Scratching the Itch

The past two days, I have taken advantage of the sunshine and warm weather that has graced our little ten-acre ranch. I planted my collection of lettuce seeds, gave the deer plots and onions a shot of water, dug up weeds in the flower beds around the house, and worked at trimming trees and picking up dead timber in the woods. I awoke this morning feeling quite sore and achy. Apparently, lack of physical activity outdoors most of this bitter winter, has left me a tad on the soft side!

This morning, I had a 7:00 appointment with the barber. In a hurry to get there, I quickly downed a cup of coffee, inhaled a banana, and dashed out the door, only to find I had chosen the wrong jacket. The temperature was much chillier than it had been the previous days. No matter, I thought, the barber shop was just a quick jaunt across town.

I was delighted to see Daisy and Spirit when I returned from town. Not wanting to disturb them I just parked the car.
I was delighted to see Daisy and Spirit when I returned from town. Not wanting to disturb them I just parked the car in the driveway.

An hour later and sporting a new “do”, I pulled in our lane at home, but had to stop the car in the middle of the driveway because Daisy and Spirit were grazing in the yard, ears alert and looking as if they were about to bound off with the intrusion of my red beast coming towards them. I immediately cut the engine and stepped out to call Daisy’s name. Relaxed at seeing me and hearing my voice, she walked towards me for some attention. Spirit, who isn’t as fond of her Granny, kept her distance but went back to grazing on weeds. I decided to run into the house to fetch the camera. Once back outside, I turned my attention to Daisy again, giving her more scratches and massaging. She licked my free hand and arm in appreciation.

I did not know deer like nibbling Redbud tree blossoms. (Sigh)
I did not know deer like nibbling Redbud tree blossoms. (Sigh)

We have been seeing Daisy and Spirit in the early morning hours several days in a row now. They are both beginning to shed their winter coats and are beginning to get quite rough looking, with the old hair coming out and their new, pretty red coats of summer coming in.  I have also noticed a few ticks on Daisy already. Apparently, it has been warm enough for the dreaded ticks to make their appearance in the woodlands. So, for now, there is much grooming to be done – both self grooming and mutual grooming – to rid themselves of loose hair and parasites.

Spirit looks innocent enough but she suddenly bounded down the slope taking off on her own!
Spirit looks innocent enough but she suddenly bounded down the slope taking off on her own!

Daisy stood for a long time, relishing in the overall scratching I was giving her. She especially enjoyed the attention I was giving her forehead and ears, pushing into my fingers and sometimes closing her eyes. Finally, Spirit took off on a run down the slope, and Daisy followed suit. I kept alongside Daisy. I wished I had taken time to grab a different jacket! I was getting cold!

Both self grooming and mutual grooming help to shed the winter coat and to remove parasites. It seems to soothe the itching as well.
Both self grooming and mutual grooming help to shed the winter coat and to remove parasites. It seems to soothe the itching as well.

IMG_4507 IMG_4509 IMG_4511 IMG_4513 IMG_4515

Down in the canyon, the two spent time grooming each other, and then proceeded to graze on greens. New leaf shoots on trees seemed to be the favorite snack. Wild honeysuckle followed as a close second choice, with various weeds being nibbled at random up to the top of a knoll. Spirit finally ambled down the other side and headed into an area way back in the woods. Daisy looked back at me as if to ask, “Aren’t you coming too?” I told her, “No, baby, Mama is cold and I need to fix myself a little breakfast. I’ll catch you later.” I stepped forward and gave her a few more scratches before she followed her fawn down the knoll.

Daisy and Spirit Grooming_4518

Isn’t it lovely to finally shed our winter coats and be itching to get outside and enjoy the blossoms of spring?

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


38 thoughts on “Scratching the Itch

  1. Beautiful pictures! Animals are so ‘human’, in so many ways!
    We in Bahrain have been rather lucky this year because the ‘real” summer is taking its time coming. It had begun to get quite warm in the last few weeks but a sudden spell of rough weather has brought a little chill back. We had earlier thought the spring had been given a go-by but it seems we will have a few days of it anyway! Since it gets very hot here (around 48 degrees C) in the summer, these few days are much appreciated – the longer this lasts the better!

    Like

    1. Thank you! You are always so complimentary. Our weather here sounds a bit like yours… a step forward and then a few steps back. We have had such a long and bitter winter, and with spring vacillating back and forth it’s a tad frustrating. However, I look at Daisy and Spirit and see their winter coats gently falling away and I know that the warmer weather is here to stay!

      Like

    2. Hello singhcircle,

      We have not met but I am always fascinated to learn of different cultures. When I was a teen (in another century), I lived for two years in Bangkok, Thailand and I guess that began my interest in world cultures. Even then (1964-1965), Bangkok was a very cosmopolitan city; I attended an English speaking “International School” with students from about 40 different countries. That 48C (118.4F) sounds even hotter than Bangkok. The highest temperature I experienced was approximately 43C (110F). Nice to meet you and I hope you do not mind me asking – are you a native of India? I know that Singh is a common name there. I do not mean any offense if my question is too personal. I am truly interested and I hope I have not committed a cultural faux-pas (a bad mistake). If so, please forgive!

      Louis from Virginia, USA

      Like

  2. Another lovely post cram packed full of spring possibilities and what gorgeous images of Daisy and Spirit Lori :). You capture them perfectly like only a mum and granny could do :). We have a red bud here but our problem isn’t the deer that eat it but the fact that it is down in the jungle/overgrown bit of the garden. One day we will finally get down to it and will be able to free it up from the tangle of undergrowth but for now it is enough to know that it is there. Cheers for sharing your spring possibilities with us all they are lovely 🙂

    Like

    1. Oh thank you Fran! How could I miss getting great photos of such gorgeous models?? Redbud trees here cover the countryside in purple – it’s like the showcase of Spring! When Redbuds begin to leaf out after blooming AND we get warm weather and rain, the morel mushrooms pop up and I’ll be busy foraging for wild mushrooms!! However, no rain, no mushrooms. 😦 We must have rain!

      Like

      1. We have been getting some real rain here of late which is incredibly welcome. We can almost hear the soil sighing with delight :). Mushrooms are popping up all over the place. We don’t get morels growing here but the pine forests might just have some delicious pine mushrooms. Steve won’t let me forage for them. He is afraid that I will kill myself eating them and he will be left here to do everything! 😉

        Like

        1. I’m so happy for you to get rain. Gosh, the wildfires you all had last year were terrible. We need rain too and today we have a chance for storms, but of course this is tornado season and today is one of those days they’ve been warning us about – chances of hailstones and tornadoes are likely. Egad! So I’m busting butt to batten down the hatches and finish some outdoor work. It’s supposed to set up around 4:00. I have less than 2 hours to finish my work outdoors!

          Like

          1. And here I was getting worried about frost! Oh my LORD Tornadoes?!!!! I think I would be rooting for the hailstones if I was you. Please look after yourselves guys. Earl says “Don’t blow away, you are my ONLY FAN!” 😉

            Like

          2. Ha ha ha!! Surely I am not Earl’s only fan! He so handsome and what with those dreamy eyes, I just can’t help but love him! Plus, he chose my walnut in the spoon drawing… I’m forever in his debt over that! LOL I have not feared tornadoes much in my life, however I supposed if our place was demolished by one I might feel differently. So far everything has stayed north of here tonight, so we’ve lucked out this time! YAY!

            Like

          3. YAY indeed! Earl is breathing a sigh of relief. He is handsome but I think Bezial outweighs him 10 fold when it comes to fans. Poor Earl only has 2 of you. SO glad you aren’t going to OZ with red shoes!

            Like

  3. Hi Lori, I’ve just read your post about the new gardens. I admire your and FD’s motivation for growing more and I’ve often thought the Paleo diet must surely be the most healthy way to eat since it matches our genetics. I certainly don’t think we need dairy products, but I do love cheese and bread. I’d love to read about your new baking adventures. Did you have a man’s haircut at the barbers? 😉

    Like

    1. Hi Henrietta! I don’t have a man’s haircut but for some reason they call hairstylists barbers in this area. I still have my hair medium on the short side, but I struggle with all of the curl I’ve acquired as I’ve gotten older. I must be the gray!! How on earth could you be French and not indulge in vast amounts of cheese and bread?? I still have a bit of cheese just because I love it, but the bread I can bake Paleo. Baking is really weird with nut flours but very tasty!

      Like

      1. I think grey is beautiful. Almost all the women here dye there hair until they die. There’s a lovely old woman in the village, who’s in her nineties and still dyes her white hair black! I’d love to learn more about eating Paleo. Could you let me know the name of the book(s) you’re using?

        Like

        1. What a passionate subject for me Henrietta! Do you know I was allergic to hair color from the time I started coloring (in my early 30’s). Most hair stylists I went to promoted color, despite that I had ill reactions. Finally, in my late 40’s when I had a horrible reaction where half of my face swelled and my neck was so stiff I couldn’t turn it, my employer said, “Why would you continue this? Look at what it’s doing to you!” I realized, it was ridiculous to continue harming my body this way. I thought all along I would just look old if I went gray so young. The transition was not bad at all. My barber is a great guy who took special steps to blend the old with the new, and was very encouraging. I tend to think along the lines of keeping with nature – how we evolve – what nature gives us is beautiful always and at the right time. All of this superficial beauty, well it never did fit for me. I was just doing what society promotes. I’m so happy I haven’t done the lifts or injections. I do not wear much makeup at all anymore. I try to find natural products without chemicals and preservatives. I am glad I had realization about the harm I was doing my body. It’s never too late to incorporate change! The body reacts very positively to good food and healthy practices!

          Though Robb Wolf can be a bit scientific, he also has a great way of discussing and explaining paleo in his book, “The Paleo Solution”. The little bit of science that spoke to me was regarding a high carb diet (which I’ve existed on most of my life), was actually feeding my high cortisol!! Horrors!! I am also going to order the book, “Eat the Yolks” by Liz Wolfe. As for recipes, you can get online and find all sorts of great recipes. I have a Pinterest board for Cavegirl Cuisine: http://www.pinterest.com/littlesundog/cavegirl-cuisine/. I have tried most of these recipes and notate whether they are great or if there is a little quirk to them. I find Paleo baking a bit of a challenge. I was a GREAT baker before Paleo, and this has caused me to take on a bigger challenge! I can’t tell you just what a difference this has made for FD and me, and we practiced fairly healthy habits before. I think it’s losing the grains and dairy (oh, but I still indulge in cheese from grass-fed sources), and no more sugar! Yikes… I got carried away here! 😀

          Like

          1. Get carried away all you want. It’s so great to chat. I have a friend who went white grey in her twenties and it never made her look old. I’m fair with freckles and react badly to the sun, I burn in 10 mins April to September, and can only use truly hypoallergenic products, so I’ve always been suspiscious of cosmetics. I don’t believe all the so called anti aging skin care, which people spend a fortune on here, actually does anything. I also think older faces are so much more interesting than smooth unlived in ones, which is not to say I don’t dislike getting older, looks wise, but what are you going to do?
            I didn’t know you had a pinterest account. I probably haven’t been paying attention to your sidebar. I know perfectly well that carbs and sugar are bad for me and make me feel sleepy. I’ve recently given up dairy products, except for a little cheese, prompted by my daughter, who became vegeterian when she was just a young teen. Carbs and sugar however pose a real problem, it’s so difficult to give up comfort food. I’ll look into those books and your Cave girl cuisine. Brilliant title btw. I’ll let you know how we get on.
            I expect you’ll have problems finding time to write your book during the growing season, but it can be a winter project.
            You might like this book from one of my very favourite authors
            http://www.amazon.com/Animal-Vegetable-Miracle-Year-Food/dp/0060852569/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396631618&sr=1-1&keywords=animal+vegetable+miracle+by+barbara+kingsolver
            XXX

            Like

          2. Thank you for the book referral! I don’t have my Pinterest listed on my sidebar. Actually, I hadn’t even thought about it. I haven’t done much developing on the boards. I have found it an easy way to pin recipes for trying later and commenting on them. I really haven’t the time to dedicate to putting together favorite things.

            I’m with you about anti aging skin care products. I have also seen plenty of cosmetic tattooing, laser work and implants to know it doesn’t always come out the way expected… and long-term, there are issues that are not spoken about. Still, to each their own I say. If some kind of self-improvement gives us a boost, then why not? My gut just tells me all of that is silly (for myself). Happiness and joy of life is where I’m at!

            Like

  4. Once again you have posted some GREAT pictures, Sundog. My favorite is the next to last one in portrait. When do we see a picture of your new hairdo? Me, my hairdo never changes (GRIN)!

    Like

    1. Thanks Louis! I’m not a “selfie” person… and it’s rare for FD to have the camera so I have very few photographs of myself. Plus, unless we’re going out somewhere I just look like a farm girl in work mode (no makeup and hair not styled). I guess I’ll have to think about having FD take my picture sometime when we’re going out. It’s just short, gray hair… nothing to get excited about! LOL

      Like

      1. I can understand re “selfies” as they are not my thing either but I am used to the natural look and actually it’s my preference. Just being yourself is the most honest way to be.

        Like

  5. I’m so glad you got some quality time with your girls! You’re right, it does feel great to ditch the winter gear and pull out the light jackets for spring. I always feel great the first day I can wear my jacket each year.
    Yesterday our temp went up to almost 60 and I went birding (of course). I drove 30 miles toward the lake (Lake St. Clair) and boy oh boy, did the wind pick up over there! It must have been gusting at 40-50mph along the shore. I spent a bit of time looking at the huge wall of ice that had been pushed up off the lake, but then retreated to the woods where it was much calmer. After spending three hours walking in the woods and marshes, I felt fantastic!

    Like

    1. Oh, Kim I’m so glad you had a decent day to get out and enjoy! Little by little spring is emerging here. Last night Dom (the art student) and I sat in the weeds and watched Daisy and Spirit grazing in the pasture. It was such a lovely evening to just relax and observe them. The insects aren’t too bad yet so I’m really enjoying my time outdoors!

      Like

Comments are closed.