Lazy Days with Daisy Deer

A frosty morning, Daisy awaits her carrot and apple snack!

Looking out the window this morning I saw Daisy and Holly pacing the fence, puffs of steam billowing from their noses.  It was mighty cold last night with temps dipping below the freezing point.  The deer seem to flourish in the cooler temps.  Thick coats protect them from the elements.  Winter hair is hollow, filled with air to provide insulation and offering a bit of waterproofing from rain.

FD captured this special moment using the zoom lens.

Long gone are the lazy days of summer where I was often found keeping company with Daisy.  Back then it was just Daisy and me.  She was lonesome and often after a day of outdoor work I was tired and in need of rest.  I found myself pulling out an old lawn chair cushion and laying down with Daisy in the shade.  She chewed her cud while looking out over the yard and pastures.  I promptly dozed for thirty minutes or longer.  Usually, the bites of small ants awakened me.  I found this aspect of her life rather unpleasant.  The Oklahoma drought had kept most insects at bay all summer.  Mosquitoes and no-see-ums were non-existent.  The flies were still around, but for the most part they did not bother. Still, it was a pleasure laying with my girl.

Laying low and blending in is a way of life the first 4 weeks of a fawn’s life.

I have to wonder if Daisy came to me at this particular time in life for a reason.  I am a highly work-oriented person.  My drive to achieve and accomplish is sometimes crazy-insane.  I push to complete projects.  A day of productive work is a successful day for me.  Anything less has me frustrated and chomping at the bit to hit it hard the next opportunity, making up for lost time. Daisy changed all of that.

When Daisy came along my routine changed.  It was not such a burden to feed her.  Feedings were every 4 hours.  It was the environment she needed that was more of a shift in lifestyle.  I could not go hurrying around, making racket in the house.  Daisy found secret places to hide; behind the couch, in the back of a closet, between items of furniture, tucked away in places we wondered how she managed to find, let alone fit into.  The lure of a bottle of goats milk had those long legs unfolding, standing and gently sauntering to the “feeding station” where she got her nourishment, did her bathroom business, and got a little grooming with a baby brush.  She would lick my neck and chest while I brushed her, making a little “mewing” noise. It calmed me, and humbled me.  Soon she sauntered back to her hiding spot and settled in.  Nothing was ever a hurry for her.  She lived peacefully, looking for a quiet place to nestle down.

The barn went through major renovations to house Daisy.

I found myself protective of her need for privacy and quiet.  Our way of life became very deer-like.  No blaring TV in the evening.  FD got the evil eye if I thought he had the volume up too high.  We avoided sudden moves.  The house was quiet.  Even the dogs seemed to understand our spotted guest needed her space.

Zoe and Daisy in front. Niko, Bear, me and Tori in back.

When we moved her outside it was apparent she missed her “herd”.  I often put all 4 Japanese Chin in the pen with her for company.  As the scorching Oklahoma sun made more of an appearance, Daisy lost most of her baby hair.  Her coat had a scrubby, bristly look to it.  She spent a lot of time in the cool of the barn.  I sat with her many times under the shade of the mimosa tree, reading a book while she laid nearby.  I had not felt well most of the summer.  I blamed it on my age and time of my life.  Clearly, I knew I had to slow down.  Daisy needed her mother, and I needed rest.  So it was under the old mimosa tree that we laid together, bonding as a strange mother and child combination.

Looking for a zipper to pull… or a necklace!

As Daisy got older and more independent, it was apparent our lazy days were no more.  One windy day, I decided to keep Daisy company in the shelter of the barn.  I had brought a book to read.  She was curious about my book, nibbling at it and licking the cover until I put it away.  Soon she discovered the zipper on my jacket, then the toggle pulls around the hood.  Everything was interesting to her now, and nothing seemed off-limits.  She nibbled on seams on my jeans, pulled my ponytail, tugged on my sleeves, and had a special interest in jewelry.  After she nearly ate a necklace, I finally quit wearing jewelry altogether.  Before long, the hoofing game started.  At first I thought it was just play.  She would throw her head around crazy-like, then raise up on hind legs and hoof at me with forelegs.  Later, I understood it was about dominance.  Just like a human teenager, my little fawn looked quite innocent, but under those spots was a very independent and curious young lady who did not always have lady-like manners.

Daisy and Holly keeping company.

These days Daisy and Holly keep each other company.  They lay back to back chewing their cud, soaking up the winter sun.  I still go out to feed Daisy her morning and evening snacks of carrots and apples, but I do not laze around talking to her and petting her.  I scurry around to fill her feeding bucket with pellets and fill her water bucket before she has a chance to try the hoofing game.  I have learned to divert her attention to a branch of tree leaves or a stem of rose-bush greens to nibble while I clean up deer poop in her pen.  I keep a watchful eye.  Those little hooves are mighty sharp!

A confident and alert Daisy Dew!

Still, there are moments I am drawn back to thoughts of my baby doe.  After the attack of the stray dogs last week, my girl has stood still while I rub aloe vera under her scarred eyes, nose and forelegs.  She seems to understand I am helping her.  I often think of my own Mom.  All of us kids fled the nest a long time ago, venturing out into life, showing off our independence, being young and silly, and even mean-spirited at times.  I still find myself grabbing the phone to call Mom when something’s gone awry, I’m lonely, or I hurt myself.  There is something soothing and comforting about a mother’s love.

Another day in the sun next to my girl.

I needed the shift in lifestyle this summer… the slowing down and taking care of self.  Daisy showed me that could be achieved simply.  She ruminated (chewed cud) and I read books.  She rested, looking out over the land, and I slept.  We ate apples together.  I planted a garden, she ate it.  We were mother and daughter for a season, and it was a special time I will never forget.

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


32 thoughts on “Lazy Days with Daisy Deer

  1. Dear Aunt Lori,
    I am going to be so heart broken when it comes time for her release. Heart broken over your own heart break. Your love and devotion to Daisy is as amazing and beautiful as any mother/daughter relationship ever could be. And I know Daisy will return often to visit. Maybe when something’s gone awray, or she’s lonely, or she’s hurt herself. 😉 Her instincts will lead her back to her mother.
    Love you SO MUCH!!

    Like

    1. I hope Daisy will return. I hope she will always find this to be her place of refuge. We let her out of her pen for a couple of days about a month ago. She hung out here on the place, not venturing far off. After hunting season we will release her, free to do as she will. Meanwhile, I will enjoy this last month and a half, spoiling her and doting on her. Holly is more wild, but hopefully, she too will stay nearby, finding this to be a safe place. I love you too Sweetie… I miss our interesting “life” conversations!

      Like

  2. We have recently moved to the farm that has been in the family for over 100 years, it is an adjustment for sure, but oh so worth it. We noticed deer signs in our yard and set up a feeder and camera. We usually have anywhere between 2-20 on any given day. Love to just sit and watch. Love your story of Daisy. Thanks for protecting her

    Like

    1. Wonderful!! We too have a feeding station in a canyon just below our house where we can watch the deer. We usually see around 6 at a time. Isn’t country living just awesome?? You may find yourselves in the same situation someday… raising a wee deer. Thank you for sharing!

      Like

  3. “She ruminated (chewed cud) and I read books.”. This is absolutely why THIS ol’ Mississippi farm girl loves to get out the plants and animals and just BE! Thank you for such a painstaking, detailed and beautiful post. I just discovered you when your category was featured on my wordpress homepage after signing out today. (I just THOUGHT I was finished for today!) So glad to find you and invited you to join me and provide feedback sometimes at http://granbee.wordpress.com.

    Like

    1. I will definitely check out your blog! I am always interested to see what other farm girls have going on… I’m so glad you took a little time to visit my life! Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  4. Wow! What an amazing tale, with amazing photographs to complete it! 🙂 I love your story-telling, it’s so elegantly pretty. It sounds amazingly awesome to take care of such a creature. It’s gonna be a heartbreaking moment when you have to let Daisy go. But she’ll hopefully return. =D I guess the dominance thing is just another downside to owning a wild animal. But it seems worth it. =]

    Like

    1. Some aspects of raising Daisy have been difficult. I have researched white-tail deer extensively… what an eye-opener her life is! We’ve raised other wild critters… it’s always hard to let go, but it feels wonderful to let them be wild and free, as it should be! Thanks for commenting!

      Like

    1. Thanks a bunch!! It’s been a very exciting evening… I think I’m just about caught up with comments. I’m still pretty giddy over this… it was so unexpected! Thank you for your encouragement!

      Like

  5. The photos you have are great, and I’d definitely be careful about her ‘hoofing game’ she would be trying to play with you too. It’s so sweet the love you have for Daisy and it definitely comes through in your writing how much you love her.

    Like

    1. I have learned to be careful. We’ve had a few collisions (she head butted me in the eye one time) and foot stomps and I learned to be cautious around her. She’s just being a deer, and I have expectations of a human. Somehow… it works. Love is what binds us with nature… if we watch and listen, there is much to love and learn about our delicate friends in the wild. Thank you for your concern and kind words!

      Like

    1. You have encouraged me all along Sissy!! Thank you and Mr. P for helping us with Daisy when we needed it this summer. Daisy has no clue how lucky she is to have such a wonderful Auntie and Uncle… and cousin Laura to love and support her along the way! What an animal-loving bunch we all are!! Your support means so much to me! I feel the love every day!

      Like

    1. You are so right about learning much from experiences! All of nature is soothing and healing. Daisy came when I needed her gentle and delicate ways… even her now, ornery and hilarious antics! Thanks for commenting!

      Like

    1. Yes, it is like that in life… we get what we need if we are open to whatever that can be. There always seems to be something to learn from nature! Thank you for visiting!

      Like

    1. Oh my! I will have to check that book out. Thank you for suggesting it. I learned a lot about deer reading, “Way Of The White-tail” by Leonard Lee Rue, III. What an amazing species they are! Thank you for responding!

      Like

    1. Oh, those were the days! Now Daisy enjoys licking my books, eating my zipper and toggle pulls, biting at my ear muffs, pulling on my ponytail and pulling shoe strings. I think this time is the equivalent of the teenage years!!

      Like

    1. I just wrote a huge comment on your “Jealousy… and Awe” post! I loved it! Thank you for being such a promoter and fan for me. Your day will come with Freshly Pressed… I just know it!

      Like

    1. I will give Daisy a hug for you when I bring her afternoon snack of apples to her! She and Holly both have a penchant for apples. I usually pet her and talk to her while she chomps away on her apple chunks!

      Like

Comments are closed.