Saturday, November 20, 2021

Gun Season Day 1

Our mowed field has been home for a large group of female deer and their offspring for the past several weeks.  Two bucks are sometimes seen but the ladies are for the moment left alone.  Each evening found them grazing or resting on the ground.  Flattened grass indicated that they may have spent the night sleeping here.  Then for no apparent reason they were gone.  This morning the group was back.  This youngster is looking at Becky who is watching it just outside of our living room window.  This deer gives every appearance of knowing that we pose it no danger.  The worst thing that has happened here in the recent past is us opening the window and instructing the deer not to eat, step on, harm or disturb Becky's Prairie smoke plants.

This group of four, one is hidden behind the trunk of the Trumpet vine, is just outside of the kitchen door.  That planting area has been lost to the weeds so no encouragement to move away has been recently given.  They know that we are watching them but they were slow to go elsewhere.


This is the view outside of our kitchen window.  A third deer is feeding nearby but was just beyond the area pictured.  Once again the deer is making eye contact with Becky before returning to its frozen breakfast.

Clicking on this photo will make it larger allowing the two deer to be more easily seen.  I was able to walk clear across the garden with these deer watching me to get this picture.  My movements were slow and my gaze was directed away from the deer.  An attempt to get even closer sent these two running through the trees up the hill. 

We have yet to hear any gunshots this morning but there may well be movement as the hunters seek a prime location on this day one.  For now we will not venture to our acres to the south.  I have not welcomed trespassers in the past and see no reason to give them a free shot at me.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Outside My Window

When we were defining the floor plan for our new home, the placement of the rooms reflected our desire to live close to nature.  Only two rooms were placed in the south facing section.  Our master bedroom and the living room fill that space.  Each has a large three section window and a generous closet nearby.  The stairway to the basement completes the use of that half of our home.  At this time of year sunlight from the low in the sky sun and the heat that comes with it makes both rooms bright and warm.  Becky was sitting soaking up the sunlight when she saw our deer.


As is her custom, Becky always takes her coffee while looking out on our gardens and lawn.  On this first day of crossbow deer season, this impressive buck and his three lady friends were feeding on our plants.


Most of our deer visitors are ladies and their offspring.  They treat our gardens and lawn as their own are are slow to leave when they are feeding on plants that are special to us.  My wildly waving arms and strongest keep the students in line voice are slow to impact the herd's behavior.  Just yesterday a doe was munching on violets in the shade garden and would not move until I was uncomfortably close to her.  It was unclear just who was going to win that round.  Finally she moved a short distance toward the wild ground.  My continued shouts and waving arms eventually convinced the group that it was time to move on.

I do not hunt but knew that this beautiful male would move away when he first saw me.  Using the basement door, I was able to get close enough for two pictures.  Surprised that his initial movement was short, a second picture was snapped.  Now he and his three ladies have left the area.  Buck sightings are rare while their rub marks on our small trees are common.  This cold day is off to a great start.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Flat Fog Frost

My understanding, from an education that is now considered by some as completely socially unacceptable, is that Eskimos have perhaps hundreds of different words to describe snow.  We will soon enough coin some unique phrases ourselves to describe say car holding snow but for the moment morning frost marks the seasonable change.  Since the photo is looking downhill toward the river, the valley can be seen as full of river fog.  This fog coats every surface with a uniform coating of liquid.  When it freezes a totally uninteresting featureless frost forms.  We look forward to the frost crystals that build, one on top of another, when the cold drops straight down from the sky creating miniature castles each unique in its growing form.  But today we were given this plain coating.  Walking on the grass now will leave footprints on the frost that will turn black when the sunlight burns off the fog.  That is as good a reason as any to linger inside with a second cup of tea.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Sadly But Not Completely Gone

When we first purchased this land in 1994, Jane walked here with us.  She was a person of both tremendous intelligence and experience.  This cherry tree impressed her as the largest that she had ever seen.  Recently a sizeable branch fell blocking our driveway as the tree was now mostly dead.  A consequence of advancing years is that I now worry about nearly everything.  Had I been there when the branch fell it would have likely killed me.  As a result, I became fearful every time I passed under the tree.

This tree is just a stone wall away from our lane on two sides.  It stands in the corner of a field that belongs to our neighbor.  The daughter of the owners was quick to see that the tree needed to come down and gave us permission to get that done.  Today was the day.

Harrington's Tree Removal had helped us in the past.  Yesterday they were cutting down trees across the road from us.  With their equipment already here, today was our turn.  They started cutting at the top and are now working on the trunk.  Highly skilled, they quickly and safely cut away the tree.

This large section of trunk is being directed to the ground by the two men at the other end of the rope.  Their skill at placing the cut sections neatly on the ground amazed me.

This fresh brush pile includes pieces from our tree and the pine trees that were across the road.  Filling in this corner of our gravel bank with brush will soften the past scars from mining gravel.

This section was left standing for several reasons.  Two centuries of fence wire wrapped around the tree trunk had left their mark.  Moisture moved up the trunk by the life forces of the tree had dissolved the metal leaving unnatural deposits in the wood.  In addition to causing the tree to grow in an unusual manner and die, contacting old barbed wire with a saw chain would have destroyed it.  Thirty-five years were given as the time required for this stately trunk to safely decay.  The brush will be removed allowing the stone wall and the tree trunk to create an impressive picture.  Nothing here will fall on my head but the tree branch hanging over the driveway in the background will get our attention on another day.