I awoke to rumbles of thunder early this morning. My first thought was of a rug I had left outdoors on the back porch railing to dry in the sun the day before. I dashed outside quickly, thinking I might manage to save the rug from getting soaked, but it was already too late. The dripping rug, wet walkways, and water puddles out in the yard made it evident that the rain had been falling throughout the night, and I had just slept right through it. As I stepped inside to check the weather radar online, I realized the thunder that awakened me was a warning of a severe storm that was now right on top of us! And , as I tried to rush our little house dogs outside to do their bathroom business quickly, I was, of course, again too late. The trees out front were swaying crazily, and big drops of rain were pelting down on the front lawn, and soon began to hammer down in sheets. Obviously, the dogs were going to have to wait. Moving to the back porch, I peered out into the dim morning light. What I observed was simply an experience of the senses – the sound of heavy rain, flashes of lightning, and claps of thunder. I drew in the lovely scent of rain and earth, while the mist off the rain whirled onto the back porch. Most people, I thought, (like my husband, FD) were still tucked in their beds and were missing this. What a shame!
It was more than an hour before I was able to let the dogs out. The skies were still overcast and the radar looked as if we might have the opportunity for more rain. I brewed a second cup of coffee, while a sleepy-eyed FD emerged from the bedroom. Just as I passed by the back door on my way to the computer room, I noticed Daisy deer having a nibble down at the corn feeder! I quickly donned my rubber boots and scurried down the slope as fast as I could. It had been a long time since I had seen her, so I was relieved to see that she looked good. Most of her summer coat was completely shed, and her brown, winter coat was coming in sleek and soft. I did not find any parasites or wounds to pick at. For once, Daisy did not need my “mutual grooming” skills. Still, I petted her, even though she was very wet, and I scratched all around her face and ears, which she seemed to enjoy. But Daisy disappeared before I managed to fetch the camera. This was often the case with any wild animal. In just a few seconds, they could vanish.
After breakfast, I set out to iron FD’s clothes for the coming work week. Purposefully, I set my ironing board in front of the sliding glass doors that look out to the back porch and the woodland area below the slope behind our home. Many times, I spot wildlife down below while I am ironing, and this morning was no different. Only it happened that I knew the critter on the other side of the glass. It was Punkin, the orphaned female squirrel that we took in more than a year ago. Punkin had a habit of visiting (translated – “hanging out”) on rainy days, so I wasn’t too surprised to see her staring at me through the glass doors. Of course I knew it was not me she wanted to see. She was merely hoping one of the people would bring some pecans out for her.
Seeing Punkin, I grabbed the camera but it was impossible to get decent photographs of her as she zoomed around the porch, excited that someone had come to her beckoning. Though a bit exuberant at first, Punkin is gentle when she takes a pecan, but she’s just as wild as can be about her exit. She’s cautious and quick and, often able to vanish before I could catch up to her to photograph her burying her pecan. Several times I tried, but it was always as if she had gone into stealth mode and disappeared!
Of course the rain never manages to keep the hummingbirds away either. Most of our regular visitors have migrated, but there are still a few hummingbirds hitting the feeders. I took time to practice technique capturing them in flight, but it was to no avail. I did manage to get a couple of good shots here and there while my subject was perched in the Coral Honeysuckle.
The skies were still overcast and a few sprinkles were falling when Buddy the squirrel showed up. Buddy and his sister Francesca were orphaned this spring when we cut down a “widow maker” tree near mom’s garden. Both Buddy and Francesca have been on their own since early July, with Francesca taking off to the woods almost immediately, while Buddy seemed to establish his own territory nearer our house. We did not see him every day, but he occasionally stopped by the back porch, or we might see him down with Daisy at the corn feeder, having a nibble of her dropped corn.
Having a visit from a few of our wild “kids” on a rainy day, reminds me of my childhood days. Being farm people, rain was almost always welcomed. Dad took advantage of those days, when the fields were too wet to work, for doing other chores. During these times, he managed house repairs or tinkered with mechanical problems on one of the tractors. But more times than not, the rain seemed to bring about a more kicked-back and relaxed atmosphere. Sometimes we went to spend an afternoon with our grandparents, and often a neighbor would come over to chat, or some of my parent’s friends would stop by to shoot the breeze. Back then, rainy days seemed to bring out the best in folks. And just maybe it is the same with nature. For sure, Punkin and Buddy found it to be a good time to check on the old parents – and to see if they might score a few pecans (or peanuts) to stash away for winter!
© 2015 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…