While We Were Away…

Friday morning of last week found FD and me packing our bags and getting a cooler together to take along on our semi-annual journey to Nebraska to visit my family. Two months ago when I planned the trip, I hoped the timing of it would be long before Daisy deer would deliver this year’s fawn(s). But when we saw Daisy Thursday evening, she was showing the first signs of birthing drawing near. Her udder was expanding and she had become a little aggressive with Spirit, her fawn from last year. We saw her hoofing at Spirit, running her off the feeding area. Daisy was making it known this was her birthing territory and she wanted everyone out… and now!

The visible udder seems much larger than last year. Daisy is a seasoned Mama!
The visible udder seems much larger than last year. Daisy is a seasoned Mama!
Squirrels chatter, alerting Daisy to possible danger.
Squirrels chatter, alerting Daisy to possible danger.
Daisy maintains a post on a knoll to keep watch.
Daisy maintains a post on a knoll to keep watch.

Friday morning before we left, we found Daisy nibbling in the clover and feeding on corn. She still wasn’t showing signs of slowing down and resting like she did three days before she delivered her twins last year. We noticed that her udder was bigger, but then this was her second pregnancy and perhaps it would be much different from last year. Also, Daisy seemed as active as ever. I was not too worried about Spirit either. This was her home and I felt despite Daisy being a bit aggressive lately, Spirit would still hang around somewhere near. So FD and I bid them farewell, loaded the truck, and headed north.

Catching scent must be a pleasing thing!
Catching scent must be a pleasing thing!
Daisy often puts her nose to the air, catching scent of any danger.
Daisy often puts her nose to the air, catching scent of any danger.

In Nebraska Saturday morning, I sat down at my sister’s kitchen table with my iPad to check my email and noticed that I had one from our hermit neighbor, Steve. I had told him we would be gone and asked him to keep an eye on Daisy, as she was nearing her time to give birth. The email – in typical man style – gave little information. Steve stated he had seen Daisy with one baby that morning, and it looked like a big fawn. I replied with more questions and he was good to return with answers right away. I felt terrible when he told me he had heard Daisy making a strange noise Friday evening while moving about in our front yard and along the north side of our house. He felt she was trying to get our attention. It bothered me that I might have been able to be with her when she delivered, and here I was, seven hours away (that’s with “leadfoot” FD driving – it would be eight hours if I was at the wheel!).

Needless to say, upon getting this news, FD and I were both anxious to get home, but managed to enjoy ourselves despite the lure of heading south to see Daisy and meet our new granddeer! I was curious about Spirit too. I will write more about the Memorial holiday spent in Nebraska in a later post, but for now, suffice it to say the thing that got me through my anxiety was my old friend vulture. Each time we set out to visit family, take in an event, or simply drive around to view the countryside (a tornado had recently hit a nearby community), I saw my animal totem flying high above or alongside the vehicle. “Glide and Soar” were the words that came to me, helping me relax, and to know that Daisy was just fine on her own.

A slender and svelte Daisy greeted us!
A slender and svelte Daisy greeted us!

When we arrived home Tuesday, FD tore out of the truck and jumped the fence into Steve’s backyard, while I unloaded a few things and got the dogs set up in the house. FD is a much better tracker than I, and I knew if nothing else, he would locate Daisy. As I returned to the truck, FD exclaimed he had found Daisy and her baby and that it seemed normal size for a two-day-old fawn. As big as Daisy was in her mid-section, and as full as her udder seemed, we felt there had to be another fawn hidden away somewhere else. FD picked up the fawn he had found to check its sex (a little doe fawn) and I took a couple of pictures of FD with the fawn before he set her back down near Daisy and returned to our side of the fence. We did not bother them the rest of the evening.

Daisy hears chattering squirrels.
Daisy hears chattering squirrels.
Daisy spends a lot of time jumping Steve's fence these days!
Daisy spends a lot of time jumping Steve’s fence these days!

Daisy Jumps Fence_5034 Daisy Clears Fence_5035

Since we arrived back home, Daisy seems content to get extra love and spoiling from us. She is on patrol like last year, keeping watch for varmints and anything out of place. And, like last year, she is an eating machine. Most of the time I can look out and spot her somewhere in the area, on alert and eating. It isn’t just grazing and lollygagging around. She is eating quickly and moving about – always on patrol.  Also like last year, she is secretive and disappears when it is time to nurse her baby. I would love to have more photographs, but I also know she will bring her fawn to us when she is ready.  Then I will be able to meet our new granddeer and show off a little more! And I still have a feeling there could be another little fawn out there somewhere. That giant udder has got to be nursing more than one fawn! Only Daisy knows, and she isn’t divulging any secrets yet!

It's a girl!
It’s a girl!

And, if you are wondering, “what about Spirit?”, as I have been, fret no more. I spotted her last night, alone, but indulging in a favorite pastime of hers – eating new leaf shoots and blossoms off of my blackberry shrubs! I was so happy to see she was still hanging about nearby, the thought of losing a few prospective blackberries did not bother me in the least. It was just so good to know that both of our girls were well – while a new little girl lay curled in the brush just north of our home. I wondered if she might be dreaming of the day when she would nibble her first tender shoot…

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

 


57 thoughts on “While We Were Away…

    1. Thank you! I think this time of year everyone waits patiently to hear about Daisy’s offspring. This little girl is a very clever hider. We’ve only spotted her twice – she’s well camouflaged!

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    1. Thanks! The knowledge comes from pouring over books and online articles about deer when we took Daisy in. And, we learned a lot with her raising Rowdy and Spirit. Observation is the key to understanding!

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  1. She is such a beautiful little doe fawn, it’s amazing you have all this going on right outside your doors. I absolutely LOVE the photo of Daisy sniffing the air; we should all get that much enjoyment while strolling through Mother Nature! I’m so glad I could be with you when you received the email from Steve about Daisy’s little fawn; what a wonderful moment that was!! Great post!!

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  2. Oh she’s just precious! What a lovely addition to the family she’ll be. I wonder if Spirit will bond with her or how they might interact. I’m sure you’ll keep us posted! Love all the pictures, especially the ones with Daisy catching a scent and jumping the fence. You are one proud mama, aren’t you? 🙂

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    1. Ha ha! Yes, Kim I’m very proud of Daisy and how she’s managed since she’s been on her own. It will be interesting to watch her in her second year of raising a baby. And I bet Spirit will stay in the area. Perhaps in time she’ll be allowed to come back to the family herd. Next spring will be doubly exciting… I’m not sure what to expect, but I have a feeling we could have a crowd in no time!

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    1. Oh, Lynda… I wonder if some day soon you might, when you are at your mountain home. You’ve already tracked hoof prints and noticed presence of deer up there, so likely you’ll see fawns. You may get used to their presence and they might not even fear you! That’s what has happened here with the youngsters of the local herd – those that are Spirit’s age. They don’t really fear us but they stay far enough away. As for Daisy, well, that IS very special, and it’s wonderful that she trusts us with her babies. We try to be respectful of course. We let her be most of the time except for a curious grandparent’s peek every now and then!

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  3. I’m so glad that Daisy birthed ok and that her fawn is safe. My it remain safe the same as Spirit.
    The photo of FD holding the newborn is precious beyond words. That’s my favorite pic followed by Daisy catching a scent and then the other one of her jumping the fence.

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    1. Hello Yvonne! I hope to capture more photos of the baby, but I can’t find her. She’s a clever girl apparently, and Daisy isn’t divulging where she is, though we know she’s at the neighbor, Steve’s, yard. I see Daisy eating and on patrol over there constantly. If I wasn’t so busy right now with gardens and yard and catching up from being gone, I’d camp out and wait for nursing time so I could see them.

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  4. Oh thank you for sharing!! That little baby is so precious! It looks like FD liked cuddling her, too!! I’m so glad all is well with Daisy. I always love to hear about her. Sue

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    1. Thank you Sue! I’m sure FD is cuddling her (I think he’s more crazy about the deer than I am!) but in part, those little legs can kick. You know when Daisy was little I would never take her for walks because in order to do so we had to lift her and take her down the house steps. I got kicked hard one time and that was enough to let me know I had no business around those wicked hooves!! FD isn’t afraid to handle fawns or Daisy for that matter. He’s the “animal whisperer” type… soothing and calm.

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  5. So adorable! Great photos, love the air sniffing. 😃 Question.. There is no truth in the “don’t touch wildlife, mom won’t come back? ” Or are you just special? (That was supposed to be funny. .) 😉

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    1. Thanks!! No, there is no truth to that. I’ve put baby birds and squirrels back in nests and they’re accepted. And yes, we are special, but we’re careful not to invade Daisy’s space right now. FD basically determined sex of the baby and put it back with Daisy. We also assisted her in getting last years twins over the fence when she wanted to move them. If we were a threat, we’d be getting hoofed off!! Our neighbor Steve is ok too. She allows him to observe but at a distance! I guess you have to be in the “club” to get viewing rights! 🙂

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    1. Thank you Margaret! I am so busy right now with the gardens, yard mowing and some upcoming trips. I bet though, I can squeeze in plenty of time with Daisy and the new baby!

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  6. Big Congratulations Grand-Deer-Mommy and Daddy 🙂 Do you think Spirit might be more inclined to get closer to you and FD now that Daisy is less friendly? I hope Daisy still has another little surprise for you somewhere. As always thanks for the wonderful pic’s. Laura

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    1. Hi Laura, and thank you! I think Spirit will probably keep the same relationship with us that she always has, no fear but keeps a safe distance. I think Daisy will allow her around when the fawn is a little older and able to get around well. Maybe a month or so. It will certainly be something to observe and watch, and of course next year with Spirit becoming a mother, who knows what will happen. FD and I are convinced there is another fawn somewhere. Daisy disappears into the deep woods at the bottom of our neighbors drop off (we have a slope, he has a steep drop-off area) for hours. There has to be a reason she’s spending time up top with this little girl and then going down there too. Perhaps next week I can keep a better eye on things!

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  7. WOW – great photos of Momma deer and baby deer – so precious! In the svelte pix she looks like she’s been groomed. 😉

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    1. Thank you! Actually, last year after Daisy delivered the twins, her coat got shiny and beautiful just like it is in that photo. Evidently, motherhood agrees with her! We do occasionally pick ticks off of her and she lets us. FD scratches her ears… and I scratch her neck. She seems to enjoy the attention.

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  8. So exciting. I can’t wait to see more pics. But I imagine this is an important time for Daisy to have privacy. So I’ll sit on my hands patiently. 🙂

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    1. Don’t I know it, Monica! Just fifteen minutes ago I spotted Daisy at the deer feed, so I went down to be with her but she clearly did not care to have me around. She hurriedly ate, ran up the hill and jumped the fence. She made sure I went back in the house before she moved out of my sight. She doesn’t want us following her, I can tell. Last year she brought her twins over here after a week and she didn’t seem to mind us keeping a distance. It’s so hard to find her or the baby in our neighbors yard. His place is a real jungle! Which of course I’m glad… it really makes a wonderful nursery.

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  9. Well, Congratulations on your third Granddeer! Spirit will be a fine big sister and I’m sure Rowdy is watching fondly from across the Rainbow bridge (It’s not just for domesticated animals, ya know) with this chest puffed high as a big brother. 😀

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    1. Oh, what a lovely comment! I think of Rowdy so much these days… and someday I will be reunited with so many little souls at the Rainbow bridge. I’m up early this morning in hopes of spying on Daisy but so far she’s elusive again! What a diligent and secretive mother she is! Thank you so much for that happy comment… warms my soul! – Lori

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    1. Oh, thank YOU – you inspiring friend! Yes, just yesterday I was telling my friend Ruthie that this little girl was VERY clever at hiding. FD has managed to find her only twice and she’s a week old today. Generally, the fawn beds down in a new spot each time they’re nursed. The last time he spotted her it was just about impossible to photograph her – she blended in so well with her surroundings! I tried to think of a name regarding her secret and camouflaging ways! Ruthie came up with a name that FD and I both liked – she shall be called Heidi!

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  10. Congratulations Grandma! Daisy does it again and with style. Hugs to U.S. hermit Steve (the counterpart to Tasmanian hermit Steve 😉 ) for phoning you and letting you know. Now you can settle down and have some fun taking Granny photos for us all to share 🙂

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    1. Thank you Fran. I’d sure love to follow Daisy around but after being gone for a week the work piled up around here and we’re trying to catch up. Perhaps next week will lend me time to walk with her and follow from a distance. You know we still feel there is another fawn hidden somewhere – it will be fun to sit back a distance with my binoculars and determine where she disappears to. Although, that is often difficult. Daisy is good at giving me the slip! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for following along! I spent a little time with Daisy tonight while she was eating clover. I saw little Spirit bedded down in the canyon near the water tub tonight. I bet she misses her Mama. I hope I can photograph Daisy feeding her baby one of these next mornings. It’s so hard to catch her at just the right time, and she’s being so secretive!

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  11. This is once again a very “human” narration! If there weren’t any pictures, one would think the post is about children, parents and grandparents. WOW!

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  12. The photos in this blog are some of the very best I have seen of yours (and they are always good). The one of Daisy sniffing the air is marvelous. Truly!!
    Lovely post 🙂

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    1. Thanks Rachel! Since she has a most excellent ability to hide, we’re calling her Heidi. I have had the worst time locating her. I followed Daisy around most of yesterday, enduring insects, mosquito bites, humidity and wind… finally, she let me have a peek! I’ll be posting more photos as soon as I can grab some time!

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  13. What wonderful news and a relief that Daisy is well. I’m intrigued that there is perhaps a second fawn in a different place. Is it usual to keep them separate? For safety I suppose?

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    1. Hi Henrietta! This week I have managed to follow Daisy around a good bit and I am beginning to think there may be just one fawn. In a way it’s a good thing. Daisy seems more relaxed and is getting good rest. She’s healthy. Having two last year was hard on her. And yes, generally the fawns bed down separately, and you are right – if a predator should come along, at least one would have a decent chance of surviving.

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