Seeing Spots on Sunday Morning!

Here on the ten-acre ranch, weekends are normally a fairly laid-back affair.  We work, we play, we go to bed later than usual, and get up later than usual.  It would probably be easier on us if we kept with our normal, work-week sleep schedule, but there is just something a tad rebellious about changing it up on the weekend.  We overindulge in coffee or tea until almost noon and we eat when we like, sometimes having breakfast for lunch or dinner. Occasionally, we even skip lunch altogether. We may begin the day with some kind of project in the plans, and then, for some crazy, unknown reason, choose to be pool slugs for the afternoon instead.  Weekends are a free-for-all.  We do as we please.

Daisy watches the street and alley while her nearly 3 week-old fawns emerge from the iris beds at FD's Mom's house.
Daisy watches the street and alley while her nearly 3 week-old fawns emerge from the iris beds at FD’s Mom’s house.

Yet, even with our laid-back approach to the weekends, there still is a general routine. I am the first to rise, since my side of the bed happens to be nearest the location of the dog beds where our three Japanese Chin snooze through the night.  I take that back – they snooze through most of the night.  I know they sometimes prowl around the house too, because I hear the food bowls rattle after the lights go out or, if I get up in the middle of the night, I might find one sacked out on the cool, tile floors in the kitchen.  Anyway, in the morning, I hate to make the dogs wait longer than usual to go outside to do the first bathroom business of the day, so I get up when they begin to stir.  I rub my eyes, plod to the front door to let them out, and keep watch just in case there is trouble lurking nearby. It has happened before where wild dogs come up from the woodlands or stray dogs wander in through the gate at the drive. Weekends tend to be when city people let their big dogs roam to do their business on somebody else’s lawn.  I have never seen a coyote on the place in the early morning, but it could happen, and our dogs are a small breed so I feel it is my duty to keep watch and protect them.

In the shade of an oak tree, Daisy allows her fawns to exercise a little.
In the shade of an oak tree, Daisy allows her fawns to exercise a little.

Once back in the house, I make myself a cup of coffee and start up my computer.  While the familiar sound of whirring and beeps signals a good boot-up process, I go back to the kitchen to fetch fresh water and food for the dogs.  And, as a bonus, everyone gets a little cheese snack for doing their business outside and coming back in promptly! Well, the dogs get a cheese snack anyway – I do not usually reward FD for doing his business outside, even if he does come back in promptly!

A little running, frolicking and gamboling make for fun play time!
A little running, frolicking and gamboling makes for fun play time! The little doe is the one crouching in the foreground.  We call her Spirit, as she is very spirited and loves to jump!

This past Sunday morning, I looked over what I had on hand for whipping up a simple breakfast.  I found fresh eggs, cheese, and a partial loaf of almost-too-dry homemade bread.  Well, open-faced egg sammies it would be then, I decided!  This would make for a simple breakfast, allowing me a no-fuss, but filling meal with easy cleanup. What an excellent way to start a lazy Sunday!

In this photo, it is easy to see the little buck is a bit larger than his sister. The doe resembles Daisy when she was a little fawn.
In this photo, it is easy to see the little buck is a bit larger than his sister. The doe resembles Daisy when she was a little fawn.

After finishing our simple, but leisurely breakfast and a few cups of coffee, FD and I lingered at our computers a bit longer. I try not to spend too much time at the computer in the mornings because, like all good farm girls, I know that the earlier I get outside, the easier (and cooler) my outdoor tasks will be. The Oklahoma heat had arrived this past week, and generally by noon, it was way too hot to be doing chores.  Reminded of this, I quickly cleaned up the breakfast dishes, while FD headed out to run an errand.

It is amazing how the spots are quite different on the twins.
It is amazing how the spots are quite different on the twins.  Click on the image to zoom in for a better view.

With my inside chores compete, I donned my sun visor and stepped out into the bright sun of the front yard.  Ugh.  It was already very humid and the wind was blowing briskly.  I moved on to the water hydrant to connect the first of a series of soaker hose stations.  I looked out towards the garden, thinking I had better get that hydrant going too.  But, before another thought could enter my head, my eyes were drawn to some movement along the fence near the garden.  Then I saw SPOTS!  Not just one set of white spots on a reddish-brown background, but TWO!  Daisy had her fawns together!  And it looked like she might be taking them on a Sunday morning outing!

We call the little buck, Rowdy because he charges forth, ignoring Daisy's mooing to keep him in check. He loves to run, an often gets up and finds a new bedding spot throughout the day, making Daisy have to seek him out at nursing time. He is very wayward!
We call the little buck Rowdy, because he charges forth, ignoring Daisy’s mooing as she tries to keep him in check. He loves to run, and often gets up and finds a new bedding spot throughout the day, making Daisy have to seek him out at nursing time. In this shot, he ran right up to Zoe and me! He is very wayward and rebellious!

Wanting to get some photos of this rare time with the twins together, I scrambled back to the house for the camera!  Since the birth of Daisy’s fawns, I have made a habit of keeping my camera, with the zooms lens attached and batteries charged, in a handy location. Daisy has been very secretive about her activity with her fawns so, I want to be prepared for the times when I am lucky enough to spot her!  These days, I’m more likely to catch Daisy alone, or with only one of her fawns, either nursing or taking one or the other to the woods for the day. And, until this Sunday morning, I had not seen Daisy with both fawns together since the day they were born.   This was indeed, a special photography moment!

The two fawns quickly making their way across the big pasture, headed into the woods.
The two fawns quickly making their way across the big pasture, headed into the woods.

Upon arriving back outside with my camera and snapping some shots, I observed how cautious Daisy was about her fawns being somewhat out in the open.   Always on alert with her body in protective stance, she watched all around, her ears cocked in different directions to listen, while her nose caught every scent that carried in the morning breeze. She was the most beautiful vision of a mother I had ever seen! I thought of how fortunate and proud I was to be witnessing such a site – something many never have the opportunity to see or experience, while others never take the time to really notice the world of nature around them, to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

We live on the outskirts of town.  A narrow street borders our eastern property line, while an alley runs along the southern property line.  Woodlands run along the west and part of the northern border.  This Sunday morning, as the fawns exited Mom’s iris beds, Daisy led them to the shaded pasture very near the street along our eastern border.  While she kept watch, the two fawns romped and ran – seeming as oblivious to the activities of the neighborhood folks as they were of the orange-collared, whitetail doe and her two fawns playing nearby.  Eventually, Daisy led the twins westward through a thin grove of trees in the center of a larger pasture that borders the alley along the south side of our property. Finally reaching the western end of this pasture, the trio lingered briefly before they disappeared into the woods.

Daisy keeping watch on the fawns, trotting behind, as the two make it to the edge of the woods!
Trotting behind, Daisy keeping watch on the fawns as the two make it to the edge of the woods!

As Daisy and her little family reached the end of the pasture, I thought about how, in all of the time Daisy allowed play near the street, and kept watch, none of the passers-by had noticed them.  Even people out for a walk were unaware of the little family.  It was at that moment that something dawned on me! It had been a daily event for Daisy to see people and vehicles on the street during her first eight months of life in the confinement and safety of her pen.  Even when she was free and on her own, she often chose to bed down in Mom’s iris beds, feeling safe there despite the close proximity to the street along our eastern border.

I thought about how many times back then that I had seen Daisy grazing in the pastures, totally unnoticed by people passing by. She was always cautious and wary, but few humans ever became aware of her presence and none ever stopped to bother her.  And, what predator would come from the woods to prowl where humans resided? I thought about how many times I happened upon a wild critter while walking or working in the woods, only to have it turn and run in fright. I realized this is because humans are the greatest predator of all animals – even of those that prey upon other animals. But Daisy had been far more clever and protective than I had given her credit for.  She had learned that her enemies in the animal world would not readily venture so close to the world of humans, and that the humans, at least in this area of her home range, were not a threat to her. I quickly realized my superficial thoughts about why Daisy placed her fawns so near Mom’s house and the street, were no match for Daisy’s wisdom and instinct in recognizing where she had an oasis of safety for herself, and now for her fawns as well.

Rowdy gets a little grooming from Daisy while Spirit thinks she might like a little milk!
Rowdy gets a little grooming from Daisy while Spirit thinks she might like a little milk!

I remembered too, that there was a time when I was oblivious to what was right in front of me.  Just like the people of our neighborhood, I was consumed with thoughts and plans, or just plain stressed out from the day… I was simply going through the motions of life. But Daisy taught me to slow down, to spend time observing, and to experience life in each moment.  Witnessing her alertness and keen senses taught me to stop, look, listen, smell and touch.  And, when faced with times of fight or flight, she had shown me the wisdom of simply following one’s instinct.

With a heart full of thankfulness for the experience of raising Daisy, along with a few tears of understanding as I watched her lead her fawns into the woods, I realized that Daisy had actually raised me.  And I understood, by her keeping them at distance from me now, she was creating an intimate environment in which to pass the gifts she so intimately shared with me, on to her own offspring.  I also realized that, in some way, I would be on my own now, just as her fawns would be on their own someday.

With the help of their spots as camouflage, the very spots that had actually caught my eye this morning, the twins melted in to the cover of the woods. I saw Daisy turn back to look my way from the opening of the pathway they had taken. But I would not follow her now. Instead, I looked lovingly back at her as I walked to the house, and I hoped she sensed that I understood…

Daisy pauses a moment, looking behind to assure a safe entry into the woods.
Daisy pauses a moment, looking behind to assure a safe entry into the woods.
Daisy looks back to me, before leading her fawns into the woods.
Daisy looks back to me, before leading her fawns into the woods.

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


43 thoughts on “Seeing Spots on Sunday Morning!

  1. Beautiful and touching. Daisy is gorgeous and her fawns are absolutely adorable…And your post was so heartfelt. I loved the whole post, but I especially loved your touching ending. As always, thank you so much for sharing these special moments and thoughts with us – I look forward to every post.

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    1. Well, thank you… and Daisy is something very special for all of us. There is so much to understand about life, if only we tap into our senses… and utilize our instinct.

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  2. Beautiful photos and a lovely story, as usual. Lori, you’re so good at absorbing meaningful lessons from your nature experiences and describing them to us. Very nice! (P.S. The twins are looking great!)

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    1. Thanks, Kim! The twins are looking healthy and strong. It’s amazing how different their personalities are. Daisy is a patient mother and very protective. So much of instinct rules her life now. I’m very proud of her!

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    1. I admit, Lynda, I got a little weepy at the ending myself! There have been so many realizations on this journey with Daisy – and you’ve been with me the entire trip! Thank you, my friend!

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  3. You have written this post with such love and understanding of that dear, deer. It does make one a bit teary eyed. I hope and pray that the fawns make it to adulthood. A beautiful family and you are quite fortunate to be able to witness the wonders of nature “up close and personal.” The photographs are marvelous.

    Regards,
    yvonne

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne. I am fortunate Daisy allows us to observe from a distance. The fawns are really getting lively now and are a lot of fun to watch. I try not to worry, but the first couple of months are so important. Daisy has done a good job patrolling the place, and running anything off that she feels doesn’t belong! And, she’s very secretive and private about nursing time and play time. She is also taking them to the woods up top – not so much down in the canyon itself, to get them familiar with the lay of the land. It is a time of learning for me, as I observe her daily routine and habits. I am able to watch the fawns and how they discover their new world. Today I saw the buck come upon a cottontail rabbit! He was very interested but didn’t get too close. The twins are also trying to eat some greens. Daisy shows them how to sniff out a weed and nibble on it. I’ve seen both of them try greens on their own when Daisy is gone. They’re exploring their world more and more. It’s really fascinating. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post!

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  4. I was reading through your post when I saw the open-faced egg sammies. Oh my goodness. I WANT THEM NOW so badly;) I’ll be back to reading as soon as they’re prepared!

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    1. Oh! Egg Sammies can be prepared a number of ways! I try various cheeses, sometimes adding some kind of meat, or grilled tomatoes – or any other grilled vegetable. Most of the time I keep them fairly simple… just egg and cheese on toast. Homemade bread makes the best toast too! And, let’s not forget, real butter!

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    1. Thank you, Sandy. I am thankful every day, for the blessings nature brings my way. I’m a lucky girl to live on this place where wildlife is so abundant and nature of all sorts is just a step out either door! It’s good to have Daisy around again. I missed her over the winter months.

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  5. Thank you for the Daisy update and for letting me in on the farm life! I’m inspired by you to get out of the city (not that I’m really in an urban setting. .) & buy the farm! I get to see some wildlife here, like the 2 young coyotes the other day, but it’s not the same. I also laughed at the term ‘pool slug’ ha! Enjoy the day!

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    1. Thanks so much! How cool to see young coyotes! We have adult coyotes show up here occasionally, but I’ve never seen any pups or real young ones. I sometimes run into coyotes on my hikes to the river about a mile away, in the fall and winter. They have a beauty all their own. I’ve yet to photograph one up close. I know it’s not the same, but just getting out of town sometimes yields some great nature-watching opportunities. Just keep “knowing” you will eventually own a farm, and it will happen. People sometimes laugh about me calling this 10 acres a ranch or saying we live in the country… but to me, it is a ranch and we are in the country! What you design for yourself is your own.

      On these hot days, I sometimes take a few dips in the pool just to cool off in between chores. It’s beautiful and soothing to me, as the pool overlooks the canyon below the slope. I feel like a lazy slug sometimes, just drifting, looking out over the canopy of trees below.

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  6. L.Sundog, I hope you do not get tired of me praising your unique and wonderful way of storytelling. Reading this pulled me right into the story and I felt the emotions expressed. Many times I have found myself chuckling, smiling, and yes – sometimes even crying while reading a story of yours and feeling almost as if I am part of the experience. This one is especially moving. Thank you for sharing the story.

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    1. Yes they are, Phil! It’s hard for me to stay away from them. I need to figure out how to work the video on my camera. Both those fawns get to kicking up their legs, gamboling all around. They love to play together. Poor Daisy missed out on that. She was by herself growing up, and had weird parents!

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  7. I do love your pictures. Daisy’s fawns have actually well grown up and she seems to be a perfect.mother. They will soon be able to manage themselves. I wish you a nice evening, my dear friend.

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    1. Thank you! And yes, Daisy is a very good mother. I’m so proud of her! I think after a couple of months the twins will be able to keep up with Daisy and they’ll be more self sufficient. Right now Daisy is getting them familiar with the immediate 5 acres. I have even seen them eat some of the greens Daisy eats. They’re trying out their legs and exercising a good bit. Summer is a time to rest and grow. In the fall they will be much more active with the cooler temps.

      I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow (isn’t there 7 hours between us?), my sweet friend. I will be enjoying the next few evenings as my Sissy (sister-in-law) is visiting from Dallas. My birthday is tomorrow and she’s here to help me celebrate. So far we’ve been indulging in good food, relaxation time in the pool, and great visiting. You can’t beat that!

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      1. I wish you a great and happy birthday my friend, with all the happiness you deserve. Yes, there is 7 hours between us, so i wish you a good morning.Big hugs.

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  8. What a great story… I love this time of year with the little deer coming out with their mom’s. We have a deer family that comes though our property, but are usually coming when it is too dark to get a good shot and I don’t like to use my flash I am worried it will scare them. Thanks for sharing the photos 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I don’t use a flash either, and usually in dark conditions the deer’s eye reflect so much that it takes away from the photo. Sometimes I have to be happy to just observe Daisy and her fawns, without the camera moment.

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    1. Thanks Fran. Every evening FD and I sit out back watching Daisy with her babies, we’re just amazed at how fortunate we are to be able to witness this facet of her life. She is indeed, a treasure!

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      1. She and the fawns are also really beautiful. You are completely privileged to be trusted by her and your reward for all of those anxious moments when you were raising her is to see her stand on her feet, have her own babies and cops magnificently whilst sharing that wonder with you :). I guess that’s a grandma’s prerogative 🙂

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        1. It is a reward of sorts, isn’t it? And though strange to think I would be a Grandmother to these little fawns, it is what Universe has provided for me. It is a grand feeling, to know that I do have a part in the circle of life here… that what FD and I provided a little deer just a couple of years ago, has begun another generation of life. I am proud of Daisy… more so than I ever dreamed of!

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          1. We had that same feeling when Bezial (the first 😉 ) our native parrot brought his “wife” back to nest in our roof (I told you about it ages ago). A feeling like we are all part of the same cycles. We humans might feel like we rule the waves but to be honest, we are no bigger or better than the most humble fungi. We all belong together and need each other. Sometimes our choices reward us so much more than we could ever imagine 🙂

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          2. Ah, more pearls of wisdom from you!! Your words always hit home with me! I feel the same thing about needing one another and being of a humble nature. It is the most simple and basic things of life that bring me happiness and comfort.

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  9. I have to say this again: My wife would love your life! She longs for the great outdoors and the beauty of nature and you have both – in spades!
    As always, great post!

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    1. Indubitably, my friend! Who knew this journey with Daisy would come to mean so much… and this little 10 acre ranch would make such a grand place to live life! I thank my lucky stars every day for the blessing of living here with the wild things. If you were here this morning, we’d all be having breakfast on the back porch. I hear the cardinals chirping, a little Berwick’s wren chattering, Daisy is feeding down below with Rowdy, and two rabbits are nibbling grass off in the distance. Your wife wouldn’t want to leave…

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