The month of May is usually quite busy around The Ten Acre Ranch. I am continually planting and weeding in the gardens. The flower beds also need attention and I usually add more variety to them, though I say every year that I am done planting more flowers. Then I see hummingbirds, butterflies, and bumble bees flying around and I think they need more sources of nectar, so I plant more hummingbird- and insect-friendly plants. And then, mowing really kicks into gear in April and May. FD and I do a lot of shrub and tree trimming around this time as well. And, we were finally able to afford a storm shelter to keep us safe during tornado season, so there was work to do to get ready for installation. And of course, the pool needed to be opened and readied for the summer season. As one can see, we are never lacking for work to do in the spring.
Spring months also bring babies to the woodlands. We have seen lots of baby squirrels, birds, and foxes in the woods and around the house this year. For these new arrivals, there are all sorts of flying lessons, hunting lessons, and survival training going on. And of course there is our resident yard deer, Daisy, who comes back each year to have her babies in the area. In fact, she showed up just last evening, with a very full udder. I suspect she had her babies last night – in the rain, as usual! All four years she has delivered babies, her twin fawns have come in the rain.
With all the work that spring brings, the last thing I needed was an illness or physical impairment. But more than a month ago, I noticed a problem with my right shoulder. There were moments the pain in the shoulder and collar bone area was excruciating, but I kept working despite the discomfort. A couple of weeks later, my right leg became numb at times. I had to think about lifting my leg so my foot would not drag. Part of me was scared maybe I had a mini stroke. I have always held stroke and heart attack thoughts in the back of my mind, since my family history has strong connections with both! My Dad died of a stroke at the age of sixty-four. Fortunately, my symptoms turned out to be a problem with a pinched nerve in my spine. It took time and patience and not doing my usual chores and work to get things healed up. But as soon as I started feeling better, of course, I blew off the “lay low” plan and got back to my usual fast pace and hard work.
I should have known the Universe would conspire to make sure I took better care of myself when, just last week, I got a call from the game warden. He had a doe fawn who someone had reported to be walking along a fence line along a highway near a small town. Answering this call, the local police picked her up and took her to the local animal control shelter which I assume, in that small town, is very rudimentary housing for stray dogs and cats. When she first arrived, someone at the animal control facility tried feeding her cows milk which she, fortunately, rejected. They were, however, just beginning to have some luck with goat’s milk when the game warden was finally able to pick her up. By the time he delivered her to us, it was apparent she was very hungry and that no one had known to help her potty in almost two days.
With that introduction, I would like you all to meet miss Emma. She is a very curious girl. She is an investigator – everything gets a thorough sniff with her wet nose! She sucks down her formula in record time and stomps her front hooves while she is at it! Like all babies, she likes to sleep most of the time, but she is also known to kick up her hooves and do a little scampering around the living room carpet. Likely, she will be going to the barn by this weekend, as she is already showing signs of being a big girl by occasionally peeing on her own. That is not a problem right now since she is still small and tends to pee only where she is laying. I already have a lot of washable pee pads for our aging dogs around the house, and have strategically located others where miss Emma likes to nap. But as the weeks go by, she will begin squatting wherever she pleases… and, like cows, deer can pee buckets at a time!
It was May 29, 2011 when we found orphaned Daisy deer, and I was in the middle of a personal crises. I had been on overload with anger and hurt and my coping skill was throwing myself into hard work. Taking on Daisy forced me to change the path I was on. She needed a mama and I needed to slow down, rest, and take better care of myself. There is something about nurturing another that also helps us get in touch with the nurturing we need as well. I know in the weeks and months to come, I will be out there sitting in the grass with Emma, reading a book or catching a little nap, just like I did with Daisy. I know I will have her in the garden with me – she will be kicking up her heels or maybe resting, while I weed or harvest vegetables. And, I am sure she’ll help me eat some of what we pick! Most of all though, I know I will have the joy of becoming a deer mother again – the alert being that watches over and protects her little one. The mother who notices and cherishes all the little things of sickness, well-being, and personality. And, maybe this time, I will be an even better deer mother, having had the blessing of instruction and wisdom from observing my sweet Daisy deer for the last five years…
© 2016 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…