First fawn sighting

Today I saw a fawn for the first time this year.

I had been outside taking photographs for a what’s-blooming-now post. I was thinking about the fact that I hadn’t seen any fawns yet and I was feeling kind of sad thinking that maybe our doe wouldn’t be back.

I came inside and started working with my photos on my computer when out of the corner of my eye I saw an animal run through our front yard and across the drive into the woods where he or she stopped. A fawn! My next move is always to look for the doe who I saw in our yard on this side of the drive.

Oh no. A truck was coming. The doe was clearly distressed, but personal fear overtook her maternal instinct and she ran back from the road. I was terrified the fawn would follow and possibly get hit by the truck. But the story had a happy ending. After the truck left the doe came back and made it across the drive. I don’t know what kind of trouble that fawn might be in, however.

I don’t think this is the same doe we’ve had in the past. She seems younger and isn’t limping. I wonder if she is one of the fawns we’ve seen returning to a childhood playground.

I love watching the fawns.

Unfortunately, the best I could do with a photo is this one of the doe, or the doe’s nose, actually.


So I’ll be on the hunt with my camera to capture the little fawn. It makes for good sport in the long days of summer.

And because I was fooling around with my camera and watching the fawn’s drama, I’m out of time. The other blooming post will have to wait.

Life goes on.

Universal motherhood—a mother and a doe

I think I figured out this morning why the lame doe that frequents our yard bothers me so much. No one likes to see an animal suffer, and in particular, no one likes to see a juvenile animal suffer. If the lame doe has a life-threatening disease, her fawn will be orphaned.

But that’s not the whole reason it bothers me so much.

No one likes to see a person suffer, and in particular, no one likes to see a juvenile person suffer. But most, if not all, of us have and do all the time. I have permanently imprinted on my mind the women, young mothers, I knew who either were disabled or died leaving behind small children:

Michelle, mother of a one-year-old daughter, who had a severe stroke and was in a coma for weeks with a long road of rehabilitation ahead of her

Joann, mother of three children in grades K – 3, who was diagnosed with liver cancer and died about a year later

Candy, mother of 4 or 5 children and grandmother of a one-year-old, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and died after several years of treatment.

Irene, mother of kids in high school, who got ALS and slowly lost all of her abilities to function and then died.

I suspect you could make a list of your own. It’s a very tragic thing when a child’s mother dies.

We understand at some level because there is a bond of motherhood that connects women of all sizes, shapes, colors and ages. Some things are universal, and motherhood is one of those things.

I realized this morning that the bond of motherhood, for me, extends beyond human beings, to all creatures, from the tireless bird who makes continued flights to and from the nest to feed her babies, to the deer who teaches her fawn how to find food and stay safe.

This morning as I was walking Arthur at the VOA, I saw a young mother with a little daughter who looked to be about three years old. The girl had shoulder length dark brown wavy hair and was wearing capri-length jeans with a pink jacket. The mother was using a walker. The little girl was skipping and hopping ahead of her mother and then back. The mother trudged on. I don’t know her story, and I have no idea what her prognosis is. I could only tell that she struggled to walk.

I hope the mother is okay.

Whether she’s got a temporary setback, or a permanent disability, or a progressive fatal disease, the mother is living her life and taking her daughter to the park.

Just like the doe.

A tale of a doe, a buck, and a fawn

The Doe

I’ve been looking for fawns. The past two summers fawns started showing up in our yard at the end of May. I saw newborns curled in the neighbor’s grass, and curious little toddlers eying my garden. But June arrived and no new fawns.

I did see a lonesome doe frequenting our yard. I noticed she walked with a slight limp and at first I thought perhaps she was a tired mother who had just given birth. One evening at dusk, I was sitting on our second-story screened in porch that looks out over the yard and into the trees when movement from the woods caught my eye. The lone doe stepped into the yard, bent her front legs and lied down beside the treeline. She stayed for a while simply resting, then after dark, got up and walked away.

I saw her again on a morning and I could see that she had a definite limp and a big bump on the bottom of one of her front legs. I don’t know whether she injured her leg, or is sick in some way. I also don’t know what I can possibly do for her outside of allowing her access to the food in our yard without fear of my intrusion.

June 4, 2012

The Young Buck

Mark mentioned he saw a buck in our yard. That was a surprise because we rarely see bucks here.

June 3, 2012

But sure enough, the next day I thought I was watching the doe at the base of our yard when Mark said, “That’s the buck.” It was a young buck with fuzzy antlers enjoying the plants in our yard down by the stone patio.

June 3, 2012

The Fawn

Sunday night at dusk Mark was sitting in the study when he called out to me to come quickly. A little spotted fawn was meandering up the road in front of our house, out for a bit of a stroll, it appeared, no adult in sight. “Oh no. I hope it’s not lost,” I said. Eventually it scampered up into the woods across the road. “I wonder if that is the lame doe’s baby,” I worried.

The next day my worries were confirmed when I saw the lame doe and the fawn together. They like to cross the road from the woods, go up into our woodland garden where they can enjoy a variety of items, and then wander down through the trees to the creek and woods beyond. (Please forgive the poor photo quality, it was low-light conditions, and I didn’t want to scare them by leaving the house.)

Lame doe (with bump on lower half of lifted leg) with fawn. June 4, 2012

I sure hope the doe is okay.

June 4, 2012

Just now I heard Mark open the garage door and start his truck to leave. At the same time I saw the doe, followed by the fawn, trying to cross the road to our yard. They both turned and ran back into the woods. I hope they come back soon.

I wonder if the doe and the young buck could be the fawns another doe brought through here last year, or if it is the same fawn who uses our land as a nursery.

Three deer and an apple — a drama

The other morning I witnessed three deer munching on our front landscaping. Over the two years we’ve lived here we’ve seen this same doe come through our yard with her fawns—each year, a new set of two fawns. We’ve seen infant fawns, child fawns, and full-grown fawns or deer. Once, much to our dismay and outright terror actually, the two fawns lured Arthur out of his electric fence and into the woods to play. Of course, they had long since ditched him as they ran away, leaving him befuddled, scared, and frozen in place within sight in the woods.

I forgave the fawns. They almost seem like pets. I’ve been wanting to leave some apples out for these deer as a special treat. So after seeing them eating our bushes, I bought some apples and put three in the bushes. This is what I saw later in that afternoon. (As you know, the deer vocabulary is quite limited, but you’ll get the idea.)

The first deer (one of the fawns) finds the apple.

Jackpot! she thinks to herself.

The doe sees her.

Hummm, what has she found now?

But movement is detected in the house, or perhaps a little flash goes off.  All three deer look up and freeze.

What is going on in there?

I’m not worried about it, the fawn thinks. This is good.

That apple’s looking pretty good, the doe thinks.

I’m going to get a taste of that.

Move over.


Hey, I found that apple, the fawn says.

What is going on over there? the doe wonders.

The second fawn gets curious and comes over to see what is so interesting.

Hey guys, the second fawn says. Wazzup?

I get some too, he says.

You’re hogging it, the doe says.

Hey, it’s my turn he says.

I really wish I knew what was going on over there, the doe thinks.

Back off, the fawn says. You’ve had your share.

Ummm. That’s tasty, the doe says.

The fawn sees his chance, snags the apple and backs away with it. He finishes it off.

That’s really starting to get annoying, the doe thinks.

Now that the apple is gone. The deer go back to the bushes. They don’t find the other two apples I left closer to the house.

Why do you keep doing that to us? the doe wonders.

Or maybe she’s thinking, was it you that gave us the apple?

The three deer leave by the side yard. I don’t know what they said after that. I couldn’t hear them anymore.

It’s wildlife week at Random Thoughts

How can I help but notice? As the snow covers the ground with a thin white blanket, the birds are flocking to our feeders. The deer are searching for green. The squirrels are scrambling underneath feeders and on the railing where I scattered seed. Occasionally an Olympian squirrel makes the jump from our front porch rocker to the hanging bird feeder. Everybody’s hungry.

I have a story about a red-tailed hawk and Arthur’s narrow escape.

I have a photo of a white-breasted nuthatch, despite his efforts to elude me.

I have a story about three deer and one apple.

I hope to have more pictures of the squirrels’ antics. These are hard to get because they’re typically action shots and usually end up blurry. I’m going to work on that this week.

Where do I begin?

You might have noticed I started a new page in my menu across the top. I’ve always wanted to keep a life-time bird list. So I’ve decided to do that here on my blog. But actually, I’m going one step further and making a lifetime wildlife list. If you click around on that tab, you will see that I have a lot of work to do to locate, upload and post photos from my archives as well as new ones I take. I decided to spend time on this particular project because promoting my book, working on my works-in-progress, and helping Mark through his surgery and recovery aren’t enough to do.

Now, where did I put my priorities list?

I may throw in a story about my journey with my dad’s Alzheimer’s this week. It’s written. It’s sad. I’m putting it off. Finding diversions.

I got some great photos over the last few days. I think I like this one the best. I did absolutely nothing to this photograph except shoot it. I think it may have to go on my favorite photos page.

Portrait of a doe

More about the deer later.

I think I’ll tell you about Arthur’s narrow escape from the hawk tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday. (I may be sensationalizing this story just a little tiny bit.)

Dancing in Heaven Promotion Update:
A one-liner about my memoir appeared in the Cincinnati newspaper on Sunday and is now online at
A good friend of mine who I gave  a copy of Dancing in Heaven to, passed hers on to the local Children’s hospital for their resource room.
Thanks to everyone who has read and/or reviewed Dancing in Heaven, and those who continue to support me on this journey.