Every summer we wait patiently (OK sometimes not so patiently) for the new fawns to emerge from the woods and step into the meadow. The mama deer (a white-tailed deer or Odocoileus virginianus) is careful to make sure they are a couple of months old before allowing them out in public.
It is a tremendous sight to see these special creatures. Young, so full of wonder, awe and play. I feel younger myself as I watch them, and I melt back to my childhood and those days of new discoveries when I hadn’t a care in the world. Drinking in the world through my senses. That is how I imagine it is to be one these lovely creatures; these young deer just experiencing the world for the first time.
And so it was on my husband’s birthday, that two lovely, adorable little fawns stepped into the meadow for the first time…mama right by their side, always not too out of reach. Watching them explore, being admonished by their parent for taking off, or warned that danger was near and they had to flee. It brought back a flood of memories of me holding a cherished adult hand, fading behind them a bit skittish to come out and meet others….still shy and a bit fearful, but safer knowing my mother, father or grandfather had my hand.
Once the fawns appear we are on fawn watch daily calling, ‘they’re out…in the meadow or in the neighbor’s yard by the pool or they are running the loop’. I cannot tell you how my
heart soars watching them in the intimate moments with mama….stealing a glimpse as she nurses them…WOW! Or watching them groom each other with those little tongues….and how adorable are those spots almost in specific patterns that must mean something.
Seeing mama show them the flowers, plants and shrubs to eat. Each having a favorite that they enjoy in the meadow as they appear to disappear amongst the tall goldenrod and Queen Anne’s Lace. Just a pair of ears moving slowly through the plants.
And watching with pride the first day they cross the road. Scared for them as they wander down the fence line, cognizant of the people about…running back many times…today is not the day. And finally they meander, too slow I think, across the asphalt, and my heart stops hoping no cars are about. They stop for a few moments to explore other gardens. Then realizing mama is gone they race to the safety of the woods to visit.
The twin fawns that were born this year continue to grow up around us. Not old enough to jump the fence yet in fall and winter. Seeing their spots fade and their thick winter coats replace the youthful innocence. Praying they make it through the winter. Seeing their mother inside the fence the night of our first snowfall, covered in snow and close to the fence with her babes nuzzling her nose, from the other side, every so often to make sure they were OK.
Spotting them recently still with mama running the fence line at dusk to cross the road and go to the woods, I worry about them in this bitter cold. I miss seeing them daily, and will wait for spring when we will hopefully see them again. We think one is female ( a bit smaller) and one male (a bit larger)…will they stay together for another year; I don’t know. But I am sure one day I will find them inside the fence. And we will have a meeting of the minds as I let them know the meadow is for them, the garden inside the fence for me. Somehow I don’t think they will interested in what I have to say.
Here is some interesting folklore about deer:
- According to Native American lore, deer represent gentleness.
- Deer are said to represent the gentleness of spirit to heal our wounds and help us find peace.
- The spots on the fawn represent the dark and light in others that we must love if we are to bring gentleness and peace to ourselves and others.
- Deer represent the love and compassion we need to find balance in our lives so we can accept ourselves as enough as we are.
With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday. I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday. Please check them all out.
I leave you with another thought about deer and all wildlife. Feel free to download this photo and share.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.