The fawns have lost their spots, but there’s some frolic left in them. Emerging from the woods, they graze on clover and such in my backyard, safe with their cousins and mom and aunts and in groups that sometimes reach eight or more.
Except that it’s hard to tell them all apart now. One set of twins I had watched try to follow their mother jumping across the ditch next to my driveway. Unsure, they balked, and she took off. Was she that bored of motherhood already? Later that day she returned, but then, again that week, I noticed they were alone. A car had hit the mom just down the road, and it was pitiful to watch them navigate their new terrain, in April downpours and on those wobbly new legs.
It’s hard not to get attached. We share awareness in the early morning and at dusk–alert, stock still in a stare-down until they remember I’m still no threat.
The bear is another story. He’s the reason I can’t keep a bird feeder near the house. He and his pals are eating themselves silly on the corn not yet harvested on family property down the road, and I half-expect to see them all lounging on the shoulder, tossing ears all around. I haven’t caught them in the act, but the proof is in the scat.
Umpteen turkeys, a mother fox and her two kits, and a coyote have all shared my backyard with me and the deer this past year. Just an average casting call here at Barnhaven.
Yep–Barnhaven is the new identity of this place that I’ve created over the past twenty years. I’ve decided it’s time to offer it up for retreats, rentals, and events. A little unplugging at my neck of the woods might be just what the doctor ordered.
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In early summer 2014, Barnhaven will be open for business.
photos copyright sharon watts 2013