Saturday, January 25, 2014

A motherless fawn

We first noticed her in September, a lone spotted fawn, no mama in sight. We might have seen her before, when she had a mama, but we wouldn't have noticed her among the pairs of does and fawns nibbling their ways through our yard.

She was two or three months old in September, small and young to survive without a family. Whitetail fawns nurse for 8-10 weeks. Had she been weaned before her mama died? How would she know about finding food? And where to hide from the coyotes that howl at night?  

Every morning as I looked out the kitchen window I wondered whether she'd be back or if the night before had been her last.

Perhaps she's the fawn born on our front lawn. She knows our place--the paths and bushes, where we scatter birdseed, the bird baths filled with water.

Her coat is full brown now.  She's still small, maybe will always be small; hardship takes a toll.  But she was born in a good year--it was an acorn-avalanche autumn, more food than all the neighborhood deer combined could eat.

The other morning  I saw her bedding in the buffalo grass near our house when the air was well below freezing.  I'm guessing she thought she was home.

Copyright 2009-2014 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Adult male Rufous hummingbird guarding 'his' feeder from adjacent dwarf barbados cherry bush 1/4/14. Evergreens for shelter are one reason the birds like our place.

We shivered through lows in the 20's earlier this week.  I know 25F was balmy compared to Chicago...but I don't live in Chicago. Average winter temps here are in the 50's and the day before the freeze was 65F.

Everybody has their own strategy for staying alive. Mine involves chocolate and wine. 

The birds fluff, eat and shelter. 'Our' overwintering Rufous hummingbirds stayed close to the feeders on front and back porches.

I think we're hosting three Rufous hummers this year, a bright-colored and assertive adult male, a patchy subadult male and a mostly green youngster or female.  Watching the birds at the front porch feeder near a kitchen window is my favorite entertainment.

Hope your cold days aren't hard as theirs.

Copyright 2009-2014 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Best Annual New Year's Resolution

On the subject of resolutions, I have good news. You can give up on that pesky 10 pounds. Forget organizing the papers that seem to multiply when you turn your back. Don't worry about being less stubborn or more kind. 

Choose a resolution at which you can be spectacularly successful, simply by movin' on down the road.  I know what I'm talking about here--because I've done it year in and year out:

I resolve to make NEW mistakes this year.

Copyright 2009-2014  Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.