A Splashing Good Time

It was just a couple of weeks ago that our area of Oklahoma was drenched with nearly three inches of rain in a twenty-four hour period. I always find spring an exciting time of year, when balmy, warm days ignite unstable conditions and severe weather. I thought of Emma and Ronnie deer that evening as lightning flashed through the skies and loud claps of thunder seemed to rock the earth. This was their first major storm since they were released to the wild. Rain pelted down in sheets at times, and tiny pellets of hail could be heard hitting the roof. The drains at the top of the slope near our house could not funnel water down to the canyon fast enough, and water quickly surrounded the house like a moat. Finally at daylight, the rain had dwindled to a light drizzle, and by mid morning the moisture subsided. Overcast skies hung about the rest of the day, but the temperatures were just right for a lovely walk in the orchard.

When I found Emma and Ronnie, they were mostly dry, except for a few inches up from their hooves, where it was apparent they had been walking in puddles created from depressions in the yard and pasture. I wondered where they had found shelter during the night hours and how they had managed in the night storm? Did the clap of thunder and the bright lightning bother them like it did me? Running my hands down into Emma’s neck hair, I felt warmth and she was dry. It was simply amazing to me how much insulation their hair provided, and how a quick shake could send thousands of water droplets flying, while allowing for a quick dry of the coat. Deer were certainly built for the conditions they lived in!

Though I had walked the pecan orchard as a visitor for many years while traveling through on my way to the river, I never paid much attention to it on the whole. Until we purchased it last fall, I had only viewed it superficially I suppose. But now that I felt more of a responsibility and duty to oversee it and manage it as somewhat of a sanctuary for wildlife, I looked upon it with fresh eyes. My goal this morning after the rain, was to walk around with Emma and Ronnie leading the way, and to discover how this very nourishing rain had changed the landscape of the orchard. What I discovered were waterways running north and south through the tree rows. I wondered if this was planned by the original owners? Of course the slough was longer, deeper and wider than it had been just the week before. Rain water continued to trickle down small tributaries from the south fence line of the property. Large rafts of debris – sticks, weeds, dirt and tree bark – lay soggily alongside these trickling waterways. Evidence of rushing water could be found along every row of trees. The area truly looked like a swamp or wetlands of some sort.

Ronnie makes bubbles while hoofing at the water.
Ronnie makes bubbles while hoofing at the water.
Ronnie spars an old stump. He's only got one antler these days... the other dropped off.
Ronnie spars an old stump. He’s only got one antler these days… the other dropped off.
Emma kicks up her hooves!
Emma kicks up her hooves!
Emma takes off running!
Emma takes off running!
Ronnie watches Emma get a little silly in the water.
Ronnie watches Emma get a little silly in the water.
Emma_8669
Emma is exhausted after a lot of leaping, running and kicking up her hooves!
Ronnie is the first to trot around in the slough.
Ronnie is the first to trot around in the slough.
Emma and Ronnie poke around in the swampy willow tree area of the orchard.
Emma and Ronnie poke around in the swampy willow tree patch in the orchard.

My real joy was watching Emma and Ronnie run and jump in the puddles that morning. They hoofed at the water, creating foamy bubbles, and they dipped their heads down sideways. I wondered if they could see their reflections? For a long time they poked along in shallow water heading south to the slough, jumping and leaping along the way. Then all at once, Ronnie broke into a fast run. I realized how magnificently athletic he had become since his release in early February. He was muscular and strong. His legs were powerful and precise. I stood in utter amazement as he ran at top speed, leaping over the waterways, and pivoting sharply around trees while whizzing right past me! I remained mesmerized by Ronnie’s antics until Emma distracted me with her nibbling on my jacket pockets, chewing on my jacket zipper and attempting to lick my iPhone!

I shall continue to enjoy these spring walks with Emma and Ronnie in the woodlands and remember these days of vim and vigor, just as I remember how it was for Daisy in her youth, and for that of her fawns.  It is a reminder to me that joy can be wrought of the most simple things… like a splashing good time after the first spring rain!

Ronnie Running_8717

© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


25 thoughts on “A Splashing Good Time

  1. I wondered how you all fared when I heard about the big rain you had in that part of the world. Lots of tornados across the country a couple of days ago too. The kids seem to be doing well! Did Ronnie lose his one horn in nature taking its course? Best to you all.

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    1. Hello Ardys! Ronnie lost the smaller antler first. That was the one that originally got knocked loose when those kids scared the deer – but it welded back on to the pedicile and just didn’t grow any longer. And just a couple of days ago the longer, second antler fell off. FD hoped to find one of them, but that’s like looking for a needle in a haystack! Both of the kids are doing fantastic.
      Our weather has not been severe – it’s all been east of us. I think Cecilia’s neck of the woods had some tornado risk. It is that time of year, and thankfully we have a storm shelter now!

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        1. Ha ha! I thought of that actually! I think FD’s a bit disappointed, but gosh it would be a miracle to find one of them. I really did look in all of Ronnie’s resting spots and along some of the fence lines. A rodent has probably run off with them by now anyway.

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  2. Lori, the videos are entertaining. Ronnie and Emmie are robust and so happy. They seemed to be showing off for their mama, 🙂 The running and romping reminded me of young Labradors having a splashing good time and running at break neck speed. I know you must be savoring this time with them while being able to film their antics. I think this is remarkable coverage showing the actions of playfulness. They are much like dogs and children.

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    1. You are right Yvonne, about Emma and Ronnie not being so different than any other youngsters. I have watched Daisy with her fawns and probably at a month of age they are allowed to run like that (only not so far away) so imagine how wonderful it must feel for these two to run off so much pent up energy from spending eight months in a pen? I see them run like this most days and it’s such a delight. I am so thankful for the iPhone – that it does such a good job recording. The audio is very good too.

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  3. My wife was watching people on television today involved with animal rehabilitation… and one of the animals was a young deer. I talked to Marla, my wife, about my wondering how Emma and Ronnie were doing. Then, tonight, we see your posting! They sure look like they are doing great! Ronnie is as fast as lightning! They are so sweet and playful! Totally awesome creatures! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Tom. They really are entertaining and I find myself in awe of those legs! And their personalities are so very different. Ronnie is as you would expect a male deer to be, very calm, cautious, is just fine being alone, and enjoys his naps. Emma is on the go, curious, frets when Ronnie disappears, and follows me everywhere. They are beginning to lose their winter coats. Soon, both will be sporting red summer coats! 🙂

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  4. It’s super to watch them run and play. Thnx so much for including the videos!

    You have much warmer weather right now than I do in CT. Tonight will hit 8 degrees – we’re in a cold snap after hitting 65 in the middle of last week.​

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    1. You are welcome, Gail. We are enjoying a warm spring, but we sure could use more rain. I am a little disappointed that the last two nights we had a freeze… and of course my fruit trees all have blossoms, so that means no fruit crop again. 😦

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  5. It is really delightful to see them romp and run. They are really growing into themselves and the world.
    (Read on Ci’s blog you had fallen. Hope you are recovering well. The deer would miss you hanging out with them…and you know how it is with kids, enjoy it while you can as sooner or later they’d rather hoof out on their own – haha)

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    1. Yes, those two move on pretty quickly if I do not catch them out first thing in the morning. They do still come around the place at least three times a day so I don’t usually miss them. I did take a nasty fall, but with a couple of days rest, I’m back to my usual work with no ill effects. I still can’t believe I didn’t break my ankle!

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  6. I absolutely LOVED these videos, Lori. Emma and Ronnie are doing great, and it’s wonderful to see them leaping and running for the sheer joy of it. Yesterday I was searching YouTube for relaxing videos of nature and I just realized that I could use these instead! I was sitting here with my cat Sam on my chest as I watched Ronnie making big circles around the orchard, and I could feel my body relax and my breathing slow down. Such a peaceful feeling. Thanks so much for sharing these glimpses into their lives. 🙂

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  7. Lovely post as usual. Great reading. It’s as if the “kids” are entertaining their parents :).
    I do miss the rains back home but in the last few weeks, we’ve had a real drenching here in Bahrain. Large “ponds” can still be seen along major highways and the neighbourhoods. This region cannot handle such weather and there’s no infrastructure to do so since it rarely happens, anyway. I’m not complaining, though!

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    1. It sounds like rain is a novelty there, a bit like snow is a novelty here in the southern US. I am like you, I enjoy these rare conditions when they happen. Life moves on regardless and we deal with it. We may as well enjoy the best of it! 🙂

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