The Fawn

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She watched him when he was a fawn. Come summer, he grew spikes. A young buck. He was unafraid of her. He grew accustomed to her apples. He came to the porch and snatched the food from her hand. She grew to love him that winter. She was alone.

The next summer, he was a four-point buck. He came to the porch. She tried to make him go away, fearful he was too accustomed to people.

It’s been ten years. An old buck comes to the porch. He takes the apples. She knows by his eyes that it’s him.

 

*Thanks to Charli Mills and the Carrot Ranch for this prompt that is so very appropriate.

#weeklysmile 83

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I was lucky enough to witness an event that gave me a huge #weeklysmile this week! I live in a cabin in the Daniel Boone National Forest, moving here almost 19 years ago now after some trauma in my life forced me to seek peace and tranquility. I didn’t take me long to realize my house was built right in the path that white-tail deer used in this particular part of the forest. We have a huge herd of deer in my state and they have a terrible time finding enough food. I started to feed them. That was in the winter.

By the time the winter was over, I had a herd of deer at the feeding trough. By the time July came, I had a wonderful surprise and that surprise has fascinated me year after year since. It’s my #weeklysmile this week. The does brought their fawns to my feeding trough to teach them to eat.

The fawns are no bigger than large dogs and have their spots. Many does have twin fawns, with the male being slightly larger than the female. It would make anyone smile to watch them try to eat cracked corn out of the feeding trough, corn flying from either side of their mouths while they struggle with it. These beautiful, special babies are true miracles of nature.

#weekendcoffeeshare 9/24/2016

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My friend, Jenn, with whom I normally have coffee on Saturday, is still out of town today. So I’d like to have coffee with you, my friends, as I did last week. I can offer you Apricot blended black tea or the coffee of your choice, chicory or regular.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you to be patient with me while I tell you that a disturbing week last week has continued into a disturbing week this week, although for different reasons. I have lost a very important friendship. I surely can’t call this a highlight of the week though it has been the most of what has been on my mind. I guess it has been the lowlight. My friend was here one day and literally gone the next which causes a bit of a feeling of a panic. No sympathy needed, but thank you. It may be for the best. Whether the friendship was a good or bad thing, it is a blow whatever the case.

People can be quite cruel to one another, even those they call friends. Some people don’t seem to be able to just talk straight to their friends. That was the case here. Instead of just telling me that the friendship wasn’t working, my former friend set up this rather elaborate ruse. Though knowing my friend, and already having picked up on clues, I was able to see through the ruse quite easily once the shock wore off. It’s a hurtful world out there. Be careful who you trust.

The good news is that, in hard times, you learn who your real friends are. I had wonderful friends step to my side and I appreciate them so much.

Some good news this week has to do with my writing career. I’ve been a writer for over 15 years. Actually longer than that, but during my career as a professor, I did mostly academic writing. Then, I had a stint where I wrote only in my field of finance for a number of different outlets. Now, my writing career has morphed into an interest in fiction. I have been able to put together the first draft of a book proposal this week that I’m excited about. It will be published by Amazon.com, hopefully by the end of about two months from now. I’ll keep you up to date on my progress!

There is always something that is right around the corner when you are a homeowner. Some cracks in tile led to an investigation under the house and it seems that improper floor supports may have been used in the construction of my home. Right in the middle of my home so tile is cracking and so is the drywall in that part of the house. I’m going to have to hire a crew to come in and repair both the damage to the inside of the house and shore up the floor supports. It’s always something in the Adventures of Homeownership.

We are now past the fall equinox and summer continues to hang on in my part of the world. We’ve had many 90 degree days this year, more than any time in recent memory. Accompanied by high humidity. High humidity is not my favorite weather condition. I like to walk my little dog daily and she and I both wilt a little in high humidity. Betsy, in fact, wilts a lot. We will be happy when cooler fall days arrive. That weather is usually here by this time of year. Not this year. I live in a deciduous forest and there is no sign of the trees even starting to change color yet although other plants, such as the perennials in my garden, seem to realize that the time to go to sleep is near. You would never know it by walking outdoors or looking at the forest.

The deer do seem to have lost the velvet on their antlers. They aren’t as plentiful at the feeding troughs as they were earlier in the summer since the babies are growing up. Soon, they will vanish entirely for awhile only to return as winter comes.

I was lucky enough this week to get to see and spend some time in the city with my girlfriend. We spent an afternoon shopping, which is always fun. Retail therapy is some of the best, don’t you think? She was amazingly restrained and I was not! Then, we went to dinner at a favorite restaurant and met another friend. Even though the week had a tough start, I feel fortunate to have people around me who are supportive and who genuinely care about me.

Time to clean up these coffee cups and get some work done on the book. Thanks for having coffee with me today! #weekendcoffeeshare #amwriting #amblogging #writing #friendship #weather #livingintheforest

#weekendcoffeeshare is brought to you by DIana at Parttimemonsterblog.com

 

The Deer on my Porch

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When I first moved to my home, 18 years ago now, I lived on a gravel, country road in a rural county in my state and my house was the only occupied house on the road. Life had been tough for me over the preceding few years and I needed to retreat, regroup, heal. I was also moving closer to my work after many long years of commuting. I loved it here. After being a city girl for 25 years, it was a restful sanctuary. My little cabin in the woods.

You see, I live right in the middle of the forest. Or I did. That part of the story comes later. There are still lots of very tall, probably second or third growth trees, mostly hardwood, around me. This area is known as “the hardwood capital of the world.” It is green, very green, dense, and beautiful. Most of all, it was private. I needed private. Most days, it seemed there was only me — and the wildlife. Beautiful birds. butterfly’s, one species which only lives on the particular mountain where I reside. Lots of whitetail deer.

My state is considered the number one state, at least by many hunting websites, in which to hunt whitetail deer. I’m not a hunter so that is mildly disturbing to me. I do understand, however, the need to reduce the herd from time to time. As far as the population of the whitetail deer is concerned, this state is always in the top ten.

In the early days of my residence at my home, you could certainly tell that was true. I saw deer every day, a thrill for me. At first, they were skittish. I got the feeling they felt like I was encroaching, which, of course, I was. It is, after all, their land. So I bought some deer corn, cheap in those days, and put it out on the ground. They came to eat their corn and acted only mildly suspicious of me as I peered at them out the window. As time passed, I learned to tell the difference between the does and the bucks and learned that the little fawns showed up for their deer corn around June. The deer learned they were safe here and came every morning and evening. I made their deer feeding station a little more friendly for them. I added a real feeding trough, made by my cousin-in-law, and a salt block. I think the deer felt right at home. So did I. One of the highlights of my day was watching them.

That was then and this is now. I don’t have quite as many deer at the feeding trough as I used to. More houses have been built on the now-paved county road which means more people, more cars, but the deer still come. Until today. Today, I found out that the lot that adjoins my lot, right by their feeding trough, is going to be stripped of its trees and a house is going to be built 15 feet from my property line and right next to their food. When that happens, I will lose my deer. My friends for 18 years.

To me, this is a sign. It is time to move on if this happens. If that house is indeed built,  it may be time for this writer to find another sanctuary. The quiet will be gone. The deer will be gone. All the things I moved here for will be gone. It would be masochistic to stay.

So, I will wait a bit and determine if that offending house is going to be built. If so, I may start looking for yet another sanctuary. Writer’s need a retreat. The next one probably won’t be in the woods and there probably won’t be deer. But, I intend to find a special one.

Oh yes. The title of this post. “The Deer on the Porch.” One morning I was getting ready for work and I heard someone (I thought) clopping around on my front porch. I went to see who was at the door. It was a whole host of deer, walking around on my porch and one of them was peering in the glass!

They call the development of lots in a subdivision, even a rural one like mine, “progress.” Is it progress? It doesn’t feel like progress to me tonight. It feels like possibly having to leave home and leave my friends behind. It feels like I am at the mercy of a ruthless land developer who cares nothing about people or places or wildlife or life in general, but just money. It feels like that particular ruthless developer, when he chose the lot on which he was going to build, knew I would value my privacy enough to consider buying the lot from him rather than letting him build and he is price-gouging me. In coarser language, it’s called extortion.

This writer is a survivor and I have survived worse. This particular ruthless developer built my own house and I spent lots of money and time getting it fixed due to shoddy workmanship and the fact he didn’t pay all the subcontractors and walked off the job before it was completed. Not everything is fixed….even after 18 years. So, I have issues  with this particular ruthless developer. If he continues his planned project on the lot next door and without giving me adequate time to raise the cash I need to buy the lot or negotiating a reasonable offer, then I will have more issues with the ruthless developer. The house he will build will likely have workmanship as shoddy as my house did, before it was repaired. I wonder if anyone will buy it?

I am not going to be at the mercy of anyone, even a ruthless land developer. Just remember. There is always something you can do to help your circumstances. And I am going to do it. Progress? Perhaps I can keep my sanctuary here on the road in the woods and won’t have to look for another one. I hope my deer on the porch will remain on the porch. Stay tuned!

*Image copyright 2016 Rosemary Carlson