Oh my gosh! There has been so much happening at Spring Bird. Spring was late, but Spring has delivered, and in the case of a Mama deer, she literally delivered a fawn last Thursday. On a walk through the woods and not far from the house, my own Mom and her friend discovered the fawn with its mother near a yew tree. The mother and some other adult deer ran away leaving the fawn, who attracted my curious cats. Ninja got close enough to sniff, and that's when I stepped in to pull her away. We instinctively pulled away from this sweet baby who was bleating like a goat and locking eyes with us, but the fawn started to follow on the wobbliest legs. "Ugh oh" we thought, "We are not your mother baby!" It was an exhilarating moment of delight, surprise, panic and fear. We did not want to come between the mother and the baby, but we also couldn't help but witness this brand new life. We did move on leaving the fawn behind near a big oak tree. We were afraid that the mother wouldn't come back or that we had disturbed the bonding process. Since our fawn encounter on Thursday, I have not seen it since. Hopefully as the fawn grows, we'll see Mom and baby together. I am pretty sure this baby will remember the three of us and the two cats. I think the experience left an impression on all of us!
Also, super exciting news in the barn! One of our three ducks decided to sit on a nest this past week! Last year, we had some intermittent nesting happening, and we were never sure if our domestic ducks would have a strong enough instinct to commit to a nest. So, the good news is she has been sitting consistently since Tuesday. She is safe in the barn with plenty of food and water. The other two ducks and drake join her at night, but Pat will be moving them to the meadows sometime this week. The bad news is that we have no idea if any of the eggs are fertilized. So, her commitment could be for nothing, which breaks my heart. I am sure there are a dozen other things that could prevent successful hatchlings, too, but it is exciting nevertheless. In a couple of weeks, we could have ducklings!
Although we generally respect her seclusion, I snuck the above picture of her this morning. She was squawking at me as any protective mother would. Also, just a curious note, when a duck chooses to nest, she will sit on all of the eggs that are laid -- even those by other ducks. I think this is really interesting to think about in terms of evolution.
Finally, the birds seem to be parenting, too. We have a very protective wren dwelling in the birdhouse near the patio. A couple of cardinals are building a nest next to our front door. (I'm hoping they relocate for their own sake--somewhere far from our cats). And we watched a pair of Blue Jays attack a squirrel. Now, I'm not sure if they were protecting their nest or their nuts. Either way, that was the first time I've seen a squirrel deterred by blue jays.
Also, animals are reproducing in other parts of the world. (Imagine that!) Below are photos from South Africa and Florida. My sister-in-law took these photos of a lioness with her cubs and the mother and baby elephant on her weekend safari. While in Florida, our friend has been studying in her back yard a father duck and his ten babies! So, I guess life goes on everywhere.
And finally, a very happy birthday to Penelope who turned 8 yesterday! She very graciously shared her birthday with me as it was also mother's day. Penelope is so smart, funny, creative, curious, confident, and a visionary. If I can be half the woman that she already is, I will be most satisfied. I love watching her become herself and develop grand plans for how she wants to live and as she discovers what she wants to offer the world. She knows what she wants and is not afraid to ask for it. Look out world, Penelope is here!
Anna Lentz, artist and writer, blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.