Monday, August 22, 2011

those aren't jr. mints...and other observations

Having been a homeowner for the past six years I, mistakenly, thought I had learned a lot. Sure, I can unclog a drain, tighten a doorknob, paint a wall, and even manage to grow some veggies in a tiny urban garden. But now, in our new abode, I am learning something new about being a homeowner every day. And being a homeowner with almost an acre is so fabulous and overwhelming all at the same time. It's a huge adjustment, one I've been craving mind you, to go from 1/10th of an acre to nearly an acre. There's a lot of grass to cut. There are a lot of bushes to trim, there are a lot of weeds to pull. And next year when we have our first spring in this house I am sure, or at least I'm hoping, there will be many flowers popping up everywhere. But now, right now, this wonderful summer, we are enjoying the many mornings and evenings when we can gather around the dining room window or the family room door and watch in awe as a family of deer enjoy the coolness of the shade in our back yard. First we saw a single fawn, then another...twin fawns I believe.
I could not resist taking pictures but I needed to get closer. I slowly and very quietly walked through our back yard with camera at the ready and my own two little ones right beside me. The fawns noticed us but didn't run. In fact, when the second fawn saw us from behind the butterfly bush he made his way closer to us. It seemed as though he was just as interested in us as we were in him. I got a few great shots then we slowly made our way back to the patio. Soon after we were safely away a doe made her way into the yard. They enjoyed munching on the grass and the fallen pears from our tree. Then to our surprise a buck came out of the woods and joined them. Oh, what a sight to see! They grazed happily together checking on our location periodically.
The fawns stayed close together the whole time while the adults meandered into the neighbors yard. Then the fawns took off running toward the back of our yard. Their little while tails were not up in fear, they were running for fun. Then I saw her. Another doe. Their mom.
They ran to her and she nudged them with her nose then they both stood and nursed at the same time. It was really quite amazing. The five deer continued to enjoy the early evening shade...then in an instant they were gone. They ran straight for the woods. Hmmmm...the other neighbor let her dog outside and they didn't want to have anything to do with him.
We have even discovered a visiting groundhog. He's quite large...probably from the pears he's been eating. It is fun to watch him hold a pear with his little hands paws front feet and eat it like corn on the cob. We did notice him find an opening in our neighbors garden fence. Oh, he's a sneaky one.
So yes, this summer we have been enjoying the wildlife that has made our back yard their evening haven. And yes, when we make our way around the yard we need to be careful where we step because once you get close to the pear tree...well, let's just say, those aren't jr. mints on the ground. And although the animals are beautiful and wonderful to observe, I must say that next year when I have a garden of my own and more fruit trees and some berry bushes, I might not be so excited to see our woodland friends every evening. For now though, we'll soak it in, capture it on film, learn about it in books, and love every minute of it.


Anonymous said...

Wow that is a whole family! They are beautiful. Good luck with the garden next year. Love Big G

Yarny Days said...

Wow. How nice! What a great backyard!

Adrienne said...

I hear ya - those are NOT jr. mints. We had the same 'deposits' in our back yard b/c of our apple tree ... we put up a 6 ft fence and now we collect the fallen apples and throw them over the fence to feed the wildlife. Well, I should correct that - to feed the deer. The skunk family and ground hog family (did you know they could climb trees - uh huh) dine quite well despite the fence.