her staring, were the two wild dogs! They must have caught her scent and were after my Daisy girl again! Angrily, I roared and yelled in a gruff voice, “GET OUTTA HERE!!!” FD headed back up the slope to the house to retrieve his gun but before he could get there, the dogs ran off into the distance.
Eventually, Daisy came back around the front of the house. FD took her a little, fruity smelling snack he refers to as “Fruity Pebbles”. Before long, Daisy had her fill of Fruity Pebbles and ventured down below to the water tub. There, she took a long drink before heading out to the north to the pecan orchard. Ever since the start of mating season, Daisy has been more independent. I am always happy to see Daisy, and of course, I miss her and I worry about her. I hope to see her every day, but I am adjusting to her wayward ways… and only seeing her every third or fourth day.
Even though it was a brief visit, and interrupted by those awful dogs, I was happy to see my girl today. Just after she took off for the pecan orchard, big flakes of snow began to fall… our winter weather had arrived. I hope Daisy found a sheltered area in which to bed down and chew her cud, while enjoying the cool weather that deer seem to flourish in. I prayed to Universe/God with thanks for taking care of Daisy deer, protecting her and providing all that she needs to survive. Most of all, I was thankful that Daisy came home to visit her folks on Christmas Day.
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…