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Summer and love

Reflecting.

To Begin With, the Sweet Grass

Will the hungry ox stand in the field and not eat
of the sweet grass?
Will the owl bite off its own wings?
Will the lark forget to lift its body in the air or
forget to sing?
Will the rivers run upstream?

Behold, I say—behold
the reliability and the finery and the teachings
of this gritty earth gift.

2.
Eat bread and understand comfort.
Drink water, and understand delight.
Visit the garden where the scarlet trumpets
are opening their bodies for the hummingbirds
who are drinking the sweetness, who are
thrillingly gluttonous.

For one thing leads to another.
Soon you will notice how stones shine underfoot.
Eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in.

And someone’s face, whom you love, will be as a star
both intimate and ultimate,
and you will be both heart-shaken and respectful.

And you will hear the air itself, like a beloved, whisper:
oh, let me, for a while longer, enter the two
beautiful bodies of your lungs.

3.
The witchery of living
is my whole conversation
with you, my darlings.
All I can tell you is what I know.

Look, and look again.
This world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.

It’s more than bones.
It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse.
It’s more than the beating of the single heart.
It’s praising.
It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving.
You have a life—just imagine that!
You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe
still another.

~ Mary Oliver (you can read the rest of this poem here).

Contemplating.

We have been discussing the subject of love in Gita class.  When I look back on my notes, I realize that we have been discussing love all along.  Maybe I knew that, somewhere inside.  It’s an interesting and extensive subject.  Love.  How do you define it?  What IS love, really?  What is your experience of love?  Is loved defined differently throughout your relationships?

Small steps.

While I was pondering so many interesting questions about love, summer and the solstice arrived.  We’ve cycled through a new moon and a full moon, and I keep forgetting to come here and write.  I start posts in my head.  I take photographs and think about sharing some of them along with the stories of what is happening here on the ranch as the days have grown longer (and now, in reverse, they will begin to grow shorter but that’s hardly noticeable right now).  What happens, though, is I end up writing about why I’m not writing and then think, “Bah!  Who wants to read that?”  Wouldn’t you rather read about love and wisdom?

Ah well, maybe not.  Maybe you’d rather read about rabbits and deer and a daylily lit up by a sunbeam.

Light in the garden.

We’ve been through one heatwave, had the relief of a lovely cool down, and now we’re entering another round of heat and oppressive humidity.  It is summer, after all, and who would expect anything other than heat and humidity?  It doesn’t feel right to whine about what we’re experiencing here on the east coast when the northwestern U.S. is under a heat dome and parts are literally on fire.

Strawberry Moon. But I would rename it the Blueberry Moon since strawberry season has long been over here and we have been harvesting blueberries.

Our gardens continue to grow.  We’ve moved from what I think of as the Yellow Season (of buttercups and dandelions) into the Orange Season (of daylilies and trumpet flowers).  We have a bonanza of blueberries this year.  And, there has been some deer drama in the vegetable garden.  It began about ten days ago with this little one:

At the entrance to the vegetable garden.

Mama Deer somehow decided that of all the places around here, our vegetable garden was a good and safe place to leave her baby while she spent the day foraging for food.  M and I discovered the fawn in the morning when we went out to work in the flower garden.  We had plans to work in the veggie garden, too, but scrapped that idea because we didn’t want to panic the baby.  Let sleeping fawns lie, so to speak, and hope that the mama comes back soon.  Well, soon was later.  Mama arrived back at the garden in the evening and on the wrong side of things, where there is no opening for the fawn to leave the garden and join her.  After a tense fifteen minutes or so of watching the fawn try to figure out how to reunite with her mother, the mama deer finally came around towards the gate.  The fawn ran out to her, nursed, and then they went on their merry way.  M worked on the gate to the garden the next day.  Our concern was not that the fawn would eat up all the veggies, but that she would get stuck in the chicken wire that runs along the inside of the wooden fence which is designed to keep Thumper and friends (the rabbits) out.

Meet the mama deer.

The rabbits, by the way, are having a very good year when it comes to breeding.  You can look out any window of the house at any given time and spot at least six to ten rabbits.  Seriously.  We are overrun.  A hawk discovered our burgeoning population and flew in recently.  I suspect that will help decrease the population.

Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere.

Two days later, Mama deer left her little one in the veggie garden again.  It seems we are running a baby deer daycare.  However, this time around it wasn’t all coziness and sleep.  The fawn had somehow managed to get inside the chicken wire.  We discovered her out there because we could hear her jumping against the wooden fence, trying to get out.  M, once again to the rescue, went out and slowly edged the panicked baby towards an opening in the chicken wire.  The fawn ran out and disappeared into the New Woods.  We did a little research on the internet and apparently the deer are prepared for this sort of thing.  The fawn has an alternate hiding place, and the mother did find her.

In the meantime, this family stopped by:

Heading towards the backyard.

It took me a minute to realize it was not the same Mama Deer and Baby.  In fact, it took me a minute to realize there were two fawns.  And a daddy.

The proud father of twins.

We have been able to distinguish between the two mothers.  The Mama Deer using the garden as a daycare has some white markings on her flank, probably a result of injury or scratching.  The flies, ticks, and other biting insects are dreadful this year.  (I don’t show you close-ups of the deer because the number of ticks on their ears, around their eyes, and on their antlers is horrifying.  We did see two of the does grooming each other one day.  I’m surprised they don’t do more of that.)

Comfortable in the garden. (Yesterday.)

M fixed the gate.  We didn’t see the fawn again for a while.  Yesterday morning, M spent some time pulling weeds in the vegetable garden and didn’t close the gate on the way out.  A little while later, the scene you see in the image just above this paragraph was what we were greeted with.  Not only was the fawn back in the garden, she’d somehow gotten inside the chicken wire again and was quite cozy in what we’re calling the chaos portion of the garden.  Back in the spring when we were in NE Ohio, M the Younger, who is trying his hand at small farming, gave us a bag of seeds which he referred to as a chaos mix.  It’s a mix of all kinds of vegetables including various beans, squashes, corn, cucumbers, greens, and I can’t remember what all else.  The idea is that you scatter it and enjoy whatever comes up.  (Unfortunately, we’re not sure what is growing out there.  We recognize the squash and the cucumbers, but will have to wait to identify the rest.)

So.  The little one spent the day resting in the chaos garden, apparently quite comfortable with both the garden and with us.  M went out in the evening and created an opening in the chicken wire, just in case the fawn had forgotten how she got in there.  An hour or so later, the mother collected her young one.

A little blurry but you get the idea.

And so ends the saga of the deer.  For now.  The gate is shut and I think M is going to work on that today, to make sure it stays shut.

There are other stories I could share such as getting my first professional haircut since January of 2020 or seeing a doctor for a wellness type of visit (for the first time since November of 2019).  Pandemic related stuff, for the most part, and our gradual reentry into the world.  It’s not a reentry into “normal,” but more along the lines of trying to fit in some things before the next surge.  M and I are still wearing our masks when we’re out and about in public.  Given the recent news on the Delta variant, it’s the wise thing to do.  I’ve been out and about on my bicycle, thinking about signing up for the virtual version of the Seagull Century again this year.  I’ve been spending a lot of time drawing and painting which accounts for my absence from the blog and writing, and I’ve been reading quite a bit.  And…  I’m taking a course called MORTAL.  It’s about death and dying.  Maybe I will tell you about it someday.

Stimulating the baby’s gut. (That is a polite way of saying that the mama is urging the baby to poop.)

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with me (and the deer) today.  I hope you and yours are all well and safe, and enjoying this early part of summer.  Let’s head out to the Point for sunset this evening.  It’s scheduled for 8:30 PM.  Maybe, if the weather works out, we can take the kayak and go out on the water for a little while.  We wouldn’t have to go far.  Just far enough to avoid the bugs onshore.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.  ♥

The tomatoes are doing well so far.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,801)  Friends and family, always.  1,802)  Gardening and garden vegetables. We harvested beets and greens this week.  Delicious!  1,803)  This wildlife park I am living in.  I’m glad everyone feels safe and welcome, but… I’d rather they not take up residence in the veggie garden.  1,804)  Daylilies in bloom.  1,805)  Homemade pizza with pineapple and carrot “ham” (we marinated thin slices of carrots in soy sauce and smoked paprika, then grilled the slices with some wood chips).  We originally set out to make carrot “bacon” but this was even better since it did an excellent imitation of a ham and pineapple pizza.

A raindrop in the morning.

Author:

Robin is...

29 thoughts on “Summer and love

    1. It is a “be careful what you wish for” situation, Carol. I love being able to see them so well, but I end up worrying about the baby getting tangled in the chicken wire and injuring herself somehow. It’s better (for me and my worrying tendencies) if the mama hides the baby elsewhere. 🙂 I hope you’re staying cool somehow out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. How lovely to watch these photos. And strangely, the Mary Oliver poem for the second time today – unless you too subscribe to the Love Is A Place-blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Leelah. 🙂 No, I don’t follow that particular blog. Sounds interesting. And what a coincidence (regarding the poem). I started this post about two weeks ago, with nothing but the poem and didn’t get around to doing something with it until today.

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  2. Deer drama. I like that expression. It would be worrisome for me as well to have the little thing lying around in the open with all the potential dangers. You are always doing interesting things, so I’m glad you finished this blog. I’m having a little trouble writing myself, but hope to get another one out soon before a trip to the midwest by car…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M keeps reminding me that the fawns survive quite well out in the wild. I remind him that the vegetable garden is not the wild and chicken wire is hardly something you’d find in nature. The garden is near the house, too. I’m surprised the mother deer thinks that is safe, but she does have a point. It’s not likely anything else is going to come that close to where the humans live. At least I can rest assured that it’s an organic garden, not sprayed with anything that might kill the baby (or anything else, for that matter). M the Younger introduced us to burning as a means of weed control and I suspect M the Elder is enjoying playing with fire (using a welding type of torch to “spot burn” although we do still use the old-fashioned method of pulling them by hand). Have a wonderful trip, Lisa. I hope your garden is growing well this year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL the weed blow torch! Not something you could get away with where it wasn’t so humid. One of my neighbors in the community garden could benefit from that…but I’m unlikely to suggest it. I hope the fawn stays safe. It seems odd to me the doe would leave it with so little cover, but wildlife are changing their habits as we incur on their spaces…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There is probably more cover in the garden than there ought to be, Lisa. Even with the weed blow torch, there are spaces in there that are overgrown with weeds. That might be particularly true of the chaos garden. We can’t tell weed from vegetable so we’re just waiting to see what we end up with. The squash is recognizable, as is the corn. Everything else is a mystery right now. (I have to admit that we haven’t tried too hard to identify anything since the chaos garden is an experiment.)

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Too cute, Elisa. 🙂 It makes it hard to shoo the fawn away from the garden. On the other hand, she will grow up and we don’t want her in there eating everything in sight once she stops nursing and starts grazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those nibblers are cute. And the fawn is an absolute dear. 😉 We have been going out and about, but we are keeping track of the variants, and we have a new package of masks to tucked away. Just in case.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just bought new masks, Laurie. With the (premature, in my opinion) announcement that the vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, some of the places selling masks have marked them down significantly. I like their hopefulness, even if I don’t share in it just yet. I remain cautiously optimistic, if there can truly be such a thing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always good to have those masks on hand. We have no idea what the winter will bring. In Maine, as the numbers drop, drop, drop, I’ve inched up from being cautiously optimistic to being plain old optimistic. Again, we shall see what comes. We have a new pack of masks that are at the ready should we need them.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It makes me sad to hear about the bugs on these beautiful deer — that must be awfully troublesome for them. Too bad they can’t have Bravecto or some other such flee-free! I love those bunnies. We have some, but not many. Perhaps Monkey is a deterrent?? Isn’t it grand getting out and about more normally again?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think dogs do tend to be a deterrent, Debbie. Perhaps we need to get one, although I do enjoy watching the bunny antics. I was just looking at something online for deer to help with the tick problem. I will have to contact our Division of Natural Resources to see if they run a similar kind of program here on the Eastern Shore. They do it in Western Maryland so it’s possible they do it here, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a beautiful post, Robin. I had seen some of your deer photos on Instagram, but thank you for sharing the story. I think in a way, that’s part of your story of love and June–mothers and baby deer, you and M now living in a situation where you see them–and even your chaos garden from seeds your son gave you. Everything’s connected, isn’t it?

    I’m not sure what to do about going out/masks etc. We were at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this weekend, and we didn’t wear masks. It wasn’t crowded, and the rooms have high ceilings and air flow. . .but I’d wear a mask in a store.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 You put that so wonderfully — the connections to love. I probably wouldn’t worry too much about wearing a mask in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, either. As you mentioned, they have high ceilings and lots of air flow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it crowded but that might be because we’ve always gone during the week when it’s less likely to be overflowing with people.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So beautiful, Robin (I swear, I opened tihs post three times before I was finally able to read it from one end of the other.) Who doesn’t love Mary Oliver? Her poetry is as beautiful as your images. No, your images are even more gorgeous. Such drama, too!
    I love that idea of a chaos garden… Hmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dale. 🙂 The chaos garden is interesting and growing well, although I can’t really say what is growing in there. lol! I do recognize corn and squash. The rest is a mystery at this point (and could all be weeds).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We had a baby deer resting on our property not long ago. They are sweet to see. I wonder, too, if the definition of love changes as a relationship evolves. Something to ponder.

    I’m finding that I’m not all that anxious to get back out into the world in the same ways that I did before the pandemic. I’m reluctant to go without a mask even though I’m fully vaccinated. It’s a challenge to decide what is the best thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it does change, Ally, with time and life experience.

      It’s reassuring to find others who not in a hurry to get back out into the world in the same way we did pre-pandemic. I agree, too, that it’s challenging to decide what is best to do. We went to a furniture store last week to look at love seats (the one we have is old and falling apart) and wore our masks. No one else, not even the workers, had masks on. It took a long time to get someone to help us even though there were plenty of employees there and not too many customers. I wonder if it had to do with the masks? When we finally did get some help, the woman seemed so reluctant that I found myself blurting out that we’re fully vaccinated but are wearing masks to keep others (particularly our grandchildren, who are too young to be vaccinated) safe. She seemed surprised by the idea (recommendation) that the fully vaccinated can protect the unvaccinated by wearing a mask. That’s been part of the point all along — protecting each other. Sadly, many have missed that point.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your place is magical. I was in Baltimore this past weekend and the house I was visiting has a little bit of land. During the evening we saw a fox and a doe down at the end of the property, both of them doing their thing very near each other without any problem. Was so fun to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What did you think of Baltimore, Dawn? I like it, or at least parts of it. It’s a city with a lot of problems, though. I’m always amazed at how well the different animals get along at feeding time.

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      1. I’ve been in Baltimore a couple times before. Once to present an award at a conference, maybe 6 years ago, didn’t get to see much of the city. Once maybe 4 or so years ago Bruce and I went and we walked at the waterfront and up the hill to the pepto bismo (sp?) tower. It started to pour rain when we got there, and the building manager let us in and gave us a tour of the inside. It was pretty cool. This year I was attending a Truck Safety lunch at the home of one of our victim families, outside the city. That was fun, but we didn’t go into the city at all. Oh wait…I was also there 2 years ago for a book launch and we were in downtown at the big library, that was cool too!

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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