Background Switcher (Hidden)

Remember Flag?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

I spend a lot of time looking for and at deer. I am actually happy that Daylight Savings Time has started, because I love raising the blind on something more like this, instead of total darkness. 
It's depressing to wake up at 5:30 and have to wait until 7:30 for the first light to creep under the blinds. 

So I get up and get busy. People who ask me how I do so much each day probably don't take into account that I get up well before the birds do. Today, I'm finishing up the last of a million yard chores involved in buttoning the place up for winter. I cleaned the pond last evening, racing the fading light. I've given up on using the siphon, which, thanks to endless amounts of decaying plant material, clogs every ten seconds, and wound up just scooping up muck and detritus on the bottom with a net. Faster. Easier. Same net effect. 

This morning, having climbed to the tower to watch the sun evidently rise behind a thick blanket of clouds, I burned a year-old Christmas tree. It went with surprising difficulty, me thinking back wistfully to our tradition of burning it on May Day night. It would go up like a torch while we howled like wolves. The old, forgotten tree being soggy and mostly without needles, took every bit of spare cardboard I had to even get it going. It's still smoldering out there. The point was to get it and an enormous wad of morning glory vine, laden with evil seed, burned. I'm done with the Japanese hybrid Flying Saucers. They were early and floriferous, but the overall effect of this variegated flower was a dull bluish white. Nope to the nope. And they set viable seed like they intended to take over the earth. I've had to make two bonfires just to burn the vines. It's back to Clark's Heavenly Blue, for good, even if I have to wait until October for flowers.  

September 2016. Flying Saucers, ehhh, zzzzz.

November 4, 2016. Clark's Heavenly Blue. Now there's an apt name.

I probably can't mention Ellen without giving many of my gentle readers a pang. I get them too. But in the Circle of Life Department, all is well. Pangs just go with the territory.

Remember Flag, Ellen's little daughter? Flag is one of her last set of twins, born spring 2016, that also included a buck named Pinky.

Here she is on December 14, 2016, a little over a year ago. Her baby picture. 

October 17, 2017

And here's the lovely young lady now. This October, she began coming into the yard every day, looking for the corn and sunflower seed her crooked little mama used to love.

And in coming to my yard, she brings me joy. Great joy.

No asymmetry here. Flag is classically beautiful, untouched by whatever left Ellen crooked and bent. She has kept her big square throat patch and her enormous white eye rings. Yes, it's Flag, looking back at me with swiveling ears. What a difference a year makes!

December 14, 2016. She was such a baby! and orphaned since the first week of November. 

But she's come through fine, with a little help from Ellen's friend.

I know it's just habit and corn that brings Flag to my yard, but the halting trust in her soft eyes is real. It is something I have earned, and I'm keenly aware that it's a privilege to see her, each time. It's a privilege to be able to watch her drop her head, knowing I'm watching her, to eat. That takes a lot of trust.

She still wears her little white toe shoes, the mark that Ellen left on all her babies. I am looking forward to seeing Flag in full winter coat. It's just coming in now, and she's still patchy and a bit red. She's going to be so beautiful when her thick dusky blue winter hair is all in. 

I thank whoever sends Flag here to visit. These wild friends of mine have taken on new importance to me, bereft as I am of the animal companionship I'd grown accustomed to.  I hope to stay worthy of her trust, and I hope too that she will use her sharp young eyes and ears to stay away from people who don't know or care what she means to me. I fall in love with every deer I come to know. I can't help it. 

I've learned that it's easier on the heart to love the small does and the spindly bucks. They stay around longer. Be safe, dear Flag. I'm counting on you.


What a beauty she is! And while my deer ID skills are...uh...not necessarily to be trusted, I swear I see Ellen in her eyes!

Hello to beautiful Flag. And yes she is a quite a beauty like her much-loved mother. Wave hello to her from her fans on the far north coast of California. Be safe, Flag.

Dear sweet Ellen. So glad her daughter is still around. I'm not sure I can take another loss. And yes, I'm glad of the time change so I can get up with the birds, not long before them. Yeesh...

Oh GOD. How do you even deal with hunting season? Sweet little Flag.

Thanks for the heads up on Ellen. Sitting in the Chicago airport snuffling in my coat at the thought of her. No tissues. Glad the Circle has been kind so far. Beautiful photos.

[Back to Top]