If Nature Celebrated Valentines Day

When Daisy deer was just a wee fawn, I did not yet have an understanding of the influence pure instinct had on so many of her actions and mannerisms. Often, I reveled in the moments when she gently licked my arms and neck, or the times she would join me, close by my side while I worked. In my human way of thinking, I felt this was her way of showing love. But, when she began raising her own fawns, I realized her gentle licking was actually an act of mutual grooming… a bonding time between mother and baby. Not only does mutual grooming serve the purpose of bathing in areas that each could not mange by themselves, it also helps to imprint individual scent.

Spirit begins the process of mutual grooming, starting with Daisy's eyes.
Spirit begins the process of mutual grooming, starting with Daisy’s eyes.
Spirit moves to the chin and neck areas.
Spirit moves to the chin and neck areas.
Spirit concentrates on a bare patch area of skin near Daisy's mouth. To me it appeared to be some kind of insect bite. Saliva also has medicinal qualities, somewhat like an antibiotic.
Spirit concentrates on a bare patch area of skin near Daisy’s mouth. To me it appeared to be some kind of insect bite. Saliva also has medicinal qualities, somewhat like an antibiotic (See my post Daisy’s Deer Medicine).
Notice the roughness of Daisy's hair? Spirit has done a thorough job of grooming her mama.
Notice the roughness of Daisy’s hair? Spirit has done a thorough job of grooming her mama.

Yesterday morning, I was fortunate to follow Daisy and Spirit around the woodlands of our immediate area. Several times, Spirit walked close to Daisy and began the mutual grooming process. Though I had many obstructions to dodge with my camera lens in the depth of the woodlands, I still managed to capture many good photographs depicting the bonding ritual in every bit of its tenderness and caring.

Daisy and Spirit_9838 Daisy and Spirit_9840 Daisy and Spirit_9842 Daisy and Spirit_9847 Daisy and Spirit_9848

I wish you all the happiness and caring that comes with this special day – earmarked by humans as a day for expressing love. For all of us, this should be more than just a gesture to spouse or family… love reaches far beyond that with friendships and masses of people… and yes, with Nature too. Let this Valentine’s Day, as we should with all days, be about a connection of open hearts and loving acts of gentleness and kindness.

© 2015 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


53 thoughts on “If Nature Celebrated Valentines Day

    1. I think that’s one of the nicest things a friend has ever said to me! 🙂 I’m sending a big hairy hug your way (sheesh, you are going to have bitter cold weather the next days and a hair coat like a deer would be great!) and gobs and oodles of love your way! Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear deer friend!

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  1. I just read your first sentence and I do believe that what we call ‘love’ is in reality, to most of nature, mutual inclusion. Daisy grooming you and wanting to be close was her way of saying “I am safe here, you and I belong together, we are a very small herd”. Whether it can be seen as pragmatically as “bonding, spreading a common scent and remaining close because there is safety in numbers”, it also comes part and parcel with the protection of the group and daisy would most probably defend you Lori in a stand off. You are part of them, they are part of you and they know it. ‘Love’ is much MUCH deeper and broader than flowers and chocolates and hype and is fundamental to our existence. We might be able to survive without flowers and chocolates but life is very tough without a group or two to belong to and be mutually inclusive with. Hows that for a consumer free report on nature’s valentines day? 😉

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    1. That was beautifully said, Fran. I am hoping this spring that I will be able to follow the deer more, doing more photography and observing them. Daisy has been receptive to me following her and Spirit, though at times that has proven quite an endeavor… if only I had springy legs and those little hooves! What an oaf I am… the weird Mom. I don’t think Daisy cares. Spirit gives me a look every so often (clumsy and noisy in the woods), but Daisy stands near me regardless… something I love very much.

      You know I love your view of life. You are just as immersed in nature and the environment as I am! We’re a couple of nature weirdos! 🙂

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      1. I love being a nature weirdo. It makes me incredibly happy. Much more fun and rewarding than being a success in human society ;). I can’t wait to read your book Lori 🙂

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          1. It’s more about the process at the moment, getting it right with how you have experienced everything and your photographs are going to be centre stage to illustrate your beautiful relationship with Daisy. When you are personally engaged with what you are writing about it makes it both exciting and easier to write I think and your special relationship with Daisy will make a wonderful book/story 🙂

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          2. Oh I hope so Fran! I have thousands of photos… and the great thing is the photographs document every aspect of my journey with her. Writing about the experience is a lot more emotional than I thought it would be. It was a very difficult time in my life.. but oh, how that little deer was the beginning of my journey to letting go of pain and living in the moment. Nature is so healing. 🙂

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  2. Your photos are so wonderful. On a couple of these, you can see every hair on Daisy’s face and head. The loving way the photos are taken show just how much you love your girls, Daisy and Spirit.

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    1. Hi Susan! I could photograph Daisy and Spirit all day long. I’m so happy they let me tag along with them. I am also thankful I’m not so busy this time of year. What a joy to be with them. 🙂

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  3. Lori, your photos and lovely words are perfect for this day. I had forgotten that it is Valentine’s Day until my son texted me to say, ” I love you Mama.”

    The weather here, today, is perfect. About 77 degrees and sunny. I hope your weather is nice too. I really liked your post today.

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne! The weather was phenomenal here too! FD and I worked in the woods cleaning up downed timber. We did not see Daisy and Spirit (though we hoped we would) but we did see Mr. Gambini and Punkin. They are enjoying the warm weather too. And they LOVE being in the trees. For almost a week now they’ve been sleeping out in the woods.

      What a lovely sentiment from your son. It’s a wonderful thing to be remembered… and to be loved! 🙂

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  4. Like Kim commented, I’d also give you some grooming if we were deer! What lovely pictures of your girls and very appropriate to share on Valentine’s Day. Your closing words were beautiful and I have to agree. Reaching out to others in loving, giving ways is something to do every day and not only with a best friend. If we lived like that the world would be a far kinder and productive place. Beautiful words and pictures again, Lori. You are a wise and caring woman. X

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    1. Jane, what a lovely thing to say. Now I’m beginning to think I would be as loved as Daisy is in that photograph where her hair was all licked in different directions!! Ha ha! The sentiment is mutual Jane. I think of you fondly. So many people here – we are a herd in a sense. Like-minded people who are about caring and kindness… and we love and care for nature.

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  5. A very sweet post, Lori. You share things with us that we would not see ourselves and your insights are informative as well as introspective. Thank you.

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    1. Oh thank you! It was a wonderful day (70 degrees here!) and Daisy and Spirit are with a large herd tonight… we’ve seen lots of deer in the canyon feeding area this evening. Perhaps they’re filling up on corn and deer feed since the weather is to turn blustery and icy tomorrow!

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      1. It is supposed to be some snow moving in tonight into tomorrow. I am not really ready for it, but what can you do about it. I have had such a terrible time adjusting to the cold this year, I am ready for spring. Have a good Sunday. 🙂 afternoon.

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        1. I grew up in Nebraska, and never liked the cold at all. Now I wonder if I moved far enough south! Oklahoma can still get some very cold winters – especially in the months of January and February. Hopefully spring is just around the corner for all of us! 🙂 I hope your afternoon was wonderful!

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          1. It seems the cold and snow is invading everywhere this year. Even in places you don’t think about getting snow and cold. And then there is the places just getting bombarded with more snow than you could want in a whole winter.

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  6. This is such a well-written piece. The pictures are so real and alive, as usual. We humans do so much harm to ourselves throughout the year, a few sweet nothings on Valentines Day make for nothing at all. Animals are so much more genuine and affectionate. Food for thought!

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    1. Thank you, Mandeep. Your comments are always so thoughtful. Many of your blog posts make me well aware of the harm we humans do to ourselves and our fellow man. The world needs continual acts of kindness, caring and love in order to heal.

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  7. What a lovely Valentine message … from you, and from Daisy and Spirit.
    I thought of you early this morning as I looked out the window and saw 3 deer wander across my back porch, just 10 feet from my door. Camera no where near by though 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. I always think to myself when I see something beautiful and I don’t have my camera nearby, that the moment was meant to be mine to enjoy. What a wonderful morning scene to have these magnificent, yet gentle and graceful creatures show themselves to you at close proximity. It’s almost magical! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Audrey. Valentine’s Day was a smashing success here… it was nearly eighty degrees outside so it was a work day in the woods (which FD and I both enjoy), and then a lovely dinner at the local winery (great little spot out in the country nestled in the hills) that evening. I hope yours was lovely too! 🙂

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  8. I know this is not nearly as beautiful as a deer but when I sit down, Boo lies at my feet and very gently pulls any grass burrs, or pieces of hay off my socks. He gives them a proper clean up before going to sleep there. he is grooming me!.. c

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    1. Boo is clearly the most unusual ranch dog I’ve ever known! What a nurturing soul he is! Isn’t it lovely how animals bring us into their world? And if we have that connection with them we understand the unspoken or we have insight…the love, caring and nurturing that comes from all life sources. You and I are fortunate to have special relationships with animals. 🙂

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  9. A beautiful post, Big Sister! I love all the pics, they are so endearing! I remember you talking of the deer grooming each other, but seeing it in pictures warms my heart all the more!!

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  10. I too am amazed when Sushi (my cat) vigorously licks and grooms himself meticulously. He will do it with me nearby, which I interpret as trusting me. After he is done, he usually has a contented look on his face as if to say, Good Job! BTW, I have read when your cat licks you, they are kisses….I do not know how this was determined but I like the idea! Great post Lori…Daisy and Spirit have many friends! Judy

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    1. Hi Judy! I’m with you, I like the idea that our pets love us and licking is their way of showing love, but even if it isn’t, and they think we need grooming, I’m fine with that too! 🙂

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  11. This is such a sweet series of photos. So peaceful and soothing. A way to really get to know – and remember every little thing about the other.
    When women never cut their hair and wore it long. There were those 100 hair brush strokes among sisters/mothers/daughters – it sort of reminds me of that habit. Maybe a shame all that no longer done ( but a long forgotten ritual need?)
    Nice post

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    1. What a lovely comment! About the hair brushing -you’re correct! It would have been that kind of caring and grooming, done with love. I remember my grandmother talking about her and her mother and sister brushing each other’s hair. The mutual grooming I’ve witnessed with Daisy and Spirit is simply beautiful.

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