Jeff and I enjoy walking around our little town at sunset, when temperatures are slightly less insane and my sworn enemy, the sun, won't burn me. Doused in bug spray (me) or nothing because he is impervious to insects bites (Jeff), we walk down one of several routes.
1. The terrifying subdivision walk. The northeast side of town boasts many newly-built neighborhoods with small, identical houses that are way too close together, with some stick-like trees anchored with bits of string, and lots of I-74 noise. Advantages of this walk include a nearby Dairy Queen and the remote possibility of seeing the big, fat corgis at play on Balsam Drive.
2. The awful teenagers walk. If the day has been brutally hot and we're only walking out of a sense of obligation, we'll grab something to drink at the store and head southwest where it's shadier. This walk includes a park with playground equipment (odd word combo, I've always thought, because equipment?) and several ranch house-lined back streets. One of those houses contains awful teenage boys who heckled me once, disparaging my dress and calling me a slut/bitch/etc from behind a darkened window. I flipped the window off and just kept walking with my oblivious husband, who became angry once I told him what was going on a few blocks later. We avoid that street now.
3. The "Worms" walk. If we're feeling ambitious, we head up to the elementary school on the southeast end of town. A house along the way sells worms, and if he sees us, the man who lives there can be counted on to point out that Jeff and I are indeed still holding hands. A nearby Victorian house, landscaped within an inch of its life with hostas, lilies, and many other well-tended plants, is a highlight of the walk, and a few years ago I noticed that its fence had a sign that read "Certified Wildlife Habitat." But our yard is five times the wildlife habitat this is, I thought, and I eventually jumped through the hoops necessary to get our own sign, see above.
So obviously area animals have been reading that sign and have taken it as their invitation to settle in. Over the years we've seen woodchucks, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, toads, turtles, butterflies, coyotes, birds of all kinds including vultures, and so on, and their juvies, too. (I just like saying juvies.)
And most recently...a fawn!
A couple of weeks ago, Jeff and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch on our back deck. About ready to go back inside, we stood and gave each other a kiss, and that's when I noticed the fawn sitting underneath one of our trees. He (let's call it a he) had stretched his long neck up from the ground cover and was looking right at us. "Oh my god Jeff, a fawn!" I whispered excitedly. Jeff went in to get his camera while I slowly sat down, eyes locked on the fawn. He was so beautful. The fawn's back was dotted with white spots, and he slowly rose to his feet like a wobbly, newborn colt. Jeff came out and took this photo as the fawn began to walk away.
We were amazed that the fawn was right in front of us during our entire lunch, silent and perfectly camouflaged, and we hoped that our juvie deer friend would find his mother. Jeff returned to his (home) office, and I got back to work on my painting.
An hour later, the fawn was back in the same spot. Yay, supercute fawn! Concerned that his mother had abandoned him or something, we googled "baby fawn all alone" or words to that effect. We were relieved to learn that this was perfectly normal. Apparently the mother deer had hidden the fawn in our backyard--this is something they do to keep predators at bay. Fawns have no scent and are content to stay in their hiding places. The doe drops by for a feeding a couple of times during the day. Our darling fawn waited patiently for hours and hours, getting up to stretch a couple of times and grooming himself like a cat. The fawn was still there ten hours later when we went to bed that night--no sign of the mother, but we hadn't been watching nonstop. The sun rises before 5:30 this time of year, so I woke up early thinking, "Good morning, young prince!" and raced to the window, but the fawn was gone. We figured that mama had found a better hiding place for him overnight.
A couple of days ago our neighbor Betty reported that she had seen the fawn playing with its twin (!!) in her yard, and she had also seen the mother.
I love living on the edge of town!
In other juvie animal news, last Sunday I noticed a baby crow trapped in our koi pond. It was sitting on a lily pad, still alive but not moving much. I think it must have flown into our window and was temporarily knocked out. Jeff put on a glove, went outside, and placed the little crow on our deck. It didn't fly away and seemed to be in shock. We soaked some bread in water, and Jeff attempted to feed it to the crow using chopsticks, but it wouldn't eat and fluttered a few feet away. Jeff placed several bits of the bread on a nearby rock. It sat there for a while before pecking at the bread, and eventually it flew back to our window, landing safely on the ledge this time. Bun was unnerved and batted at it in frustration. The above photo shows her between bouts of rage, and here she is while raging.
Concerned that the bird would fall back into the pond, Jeff went out to rescue it again, but the juvie crow took off and flew to a tree on the other side of our yard as we cheered. I think it'll be okay.
And finally, it's only about three feet tall, but our juvie rose-of-sharon is blooming! We bought the plant because Rose-of-Sharon is an oddly-named character in The Grapes of Wrath, a favorite book I mentioned in my Match.com profile way back when. Jeff took note of that item before we met, and he even went to a book discussion of The Grapes of Wrath at a local bookstore hoping that I might be there (I wasn't). As you can see from the video below, TGOW was the Fifty Shades of Grey of its time. <-- SARCASM OMG.
Anyway, the blue color is unusual for this area, I think, and I hope it will continue to thrive in our pretty garden.