Try, Try Again… Persistence is the Key!

Daisy cautiously ambles up to the corn feeder, taking a careful approach to the doe. This is the doe we think looks a lot like Daisy.

Throughout the early spring months, we noticed a few of the wild deer frequenting the corn feeder and water tub down in the canyon.  A couple of does appeared to be pregnant.  We had also observed a yearling buck visiting the area.  By mid-May, one doe seemed to be chasing all of the deer out of the area, including Daisy.  It is normal for a doe to become territorial a few weeks before she gives birth.  Somehow though, it just didn’t seem fair for this bully to be chasing my sweet Daisy away from the only home she had ever known!

This is a good sign! The doe is willing to share the corn feeder with Daisy!

During this time of turmoil, Daisy was cautious whenever down in the canyon.  Most afternoons and evenings, we would find Daisy lying around up top near our house.  Sometimes she found a cool spot over at FD’s mother’s house, where she rested in the English ivy and iris beds.  Other times, we might find her laying in the shade of my flowerbeds, under the Forsythia bush or in the shade of the old Elm tree.  At night she found comfort in the pastures, laying in the soft grass around the blackberry bushes.  And, as a bonus, the blackberries offered ripe, fruity treats to nibble on for a midnight snack!  Daisy seemed to know the territorial doe would not bother her as long as she stayed above the canyon rim.

“Get outta here kid! You’re bothering me!”

By June, it was evident the doe was lactating, but she had not yet brought her fawn or fawns along with her.  It is common for fawns to stay behind, hiding and resting, while the doe goes off to feed.  She does, however, remain near enough that she can keep an eye on her little charges.  When taking these short respites from her nursing fawn, this particular mama doe frequented the corn and deer feed two or three times a day. As a lactating mama, she needed the extra protein in her diet.

Apparently motherhood was good for the doe’s mood as well, for she appeared (at times) a bit more friendly when Daisy approached her. Daisy seemed to understand that keeping a little distance was still a smart thing to do most of the time!  Other times, the doe ran Daisy off.  Difficult as this was to watch, I knew it was a part of establishing herd hierarchy and dominance.  I knew that Daisy would probably always be hoofed off by other does.  After all, she was different.  She did not understand the ways of deer and deer herds.  Because she was not born into a herd and raised in one, it was likely she would always be an outcast.  But, not understanding this of herself, she was always willing to share and tried to socialize whenever deer came to the feed and water area.

The chase begins…
Daisy isn’t too concerned yet…
Daisy changes direction, unwilling to leave the feeding area – HER feeding area!
Not willing to be run off, Daisy stays within the feeding area, yet maintains a safe distance.

Over the hot summer months, Daisy spent more time in the deep shade of the woods.  I often saw her getting water in the early mornings, around noon, and then again just before dark.  At dusk, she would usually venture into the nearby pecan orchard.  But her travel habits soon became sporadic as she tried to avoid the territorial does. We had heard from neighbors that she had been seen crossing the busy road between the pecan orchard and the park, just four blocks away.  We had seen her on the outskirts of the northwest part of town, when we took the back streets around the west side. I worried about her a lot, as mothers do with their children.  I always hoped her reflective, orange collar would help make her visible, and make people more aware that she was a deer raised by humans.  We had raised her to be returned to the woodland, living as a wild deer.  But oh, was it ever a worry to set her free with no one to show her the ropes of being deer savvy!

POW!

Finally, in July, Daisy seemed to have a routine established.  We might see her very early in the morning in the company of the dominant doe.  Most of the time she came up top in the evenings to get her apple snacks, or a handful of ripe cherry tomatoes from the garden.  We would walk around with her and often she would wait until FD got the brush out and gave her a nice, soothing massage before going off for one last bite at the feeding station and on to the night’s activities.  When it was especially hot, she often took a frolic in the sprinkler to cool off.  But by dark, she would scamper down to the woods and into the pecan orchard.  Sometimes before turning in to bed, FD and I would shine the flashlight down below in the canyon and spot Daisy and the doe feeding together.  Occasionally, there were several does.  Daisy usually kept her distance, but she was finding a place for herself, and following a small herd around.

Daisy has had enough hoofing! She’s coming up the slope to safety where her human herd lives!

I often look back at photos I took of Daisy over these summer months, noting the bruising and scars from the hoofings she endured.  There were a couple of times I actually heard the loud thump of hoof on hide as the doe hit Daisy while she munched at the feed tray. I watched the doe chase Daisy off numerous times, but each time Daisy came right back.  She learned to keep a little distance.  She learned to be alert and to watch the doe’s body language.  She continued to try to get close to the doe, and at times the doe allowed it.  Other times, however, the doe wanted no part of Daisy.  These times were difficult to watch.  But I was also very proud of my girl.  She never gave up.  She always kept trying.

A few mornings later I observe Daisy with two does and a fawn!

I thought about my own difficult experiences in life.  How many times I wanted to achieve something, only to give up when the road got too rough.  Daisy’s persistence in pursuing a herd, reminded me that it’s never too late to achieve something desired.  Daisy was an oddball, an outcast – but that never stopped her from forging forth.  She did not think about the hurdles, the “what if’s” and all of the reasons why things might not work out for her.  She simply proceeded with persistence.

There is an old saying that goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” It is a simple verse that most have heard at one time or another.  But we often forget the deeper meaning of this little jingle and get caught up in the “what-ifs” and overwhelmed by the road blocks and bumps we might encounter should we pursue our goal.  We give up, or worse yet, fail to take that first step.  I believe we would all do well to take a lesson here from Daisy deer, whose persistence is evidence that it really is as simple as “Try, try again!”

Oh no! Here we go again!

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


22 thoughts on “Try, Try Again… Persistence is the Key!

  1. I’m sure it must be a delight and a relief to see that orange collar coming up to the farm. It’s not the easiest thing to fit in but as your pictures show she is not short of determination. As long as she keeps that spirit she’ll find her place one of these days. 🙂

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    1. I am proud of Daisy for being so determined. And yes, you know I am worried when I do not see Daisy for a day or two. I am now fretting that I won’t be able to find her alone in order to get a better collar on her for winter. The one she has on now is a lighter, reflective, summer collar. That type will not hold up in the winter cold. The material cracks in the cold. I have a saddle shop working on putting snaps on a collar made of sturdier material so she can break loose if she gets hung up on something. We will likely have her wear an orange snap collar and a regular velcro collar (the ones that break in the cold) during hunting season for her protection. Hopefully, she won’t get to the point where she won’t come near us. I hope we can always get a collar on her.

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      1. I’m betting that she will always call your farm home and allow you to get near her. Hopefully the new collars can be put on and make her as safe as possible during deer season. I know I would never shoot a ‘wild’ animal that was wearing a collar but unfortunately not everyone uses sound judgment. That’s why we see hunters killed every year by other hunters because they only shoot at a movement or a sound and never even make a proper identification of their target. I’ve enjoyed and look forward to Daisy updates and here’s to many more in the years to come.

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        1. Oh, I’m with you, I hope we can always get a collar on our girl. I worry about hunting season knowing that not everyone uses good judgment and possibly for some a collar wouldn’t matter. As a doe she stands a better chance at surviving. I met a local woman at Walmart the other day who said her Dad raised a little buck a couple of years ago, and during hunting season the 2nd year, her Dad found the bucks collar on the fence of a neighbor man. He approached the fellow whose fence the collar hung on and the man said, “Yep, he had a nice rack and the rest of him’s in the freezer”. I can’t believe there are people in this world like that. The guy flat advertised that he had done it. Anyway, the neighbors in our area are aware of Daisy and friendly towards her. The man who owns the neighboring pecan orchard said he was not allowing hunting on that property this year as he and his wife enjoy Daisy and the other deer. I am thankful for some support in our immediate area. Most people around here are deer-friendly.

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          1. That’s good to hear that the surrounding area is aware of Daisy. As for the guy that hung the collar on the fence post… some people are just morally broke. I like to think those kind of people get their ‘rewards’ when it’s all said and done.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment! I’m so glad you enjoy reading about Daisy. She has no idea how popular she’s become! As for the insights, they seem to come with the story. It’s often apparent to me what the message is with each set of photographs I build the post around.

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  2. I am glad to know that Daisy is finding her way into a natural group. Reading your news about Daisy is a wonderful way to start your day. Thanks, Lori!
    ~ Lynda

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    1. Lynda, I’m very happy for Daisy to find a way to be with her own kind. We didn’t think it would happen until she had babies and made a herd of her own. While I worry a little bit less about her, I still find myself checking outside the back door, looking for the orange collar down in the canyon below. I miss her… but it is a wonderful thing to see her with her friends most mornings!

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  3. Always a pleasure to read how Daisy is fairing, and how you’ll put that into words, Lori. Glad she’s thriving in the deer world, in spite of her challenges. I have enjoyed reading about her perseverance – even if she’s unaware that she has any obstacles to overcome.

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    1. Yes MJ, unaware is correct! This morning we had a report that she and another deer had crossed the busy road just a few blocks from here. That makes me crazy… but she has two collars on now; a new one and an old one that is torn up from snagging on barbed-wire fence. I still haven’t gotten the sturdy snap on collars back from the saddle shop. But she has two cheap velcro reflective collars on that we made. Still, it’s tough being a deer mama. Everyone I talk to says she sounds just like a teenager!

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      1. I would worry about that teenager, too, if I were in your shoes. I know it’s wildlife, but she’s practically family for us readers as well. Watch out for her (I know you will).

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  4. I (and my ten-year-old) absolutely love reading about Daisy’s adventures – thank you for sharing your stories and pictures. Part of me hopes you continue to have stories to share, and part of me (the daughter part, too) hopes she finds a nice cellar and lives an idyllic life in the woods. Give her a friendly pat for us?

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    1. Oh my goodness, I’m having a good laugh now! I was looking up celler in the dictionary to see if perhaps it had a definition that I was not familiar with! Well, truth be told, a while back she was keeping company with a little buck; a yearling like herself. It didn’t last long. We expect during the rut this year, she will find a suitor and perhaps next spring she’ll be a mama. The first time a doe will have a single fawn. After that they commonly have twins and triplets. I have a friend in Kansas who has a photo of a doe with quadruplets!

      I will most certainly give Daisy a nice pat from the both of you! I’ll let her know you’re two of her biggest fans. I wish she could feel the love people have for her all over the world. It’s an amazing thing… sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the interest in a little deer! Thank you Sid (and your daughter!) for caring about Daisy!

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  5. You are quite an amazing person to be able to keep so emotionally balanced through all this and yet still allow Daisy to be a bit special for you. That’s a hard stance to hold. But I can tell you are exploring this as you explore life itself. Thanks for sharing and helping us to explore with you.

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  6. That was a lovely comment. It IS difficult to keep an emotional balance and I’m not always sure I do a very good job of it. You are correct though, it is something to explore, and what an exciting journey it has become!

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    1. Thank you for your always kind words, Mike. Daisy seems to have a lot to show me these days, prompting change in my sometimes hard heart. Thank you for understanding, my friend.

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  7. It’s a treat to read how Daisy is maturing with time. You must have a wonderful feeling seeing her, getting in to the group. 🙂 Great post !

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    1. Thanks Arindam! It is a great feeling to know that she’s managed so well just on instinct and also to try getting in with a little herd. I am very proud of my girl!

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