Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Fox & The Deer

I shared some photos and a story on my Moxie Blue blog last week of a large red fox that has been visiting our back yard in the late evenings, right around dusk, looking for leftover feed. He has beautiful red fur with a white underside and a white tipped bushy tail. His ears, tail, nose, and legs have black accents. He looks like he's wearing black knee socks.

I know there's a danger from wild critters, rabies being one possibility, but Foxy is gorgeous.

Anyway, I told you that to tell you about an amazing experience that Jim (hubby) and I had late yesterday afternoon. He went to the kitchen sink for something and happened to look out the window over the sink. "Sharon, come here! Hurry!" he said in a somewhat excited voice, trying not to talk too loud.

I said, "What is it?," not wanting to get up off the couch. I wondered what the cats or Sammidog were into now.

"It's two deer right here against the fence." he says. "Come here, quick!"

We live in the country with fields and woods connected to our narrow back yard. This is not a rare occurrance, but I got myself up and trudged to the sink to stand beside Jim as he pointed out the deer near the fence.

The low-setting sun was dancing off the field, haybarn, and the deer. Beautiful. About that time, three more deer came across the field to the front of the hay barn, and we spotted another one farther back, making six. None of them had antlers. Jim said they had already shed them for the season. Three of them were about half grown.

They were just fooling around and grazing as we continued to be fascinated by them. Jim said there must be another one, since they kept looking behind them. Eventually, they started ambling toward the hayfield beside the house, and as they did four more came out of the woods and across the field to join them. We counted at least ten in all.

The cats ignored the deer and continued to groom themselves. A couple of them did look around for a minute in a bored fashion, then went back to what they were doing.

Sammidog finally noticed them and trotted to the fence, barked a couple of times, and stood at attention with his question mark tail up for a minute watching them. Jim fussed because he thought Sammidog would scare them off, but the deer didn't move. No threat there.

Sammidog's gotten too fat to go through the fence and decided it wasn't worth the trouble to go around to get to the other side. He looked back at us through the window to see if we were watching, and came back to the porch. The deer went slowly on to the hayfield.

Jim suggested that we might could see them from the bedroom window facing the hayfield. We could. We sat on the corner of the bed and watched as they put on a show. I've seen them crossing behind the house many times, but I never saw them play like that before.

White tails flashed as the three half grown deer frolicked around in the golden colored sage grass in the field. They played deer tag as they ran and jumped around together, unafraid and carefree for the moment. They darted in and out of the shadows in flashes of soft brown fur and white flags, sunset highlights accenting them, as the mom's stood guard.

Eventually, they all came back up behind the house and started grazing again. We watched the deer for a while longer through the kitchen window, standing side by side, in awe at what we'd just witnessed.

I said, "Do you know how many people never get to witness anything that awesome? Or how many people would have seen it and never seen the beauty, but only prey to be shot down just for fun?"

Jim was as in awe as I was, and he used to hunt deer. I wish I could have gotten pictures to share. There is nothing like the wonder and beauty that God creates if we just pay attention. I'm so glad I dragged myself off the couch. I wouldn't have missed that for anything, and to share it with someone I love was just icing on the cake. I was totally blessed by the whole experience.

The sun set and it was getting dark as I went back to watching television, not near as exciting as the deer I might say, and Jim went to the bathroom. He came back to the kitchen, looked out the window, and said, "You're not going to believe this."

I said, "What now?"

He said, "The fox is back and it's out here eating with the cats."

So I guess when I first saw the fox last week and thought it was chasing a cat. It actually wasn't. The cat just happened to be running in front of it. I worried that it might be after them.

"You're kidding! It's eating WITH them?" I asked, as I started to get up again. I wanted to see this!

"It's gone now." Jim went back to looking for something to eat. "It took off when it saw me in the window."

I'm sure it came back when it felt safe. It's not afraid of Sammidog. That's for sure.

Sammidog was probably laying on the back porch with his front legs dangling off the edge watching like he usually does...unless he knows we're looking. He saves his bravery for when it matters. To impress us.

Sometimes the most awesome things happen in our on backyards. We only have to open our senses up to experience them.

1 comment:

Betty said...

Hi Sharon,

Interesting writing for today. I felt like you were explaining things we sometimes see in our back yard. And, yes, it is awesome. We saw a red fox once, but we never saw him again. We love watching the deer that come into our back yard. You will probably see them all again. Now you know to watch for them.