Friday, May 20, 2011

Nature Notes: Babes in the Woods

Are You My Mommy?

I spotted a doe from my office window and noticed something small and furry lurching along just behind her. Groundhog, maybe? That would be strange...

I grabbed my binoculars and was delighted to see that she had a newborn fawn that was clearly taking its very first steps.

Don't Wake the Baby

She settled her little one against the pasture fence and left it there. (Deer do that - she'll be back.) Once she was out of sight, I went out with my camera for some close-ups, being careful not to frighten the little guy into standing up. Their only defense at this age is to stay hidden and still, so I shot through the fence instead of entering the pasture. And when he lifted his head I left.

Curled up, he was no bigger than my cat. Granted, Gatsby's a hefty kitty, but still.

Wait For Me, Mom

This is why we let the grass grow tall wherever we can. This weedy pasture is a relatively safe place for baby deer and turkey chicks, provided a coyote doesn't happen along.

Update: We decided not to spray the dandelions, though they have become a plague. In her comment, Joco recommended eating them. I did give that a go, but they were pretty awful. Much too bitter for us. Maybe they make better wine? There's a thought.

Click here to visit Michelle's site and see more Nature Notes.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hello, Sweetie

All For Me

The hummers are back! Well, at least one of them is.

So far, this timid little female is the only one to have found the feeder. Last year we had returnees hovering outside the kitchen window before I had even put out the feeder there. They apparently remembered its location from the summer before, which I found absolutely amazing.

And while we're talking bird behavior...

Let me tell you what the cardinals are doing.

A pair lands on the deck rail. The male flies over to the feeder, returns with a nice juicy seed, and gives it to the female. She accepts it with great dignity, as if it were her due.

It must be the birdie equivalent of buying her dinner first. In any case, it's quite sweet and funny. Have you ever seen birds do this?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Say Yes to the Dress

It seems like the more I have to blog about the less time I have to blog. Know what I mean?

I did mention earlier that my older son is getting married May 5 next year. Traditionally, the Mother of the Groom is something of a peripheral participant in preparations. However, the bride's mom is several states away, so I get to be more involved that your standard MOG. Totally excellent.

And I should mention that I already love my future daughter. She is accomplished, beautiful, funny, and down-to-earth. She fits in with us so well that I thought of her as a part of the tribe from the very beginning.

And so, I was honored and delighted to be invited along with her friends to shop for The Dress. I'm not posting any photos, of course, in case certain family members stumble in here. (You know who you are. Yes, I see you.)

She's looking for something elegant with clean lines. I am pleased that she's avoiding the mostly-bare-boob mountain-o'-fabric monstrosities that seem to be so popular just now. Mind you, if that's what would make her happiest I'd be all for it. As I keep telling my son, It's her day her way.

She tried on quite a few: ballgowns and mermaids, A-lines and endless variations on the theme, all lovely in their own way. We gathered around each one, tugging at this, smoothing that, chattering amongst ourselves on the merits and flaws of the frock. This one is very flattering, this one has beautiful bead work, that one would be great if we snipped off that damned silk flower. The bride as princess, surrounded by her attendants.

And finally, she emerged from the dressing room glowing. Clearly, this was The One, her dress, the one that had been waiting patiently for her to find it. The sales girl pinned a veil in place and the tears began to flow. Perfect.

P.S. I can't end without posting this photo. An Amish bride and her flower girl were trying on gowns in the section next to ours. If I had the right, I'd post a photo of this little girl's face - she was so delighted with herself. Her grandma looks pretty proud too, doesn't she?