Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mid-Summer status report

Mid-morning, cloudy sky, nice breeze that keeps down the deer flies and mosquitoes if you're out in the open, which I'm not. I'm sitting in the screen porch, reading, and really enjoying, The Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages by N. Scott Momaday. Over the top of my book, I see first one doe come out of the woods on the north edge of the yard [enter, stage right]. A few moments later another doe follows the first. They slowly pick their way along the slope to the top of our little hill. I'm not sure what they're feeding on. One seems interested in the clover planted in the path and a few spots in the yard. The other is in the midst of this Summer's prairie restoration where there is no clover. Deer are predominantly herbivore ruminants so maybe she's eating the sheep sorrel or the hoary alyssum. (For the record, Mother Nature's record setting rain this Spring and early Summer did more to restore the prairie than anything we've tried.) So, I'm sitting here with my Better Half, we're enjoying watching the two does and I'm wondering why I'm not seeing any fawns. Suddenly a fawn bursts from the woods where the second doe had emerged. I can almost hear the plea "Wait for me, Mom!," as I remember the number of times I've become exasperated by a dawdling toddler or puppy and started to go on ahead, only to be halted by a similar whine.

whitetail doe in Summer
whitetail doe in Summer
Photo by J. Harrington


The first spotted fawn soon was joined by another, but the second fawn came out of the woods from a direction none of the first three deer had used. Was I looking at two does , each of whom had a fawn, or a grandmother, daughter and two granddaughters extended family? I'll never know, just as I'm not sure whether the orange and black butterflies I've seen recently are monarchs or their lookalike,. I am fairly sure that it's Canada thistle I've seen blooming all over several nearby roadsides. I'm also noticing a number of plants such as goatsbeard already going to seed.


Photo by J. Harrington

I haven't yet figured out any "productive" use for my growing knowledge of local plants and critters, but it does make me feel better knowing, and learning about, my neighbors. That's good enough. I also feel better having learned that there's an actual word for a malaise from which I've been suffering for some time. The word is ""solastalgia." I discovered it on Sheila Packa's blog (see sidebar). She also has a "real" web site here. I'm currently reading Migrations, which she edited, and will soon start Night Train Red Dust: Poems of the Iron Range, poems that she wrote.

********************************************
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.