The feeding station down at the bottom of the slope is a favorite spot for me to observe wildlife. A large tub of water, two feeding containers with goat or deer pellets, a corn log squirrel feeder, and a hanging corn feeder provide a nice stopping place for wildlife. I often see Ms. Foxy leaning over the tub to have a long drink of water in the early morning. All throughout the day I see various birds feeding and having water, sitting in the trees above, and swooping down for a little pecking around. Many skunks, opossums, raccoons and deer make up the usual night visitors.
We set the feeding station up primarily as a spot to attract wild deer to the area and provide them supplemental feed. Years ago, FD placed a fancy, battery-operated corn feeder further back on the property. It dispersed a shower of corn several times a day. It was exciting to see the wild deer frequenting the area. Then one day the feeder was gone. Stolen. We eventually learned who had stolen it as word got around via local hunters about a certain person having a certain feeder for sale. But we never got the feeder back. Some hunter likely bought it and the thief took the money to buy his next bag of dope.
Our next feeder was given to FD by a friend. It was a simple metal bucket decked out with a camouflage pattern on the side. FD hung it in a tree with a rope. It is an inexpensive model, but it does the job and, so far, has not been attractive to thieves. After our fancy feeder was stolen, I was in no mood to spend a lot of money on a replacement in case someone decided to steal from us again. We placed the new hand-me-down feeder nearer the house, at the bottom of our slope, where we could keep an eye on it for wild diners and would-be thieves. From our perch on the back porch, we have enjoyed many hours watching various animals and birds frequent the spot. A nice zoom lens on the camera provides for capturing nice images without disturbing the scene below.
Last week I spotted Daisy acting strange while down at the feeding station. I noticed a squirrel darting around and acting just as crazy. It was soon apparent what the problem was. As Daisy turned her attention back to eating corn, the opportunistic squirrel suddenly darted in from the side, snatching up stray kernels of corn that fell to the ground as Daisy licked at the basket on the feeder. I am not sure just what Daisy was thinking about Mr. Squirrel, but it soon became apparent she was either becoming irritated or thought she had a new playmate. I watched them go the rounds for several minutes. Daisy would chase Mr. Squirrel away a short distance, or sometimes only take a few threatening steps in his direction as if to say, “Don’t MAKE me come after you!”. Finally, I noted that Daisy seemed to have given up on sending Mr. Squirrel packing, as they now appeared to be eating in harmony. A couple of Collared Doves were pecking around near the feeder as well. All critters wild seemed to be sharing in the bounty.
I have observed humans in the same light many times. I believe it is the deepest part of our spirit that naturally feels compelled to share and give of ourselves. At times, I have foolishly fought for something that I thought was mine, only to realize later that I may have hurt another or caused someone to do without because of my behavior. In the end, I didn’t feel victory or righteous about my actions. God/Universe provides all that we need. Losing that fancy corn feeder wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen. And, though I felt violated and angry at the time and jumped straight to the thought that the thief, who was a known druggie, had stolen it for drug money, I didn’t really know his situation. I had heard that he was sometimes homeless, desperate, and a drug addict. But I have never experienced life as he has and, in his shoes, might have done the same.
Daisy deer does not think along the lines that I and other humans do. She was simply sharing corn with her homies and I believe she was just having a bit of fun with them in the process. Deer are generally curious about other creatures, friend or foe, and she only reacts as instinct tells her, living in the moment. In this life, every animal, every person, has the opportunity to befriend another and share with them. Who ever knows when that new friend might just be the one who will be there for you to rely upon or count on someday?
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…