This time of year I always feel like I’m wrapped in a cloak of green. Walking up to the hayfield beside the uncut grasses is a unique experience. The buzzing, chirping, singing, and general noisiness of a wild meadow can be a bit overwhelming on occasion, but in a good way. One of the things I love about having so much grazing and wild meadow is the abundance of wildlife is present and have the privilege of seeing from the smallest insect to larger deer and coyotes.
One of our resident garter snakes sunning itself outside the garage. With these critters around we don't have to worry so much about mice!
While looking out the window, doing something, probably dishes, I saw a shape move in the hill pasture. With it's rocky, sandy soil and south facing slope, this pasture's grass is sparser than most of our other pastures. It's very easy for the sheep to overgraze it. With out flock reduction and extra hay from last year, this pasture is getting a rest. No grazing at all unless it's an emergency such as a drought. We have a few measures in place for just such weather extremes - it's the preppers in us. The shape was large and moved up the hill in a jerky motion. I saw additional movement, although very slight, behind the first shape. I wasn't sure if a sheep had gotten out. I watched the shapes move up the hill slowly. I knew there had been a deer around, but had thought it had left a couple of weeks ago. As it came to a sparser section of the pasture I saw an identifiable outline, it was a deer! To my surprise, there were, not one, but two fawns trailing behind it. She hadn't left after all! Not being able to help smiling, I watched the trio continue up the hill to the top, over the ridge, and down to the stream below out of sight.
Barn swallow fledglings sitting on our washing line for a break. Learning to fly is hard work and having a safe place to perch is essential.
It's moments like this that really make my heart sing. One of my goals in life is to make a safe space for nature. I know that sounds kind of corny. It is something I get great joy out of though, watching the natural world around me, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it is. I try to imagine what it would be like to be that being, what and how do they experience the world? What does the world look like through compound eyes? What would it be like to have sonar and to "see" sound like a bat? Is a beetle aware of the larger world? These are things I've wondered since childhood. The answers are unknowable, but I still like to ask the questions to imagine, just for fun.
One of our local deer passing through the hayfield. She saw us, began to leap away, but then paused to see if we were coming after her. A quick photo was snapped, then we turned and went, as did she.