As consciousness began to creep in this morning, I felt deeply renewed and sated from a restful night of sleep. Of course, this only made me want to remain curled up in the comfort of blankets and darkness of the room. But my nagging friend, “Responsibility” kept chiming in my head, “That poor orphaned squirrel has been without food for nine hours, and those three little dogs have been holding their bladders for eight hours. You need to get up! Get up!” Yeah, well, I did not want to get up! Why did it always have to be me to get up early and get everyone taken care of? Why was I always the breakfast wench each day? Oh well, c’est la vie…
Finally up and at ’em, I got the dogs fixed up and the squirrel formula prepared. While Punkin’s formula was warming, I quickly checked my email and texts. My sister Jules was on her way home from working the night shift at a rural hospital in Nebraska, and had text-messaged me to see if I was up yet. So I called her to keep her company on her drive home from work. While we visited, I fed Punkin, our orphaned squirrel, on the back porch. Punkin crawled all over me while I talked to Jules. It tickled for the most part, but sometimes those razor-sharp claws really dug in!
After I put Punkin back in her little cage, I happened to notice Daisy and her twins, along with another doe and her fawn, eating down at the feeder. I was just remarking to Jules how beautiful it was on the back porch this morning, in the company of all of these amazing deer, when… I thought I saw a fourth, smaller fawn! I counted again. Yes! There were four fawns and I knew the smaller one had to be Spirit’s baby! At this point, Jules knew what was coming next – we have had this conversation many times. I tell her I have to get the camera, and she responds with, “Oh, you go ahead and go down with the deer. I’m just about home anyway.”
I knew FD, who was still slumbering, would not want to miss seeing Spirit’s fawn, so I ran to the bedroom and rousted him up. I did not waste time. I grabbed the camera and quickly as I could, ventured back outside.
Down below, Daisy was on a rampage. I watched her hoof off the other big doe and her fawn. As she was sending them off into the woods, Daisy’s fawn, Heidi walked over to Spirit’s fawn and they touched noses. All of a sudden, Spirit showed up, gently hoofing at her baby in order to separate it from Heidi. Pretty soon, Daisy arrived back at the scene with her ears laid back and charging at both Spirit and the baby fawn! Heidi and Dancer stayed where they were, both alertly observing their mother. I snapped a few photos but, unfortunately, I was not in a good position to see the baby very well.
Daisy’s charge sent Spirit and her baby down the buggy trail to the west, while Daisy returned to the feeding area. After nibbling a little more corn from the feeder, Daisy, Dancer, and Heidi joined the big doe and her fawn, who had moved to watch the ruckus from a safe distance in the pecan orchard nearby. Once the scene around the feeders had cleared, FD and I walked down the slope and carefully headed west down the buggy path in hopes of seeing Spirit with her baby. Sure enough, we spotted both of them about seventy-five feet down the lane from us.
I did not manage any great photographs, as we did not wish to spook our new great-granddeer, nor did we wish to alienate Spirit by following her. Instead, we respectfully kept our distance behind them, speaking gently to Spirit to let her know it was us. The fawn stood at alert, looking straight at us, but did not bolt because its mamma, Spirit, was calm and not bothered by us. Soon, they both turned into the woods, weaving their way up to the top of a small hill that overlooks the entire canyon below. The foliage up the hill was too dense for us to follow quietly, so FD and I turned back to the house.
As I prepared breakfast and FD made coffee, I was grateful the morning had presented so much activity. Had I not risen early and gotten on with the day, I would have missed out on seeing Spirit’s fawn. Again and again, and yet once again, nature had shown me that very little is predictable… and that some of the best life events happen when you least expect them!
© 2014 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…