Picnic On The Knoll

Catching sight of Daisy with her twin fawns can be quite a feat these days. Most of the time, I only see Daisy alone, grazing on various types of browse. Right now, she is a milk-making machine that needs its fuel! So yes, I have spent many long hours walking with Daisy and hoping to catch sight of the twins, only to be led on a wild goose chase that ends far too often with Daisy lying down to chew her cud. All of that walking around through the woods, and I just end up tired, hot, and insect bitten!

Always on the move and eating along the way, the main focus of Daisy’s days is about being a protective and nurturing mother. It is possible, I guess, that this is the real purpose to all of Daisy’s meandering about. Maybe these wanderings are actually her “patrol” time, for investigating new scent and monitoring predators and other visitors to the area. She is also very secretive and careful about approaching her babies when it is nursing time, so I consider myself lucky when I manage to catch her with one fawn or the other. And when I do, it is never about her taking me to them, but more about me accidentally spotting Daisy’s movement off in some trees or weeds that allows me to stumble upon them.

One recent afternoon, I caught Daisy letting the fawns run and play on the buggy path that winds through the woods up top of the canyon. Daisy’s ears were back, as if she was a little put out that the kids were not cooperating. As the two of them scampered about, Daisy mooed around after them, trying to get them to come to the knoll overlooking the canyon. Finally, after a good run, Heidi stopped and went to her mother to try for a little drink of milk. Daisy complied, but only for a few seconds before she moved forth to the tall grasses on the knoll, just a few yards away. There, she allowed Heidi to nurse a little more, and soon Dancer followed. In short time, they were both head-knocking Daisy’s udder to get their fill of afternoon milk.

After making sure both fawns were cleaned up from their meal, I watched Daisy lie down at the edge of the knoll that overlooks the canyon and provides views to our house, yard, and pasture.  I have often thought the knoll was the perfect spot for a lookout post and, evidently, Daisy thought so too! Also, I am sure it was necessary for Daisy to stick around for a while to get Heidi and Dancer settled and bedded down properly.

Three hours later, I walked a load of brush to the burn pile we have in a gully on the east side of the knoll. From the burn pile area, I could see Daisy’s ears barely visible in the tall weeds atop the knoll. She was still lying in the same spot and the canopy of towering trees was beginning to shade the area. I wondered when Daisy would leave her little charges to rest by themselves, while she again began to graze and patrol her territory? As I walked away with my empty wheelbarrow, I thought about how I could not imagine myself just sitting somewhere for three, solid hours. But Daisy seemed calm, and perhaps she was taking advantage of a chance to rest herself just a bit. Maybe she was enjoying family time, with her two little ones close by. Or, it could be that the warmth of this day, after endless days of cool and rain, simply felt good to her.

Heidi is on the left, and Dancer is on the right in all of these photographs.
Heidi is on the left, and Dancer is on the right in all of these photographs.

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Reaching the storage building, I put my wheelbarrow away and walked to the house to fetch a bag of pecans and a bottle of water. Then I walked back to the knoll. I did not bother Daisy but, instead, found my own shady spot a little way across from her, where I could spend some time with my girl while I sipped some cool water and snacked on a few pecans. At times Daisy’s head would poke up from the weeds and I would greet her softly and gently, saying, “Hello Daisy Dew, it’s just the Mamma.” She seemed not to mind her human mother’s presence and I was hopeful that, by hanging about nearby, the twins would get used to the sound of my voice and the scent of my presence as well. For twenty minutes, I enjoyed the shade, the sounds of the woodlands, the vision of Daisy quietly chewing her cud as she rested in the flowering weeds, and the comfort of knowing her babies were resting safely nearby. Taking a sip of water before starting on another handful of pecans, I thought about the calm, quiet beauty of it all… and I realized that my Daisy sure knew how to pick a lovely spot for a family picnic!

Daisy nurses her babies and attempts to get them to lay down on the knoll to have an afternoon nap!
Daisy nurses her babies and attempts to get them to lay down on the knoll to have an afternoon nap!

© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


43 thoughts on “Picnic On The Knoll

  1. “I thought about how I could not imagine myself just sitting somewhere for three, solid hours.” You know, I was thinking this exact thing the other day as I watched the fawn sleeping in our woods. She lay in the same spot all day long, basically doing nothing. Of course she slept some of the time, but when awake she’d simply sniff the air or watch the squirrels and chipmunks running around near her. I thought about how human babies never stop moving once they figure out how to crawl, yet this fawn was disciplined enough to stay put, just where her mama told her to wait. The animals continue to teach me things, just as you do.
    (I like “Dancer” — I was wondering what name you’d chosen for the second one.)

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    1. Hi Kim! Dancer suits this… I think he’s a fella, but of course we won’t know for a while. He’s a dancer alright and he’s not afraid of FD and me! Today twice he came right up to me! Heidi is still very much a girl who is excellent at hiding.

      I wondered how your day went that day watching the fawn. It’s a rare moment to just be able to observe them while they’re bedded down, waiting for mama to come and nurse. It was an exceptional day for you!

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    1. Yes Sue, in fact FD and I saw her tonight. She’s been showing up alone the last two nights. Daisy is still running her off, but Spirit keeps trying her. I don’t like Daisy running Spirit off, but it’s the way of deer. I understand that in time Spirit will be allowed to hang with Daisy. I think it’s just while the little ones are so young that she’s not welcome. It has to be a confusing time for Spirit.

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    1. Hi Sandy! Yes, and I think at this time in my life I really needed to learn from her calm nature… and maybe a little about her ferocious “fighting” nature too!

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  2. Just wonderful, magical indeed. We learn so much when we sit qiuetly and just listen. What a glorious time that must have been for you.. c

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    1. Thank you Cecilia. Yes, if only I could stop my ego from reminding me and harping on how I’ve let my chores go and nothing is getting done! I get the feeling none of that “work” will really matter in the end!

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  3. Hi guys, it’s been forever but I have had computer problems, lotsa work facing me on our 16 acres of land, and I’m also taking a blues guitar course (visions self as 64 year old Ronnie Rock-Star) via a DVD course. Glad to see that everything is hunky-dory with the deer family. I’d better go as my computer is barely cooperating but liable to go batty anytime. I am still alive!

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne! Daisy has quite an audience. It’s interesting for me to note the changes in Daisy since last year. We are all learning… Daisy is a calm and patient teacher.

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  4. Lovely post. I hope, some day, I can get such beautiful shots. We are planning a trip to Sikkim in India’s North East – one of the most scenic places on the planet – next month, which will hopefully give me that opportunity!

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  5. Dancer is bigger than Heidi and I get the feeling that Dancer might be a male. They are both drop dead gorgeous though and it is SO beautiful on your property! Obviously the heat of summer hasn’t turned everything to dust. Does it look like that all summer long? Lovely shots of a most protective mum and her two gorgeous babies by a wonderful grandma. More shots for the granny brag book methinks 🙂

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    1. Yes, we think Dancer is a boy. He’s very similar in markings and size as Rowdy was. He’s tough too. We’ve had a LOT of trouble yesterday and today with Daisy thinking Dancer should be able to jump fences like she does. Poor Dancer is beat up around one eye and has some wounds from hitting the fences trying to jump to get to Daisy. We’ve opened the fence in two spots but Daisy isn’t using them. Very frustrating!

      We have been lucky to get a lot of rain this year. Normally, everything is brown and shriveled up by now! The woods are lush and green and my garden is HUGE! Well of course I’m a proud granny. My grandkids might be weird but they’re the cutest around! 😀 You’ve got me pegged for sure!

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      1. 😉 Glad you have been getting the rain to keep your property nice and green and lush and great for deer as well. Obviously Daisy has poor Dancer in training as again, she isn’t going to lose this one so the poor little guy is going to have to learn how to jump HIGH in order to keep his mamma happy…what a task-master Daisy is becoming! 😉

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  6. I was thinking about how nice it must be for a new mom to have 3 hours in one place to relax .. to not fear … to be a little less on guard!

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  7. Hi! I’m Caitlin and I come from a small town in Scotland and I absolutely LOVE your blog. Hearing about life in America, a place I’ve always wanted to visit- is amazing. I’m a complete blogging newbie and your blog has given me so much inspiration!

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    1. Well, thank you Caitlin! What a lovely compliment! I feel it won’t be any time before you are connecting with other bloggers who inspire you. In the beginning it seemed so overwhelming, but I had many people encourage me along the way, and before long I had so much I wanted to write, but not so much time to dedicate to writing! My blog ends up being about nature most of the time, but I do travel, cook, indulge in photography, and philosophize a litte bit too! I’m so happy to meet you! I will check out your blog soon, my friend! ~ Lori

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  8. Thank you so much- that is what I hope that I’ll start to get the hang of it soon. Yes exactly, its so much to learn! Your blog is definitely one of my most favourites 🙂 that would mean a lot- thank you!

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