So, the most amazing thing happened the day after my last post! We had a baby deer decide our yard was home. They just hung around for a few hours, eating my flower beds and antagonizing the dogs. I say baby, they’re probably a couple months old, but still little and clearly new to the world. And concerningly, not terrified of humans yet.
So, for a little context, the farm is about ten feet of asphalt away from a neighbor’s grazing land and about two miles beyond that is BLM land, or in other terms, government land set aside for whatever they please. BLM in this instance is Bureau of Land Management… you can imagine my initial confusion when the news first broke earlier in 2020. Why tell you this? It explains the abundance of deer, and other wildlife, that hang around the farm most of the year.
I am not against hunting per say, as I live in a poorer, rural community and I understand that sometimes hunting on their land is how some feed their family, in general, I’m personally not a huge fan of hunting as a sport or hobby. I do not allow hunting or trapping on my small property and most of my neighbors take a similar stance.
And if you poach, I have made it my mission to make your life as truly difficult as I possibly can.
This is the secondary reason I end up with lots of wildlife, they are smart enough to understand an ally, and they know the farm is a safe place during hunting seasons. The herd near my home, which fluctuates each year between 50 and 200 deer, have gotten to know my car, and will wait until I turn my flashers on and block the road before they cross.
Well, most of the time…. Sometimes the blind trust is a little dangerous.
I can honestly say however, that this is the first time I’ve been a deer babysitter. This is the first time a mama deer has dropped her baby in my flower beds, gone off to do whatever a mama deer does to survive, and come to get them later. I was honored and concerned, because what if mama deer hadn’t come back? It wouldn’t be the first baby abandoned around here, but I don’t know if my mares are ready to be substitute mamas, although I’d bet they’d try.
This little one has been around a lot this week, and I am beginning to feel a little worried because I have yet to see mama deer at all.
We have a rule here, we do not feed or interact with the wildlife unless absolutely necessary. Usually this means some sort of crisis or issue needs to arise before we engage. The feeding rule is a little hard however, as I have yet to meet a fence, gate, wall, or enclosure that is deer proof if they want it, so I accidentally feed the deer any time I bring home a new bale of hay.
Speaking of hay, we got ourselves another bale this week. The girls are eating so much teff hay right now, because the pasture just can’t sustain them. They have been back out for exercise now that the lion’s share of the snow is gone, but they come back in on their own accord when it gets cold (have I mentioned that they have a run of about 90% of my property? I’ll introduce them properly in another post, you’ll love them)
It’s a funny thing getting hay, because I “buy” it from my great uncle, a fun, quiet man who has lived his whole life on a farm and has a limit of words each day. He will talk until he’s used them up, and that’s it. I think most males around here have that problem, and you’ll never know how many words a day they get. But my uncle loves to visit and tease, as long as you hold up your end of the conversation.
But I digress, I use quotes around buy, because when it’s feasible, my immediate family and I try to lend a hand on his property (He has 200+ acres right now, a bunch of cows, and usually a few strays around) so he always claimed I’ve earned my hay fair and square. I think I’m coming out well ahead, but he won’t hear an argument, and honestly, I’ve been raised not to sass my elders. I also don’t want to waste any of his words on arguing.
In other news, things are finally starting to dry out a little which means it’s getting safer and easier to work with my horses. In fact, we are slowly getting back into training shape. If I’m being honest, I need more conditioning than they do, but they did get a little more winter weight than I had hoped. I think there’s a couple family members of mine sneaking sympathy treats to them when it gets cold. Ro got to try on the two saddle pads I got this winter at a screaming deal, hopefully soon we can try them with the actual saddle (I might need to put it all back together, my leather cleaning day got interrupted).
We also finally got that tree trimmed back up away from the power lines on the garage. It was a pain, both figuratively and literally, but much safer and brighter in the old chute now. The girls even “helped”, it was a joy watching my sweet mares puzzle through why branches were falling from the tree and then run away with them like dogs with a bone. Crazy horses they are, absolutely nuts.
Well, I think that’s us for this week, I’ve got a couple cakes in the oven for a birthday this weekend, and Costco run to make. We are hoping this week to run the disc and harrow over the “arena’ (my work in progress) to break up some of the mud-turned-concrete, and bathe some suspiciously smelly dogs. We might have seen the last of the frost and I for one am so ready for springtime.
Until we chat again, my friends!