Saturday, July 11, 2015

Something's not quite right

I was going to do a lightheaded light-um-HEARTED post (edited -- maybe I'm a bit tired as well) called Raining Bambies today. Both because the recent rains go way past mere cats and dogs, and because ANOTHER baby deer showed up by the barn yesterday. The first baby is still hanging out in the paddock and seems to be doing well. The second baby, sadly, died overnight. I found her in the hay garage this morning. So, no lightheartedness. Just sad.

I'm kicking myself about the second baby. We had a chance to help her and didn't.

When I first noticed her yesterday morning, she was wobbling across the driveway in front of the barn. At first, I assumed the original baby had finally managed to jump the fence and this was she. Something about her wobble though made me approach to check her out.

Well, she was so tiny and bony and so obviously weak -- so much tinier, skinner, and weaker than I had thought she was from a distance -- that one thing led to another and she ended up in a stall in the barn with a bottle of milk replacer, me beating up myself for having left her unaided all these weeks (what is it, three weeks now? more? I've lost track.)

Of course, right about the same moment we're giving her the bottle, I look up and spot, wait, what's that? Oh, look, a baby deer in the paddock. The first baby deer obviously. The one in the paddock is much bigger than the one we've now got in the stall. And the one in the paddock looks fine - big, healthy, munching away.

So, this new one is what? Closer to a newborn? Maybe just a normal skinny, wobbly week-old fawn?

Ok, time to rethink. Except we've already called the game warden, cause I was hoping if the original baby was now dying on me, somebody would come take it to a rehab center.

Once we figured out it was an entirely different fawn, we knew perfectly well that the game warden was going to say put her back outside so her mom can find her. 

So I went ahead and did just that. And, in point of fact, the game warden did eventually call and say put her back outside so her mom can find her. 

She hung around a little during the afternoon. At one point I found her checking out the chickens in the new chicken coop. Beautiful little fawn.

Then she wandered off. I'd hoped she'd found her mom. Or that her mom had found her.

But, not so. First thing I saw this morning when I went out to feed the chickens, was the little girl stretched out on the floor in the hay. I think she probably starved.

I know I know I know we're not supposed to interfere with the deer, but the next time I find a starving fawn, I'm interfering.

And by the way, why is it raining Bambies at my house?!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Privacy cometh

Some may remember my encounter last year with the nasty neighbor. 

After I hit and destroyed the lid of my aerator tank with my mower, I faced reality and hired a guy to mow the three acres around the house and between us and her rather than keep trying to do it myself. In desperation (and at the encouragement of the township guy who has to field her complaints), I also planted those lovely arborvitae. (Which btw, just barely survived the harsh winter. I am not the only one who thinks 18 below is just too low.)

I assumed she was pacified.


Not even close.

I approached her early this spring. Didn't want to, but felt like I had to find out if she would fight me if I tried to fence this area for the sheep.

We were both outside one afternoon in early May, so I took the bit in my teeth and marched myself right up to the property line.

I called out to her.


By name.

She ignored me.

I tried again.

She refused to turn around, but did call back over her shoulder.

I don't talk to liars!

I thought I misheard her, so I asked her to repeat herself.

Excuse me, I didn't hear you. 

I don't talk to liars!


She could not have more effectively released me from my guilt and need to pacify had she tried.

I won't bore anyone with her laundry list of current complaints, except to say that it was long, having grown since last summer, and included on it the fact that I had hired someone to mow after all.

Say what? Isn't that what she wanted all along?

Um, yes it is.

She was none too pleased with the trees either, but I didn't really expect her to like those.

I stood my ground and let her rant just long enough to get her to agree that she would not object to a fence if I built one.

When the township guy called to report her latest concerns, I told him about the conversation and reported my own conclusions.

She can not be satisfied. She will not be satisfied. I am done trying to satisfy her. 

Also told him I was putting up a privacy fence between me and her.

The fence, after weeks of rain delays, equipment failures, and general incompetence by the utility companies, will go up in the next couple of days.

The holes are drilled.

I don't really want to be here when it happens. I'd like to be somewhere far far away and only return after she's had time to adjust. A week, two weeks, a month maybe.

Regardless, privacy and relief are on their way.

PS. After our little conversation, I stopped mowing altogether. The 'yard' is now officially 'pasture' and the township guy says it's no longer his responsibility. Sweet.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Making herself at home

By all appearances, baby is perfectly happy right where she is, in the paddock between the barn and the creek.  I don't think everyone feels the same though. Thyme didn't appreciate her company at dinnertime.

Whatchya guys eating? 

Not a hoof closer, Bambi.

Ok ok, I'm going. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Move along little Bambi

I'm just gonna pretend I haven't been awol for the past two months. Working hard on the farm. Real progress being made. Finally getting more fencing in place. Etc. Etc.

But what's this? 

Yes, that's an itty bitty fawn standing at the base of the oak tree inside what used to be the goat pen (look close) and is now part of a quarter acre paddock by the pony barn. Yes, she is INSIDE the paddock. 

Best we can figure, she must have been there when the fencing guy closed the paddock with wire nearly two weeks ago now. She's too small to jump the fence to get out.

I only discovered she was there three or four days ago. 

Her mother is NOT with her, though I see Mom in other spots around the property every day. Baby hides in the long grass and thickets when she's not grazing. 

When we discovered her, we opened up the fence where the gate eventually will go, thinking Mom would come take her out over night. But that was three or four days ago and she's still there. Mom checks on her through the fence, but has not figured out how to get her out. I have considered chasing baby out, but I'm afraid I'll chase her away when Mom isn't around and she'll get permanently separated. At least this way, Mom knows where she is. 

Baby can't stay though. Around here, if the wildlife people discover a tamed deer, they confiscate and kill it. I don't want to go there, so cute as she is, she needs to leave. The sooner the better. 

Plus, the poor goats need their paddock back.