Friday, May 24, 2013

Deer (do I mean singular or plural?!)

I don't even know where to start today.

So many stories.

Do you want to hear about all the poop? Or how about the herd of cattle we ran into hiking? Or the fawn who tried to tip toe past me as I was reading? Or Ole MacDonald?

I'll start with the deer.
We have a family of deer that lives-ish in our backyard. We see them regularly. They are not really afraid of us, and we welcome their company. They nap in our yard most every afternoon, or at least just on the other side of the fence. They graze all morning long back there and can often be seen in the evening just hanging out. There is a new fawn that joined their ranks this spring. S/he is still a little wobbly on its legs and at times seems much more fearless than the others and at other times seems much more scared (of us that is).

This evening I was sitting on the back patio reading a book called 'Last Child in the Woods'. (Non-fiction. About how we are all experiencing this disconnect from natureI'm only 60 pages in and I'm super fascinated. Full book review later.) I thought it would be appropriate to read a book about the outdoors, outdoors. I heard a rustling behind me and as I glanced towards our gorgeous wonderful-smelling lilac bushes I saw the fawn. She look more startled than me! She didn't move. And I just slowly turned my head back to my book. She stood for a moment, and then tip-toed around the one big tree in our yard and peered at me from behind the trunk. I didn't know animals could tip-toe. This deer was tip-toeing. Seriously. Her whole body was trying to make herself as small and as quiet as possible. We just watched each other for a long time. I sat totally still, hardly breathing, trying to send her calm vibes 'you are welcome here! you dont' need to be afraid back here!' It was this beautiful peaceful moment. She continued to tip toe back and forth across the yard for a few more minutes until she finally jumped the fence. I was in the middle of a chapter on how nature calms and soothes us. Experiencing nature with all of our senses lowers blood pressure, soothes anxiety, makes us healthier.  Coincidence?!

Moving on....
We found a new place to hike! Sis, Bubs, and I went out this morning to check it out. These kids LOVE to be outside. They love hiking. They love looking at/smelling/trying to pick-while-momma-is-not-looking-flowers. They love rocks. They love running. They love the sunshine. And so do I.
We were walking along a wide open space, so we all walked at our own pace. No need to stay together. Bubs likes to run for awhile and then something like an ant catches his attention and he stops and watches it for awhile saying 'Ant ant ant ant ant' and then finds a rock and tries to pick it up and, usually succeeds no matter the rock is the same size as he is, saying 'BIG BIG BIG rock rock!' He eventually stands up and keeps on running swinging his arms saying 'hike-ing HIKE-ing hike-ing'. He is absolutely happiest when he is outside.

The cows are all in open range now. I know this, I've seen them. We have had to drive along the highway at a crawl because the cows were crossing and grazing along the road. But yet it still surprised me when after Sis had been saying she heard cows, I looked to the left and THERE WAS A COW. 100 feet from us. SO close! And then we heard some pounding hooves and looked to the right and there was another cow running down the hill, thankfully not in our direction. We said hello to the cow and watched it, as it watched us and then we both moved on. We tried to keep out of the cows way. We got to the top of the last hill before descending back down to our car and heard some more moo-ing. We kept walking talking about the cows, and what they say and before too long we notice ALOT of cows up on the ridge of the hill we had just come from. Several calves were in the herd. I started counting. I got to 18 before I wasn't sure what cows I had or hadn't counted yet. They took their time walking across the ridge and we just stood and watch them. Some of them bounded like they thought they were deer, some just mosied.

Flowers and Rocks!

 That seems like enough story for today...

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