Friday, May 6, 2016

Once in a Lifetime


Fawn in Forest


Last week's rains were all but forgotten yesterday, with the air fresh and clear, the sky the color of a robin's egg, and a palette of greens overspreading the landscape. I found it impossible to stay indoors, so I called my friend, DiAnn, and we arranged to go for a walk near her home. Her neighborhood is quiet, with scattered houses and scant traffic, which, today, was a good thing.

DiAnn had just told me about her neighbors who feed the deer every day, when a rustling sound from the side of the road caught my attention. A tiny newborn fawn was there, moving slowly toward us on wobbly legs. I bent down and extended my hand, as I would for a dog, and the thin little creature came haltingly and sniffed my fingers. I think the fawn was too young for fear to guide its actions. Apparently, I wasn't the one it was looking for, because it moved slowly on into the road. 

Neither DiAnn nor I had a camera with us, so she volunteered to run home for the cameras (hers at her house and mine in my car) while I kept track of the fawn. I watched as it crossed the road and entered the woods. It made its way a few yards into the woods and laid down beside a small log.

Some might surmise that the fawn was lost, but it is natural for a doe to leave a newborn while she browses. Most often, the fawn will stay in place until the doe returns. Newborns have no scent, which gives them a certain protection against predators. 

DiAnn returned in her golf cart with our cameras, and I made my way, as quietly as I could over the dry leaves, to the place I had last seen the fawn. Sure enough, it was resting there, tucked into a ball, waiting for its Mother.

Any contact with a wild creature is amazing, but being so close to this small, vulnerable newborn melted our hearts. This may, quite likely, have been a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. For all three of us.

Maybe God gives us moments like this as gifts to remind us of His love and His care for all of creation. But in this place we call home, wonders are not limited to the once-in-a-lifetime variety. At various times of the year, we can see the Milky Way spilling across the sky, or watch snow pile into a white blanket. We can listen to a Mockingbird imitating the music around it, taste fresh clear water, touch a Wooly caterpillar, or smell the scent of wild spearmint, activated by our footsteps. 

And so, from this place in the universe, for one tiny fawn, and for everyday wonders, I lift my heart in thanks.


In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Job 10:12



For another fawn story, click here.


Linking with Saturday's Critters


Friday, April 29, 2016

Generation Z




This week, the newest generation of Eastern chipmunks have emerged from their dens, 
and they are discovering a bright and beautiful world.




From the time they are very small, they seem ready to work, eagerly digging on the patch of ground they call home...




...until they have replaced the green decor (so '80's) with some good Ozark dirt.




After all that redecorating, a pause by the air conditioner is in order.




 They are curious about everything; a blade of grass warrants investigation.




Their mother sent them to her favorite haunt from last summer, the raised garden, to make sure the grape tomato had been planted. (It had.) 
This year's plants are still small, and the young chipmunks thought it was a great place to play soccer, racing around the field like Mia Hamm.




Their cousins have a place on the other side of the house. 
After a stormy night, a timid peek out of one entrance to their fortress reveals downed sticks and oak tassels.


young eastern chipmunk


"Better grab my hard hat!"



Linking with Saturday's Critters


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Superheros


Don's sort of a sucker for superhero shows.  In 1990, there was a pretty silly one he watched called The Flash.  (OK, I watched it, too.)  The hero would put on a red suit, and then they'd show him in fast forward mode, doing heroic things.  (Actually, the best thing for me was watching him clean house.)




About the time we watched that show, we started seeing a chipmunk near the house, and he was so fast that we dubbed him Flash in honor of our superhero.  The next chipmunks to appear were indistinguishable from the first, so they became Flash, too.  Since then, several subsequent generations of chipmunks here have all had the same name.





For several days now,  a young Flash has been helping himself to snacks on our deck.  Most winters, chipmunks stay snugly tucked into their dens in the ground, and we don't see a sign of them for months.




Flash has been here on frigid mornings, his hair standing on end, and when long blue shadows cross the deck, he stuffs his cheeks 'til they can't hold another sunflower seed. Then he's off to hide them away, only to return and repeat the process.  It makes us wonder if someone raided his family's cache, and true to his superhero nature, he's out gathering provisions for the larder.

In the basement this morning,  a small mouse was caught in a trap.  My first instinct was to holler for Don to help.  Of course.  He loves dealing with wildlife.  The frightened mouse was scarcely damaged, so my own personal superhero took the poor thing outside and set it free. Who needs a red suit?  (Uh, don't let this get around.  My man and protector has his reputation to think about.)





At last report, the little mouse has been eating sunflower seeds, drinking from the birdbath, and hanging out in the woodpile, so we think he's ok.  And The Flash is still hard at work, saving the world from hunger.

Well, at least his family.



First published on January 1, 2014

Linking with Saturday's Critters




A couple of the little superheros have made their way on to a mug for Mother's Day, available from Zazzle:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Morning Glory


Sunrise over Bull Shoals Lake


Being married to a real estate broker has it's perks, and one of them is getting to see some really nice property. I often go along with Don to shoot pictures for his business, and this morning was among the best. This was shot from the deck of a beautiful home overlooking Bull Shoals Lake.

For more information, click here.

Linking with Skywatch Friday.