Nature At Its Best

I have always liked observing nature. This week I have had a marvelous display. This morning as I walked down to get my newspaper out of its box the sun was a beautiful orange orb. It was unusual. The day evolved into one of those bright sunny days.

I saw my first fawn about three days ago. I think it was a newborn because it was so tiny. It was not even a foot long and was also very short-legged. I watched as mother cared for it, then it took off following her. Each day she has brought it back for me to see.

Yesterday I let my dog out when he was barking and he nearly got clobbered by a deer’s hoof. Mother was there and chased him away. I will have to be more careful when I let him out for a while. I do not want him hurt.

Mother left the fawn by my driveway. As I took off to run errands it was still there. I thought maybe opening my garage door would chase it away, but it just stayed there. It was gone by the time I came back.

This reminded of the deer we had for a pet years ago. We did not confine it, it just stayed with our dog. My husband found it when he was mowing hay. He got off the tractor and moved it so he would not hit it with the mower. It already had a boogered up leg so it got into something.

We had a foreign exchange student that summer. One day I saw him sharing his ice cream cone with the deer. The deer stayed around for nearly a year. One neighbor saw the deer and the dog down the road. He stopped to separate them. Before he got back in his car, they were together again so he gave up.

The bird feeders are out on my porch. I think they are safe there. They are high off the ground. Each night I take them in, then the next morning they go back out. A pair of cardinals has caught on to my routine. As soon as they are out, they come back. I also have grosbeaks, mourning doves, a couple woodpeckers, some sparrows, hummingbirds, an oriole, and a titmouse. Recently a blue jay found the feeder. He makes a mess. There are a couple chipmunks who come to clean up the porch floor.

My first robins have left the nest. One morning when I putting out my feeders, I saw something on my porch. I put the dog in the house and investigated. One baby robin was still sitting on the porch. He left before I came out again. Another nest, I am not sure what kind they are, is on my downspout. I see the parents taking food back and forth. Soon they will be gone.

When I visited the neighbors, a robin flew out of a nest over their window. I am sure she is sitting on eggs.

My daughter-in-law sent me a picture of some bears trying to get at her feeders. There is a mother and three cubs. They scramble up their trees.

I remember I used to take the grandchildren on nature walks. Sometimes we went to the Audubon to walk, other times we walked in the pasture or up the road. We could gather polliwogs up the road. I had a book that we read that told the children what to expect as they watched the polliwogs. I seem to recall some tiny frogs hopping into my furnace register when they got loose. Oh, well, some of them made it back to the pond.

Children love nature. There is a whole new world for them to explore. Watching nature fascinates them. It is too bad that some children never get to explore these days. Moms and Dads are busy, but they are certainly missing a golden opportunity. Children learn a lot from nature. In the years when my own children and grandchildren were small, we did not worry so much about ticks. Oh, we checked when we came home, but it was not such a big issue.

We used to go up in the woods to pick blackberries. Blackberries are the first to come into an area after a storm. We had a lot of them up on our hill. Usually, I picked and the children played. I always packed a lunch for them so they had something to eat while we were there. They had offices and houses that they played. They were only spots between the bushes, but they had a lot of fun there. I did think about bear, but I had not seen any then.

I miss those days when the youngsters were small. We had such a good time on our own property. We did not have to go somewhere, we could explore nature right here.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.


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