Outdoors Column: Coffee Drinking Weather

My wife and I enjoy the quiet time early in the morning, drinking coffee on the porch, before we have to get serious about the day ahead. An hour or so of enjoying nature around us gives us time to wake up and plan what needs to be done. The past week or so has been perfect coffee drinking weather. Temperatures in the mornings have been in the high sixties to low seventies without a cloud in the sky. Wildlife seems to be enjoying the weather as much as we have.

           

Saturday morning we watched as a doe jumped over the fence from the horse pasture and made her way to the bottom of the dam. She stopped and looked around cautiously. Suddenly, two fawns jumped up from the tall grass, ran down the face of the dam and started nursing from their mother. She gazed patiently off into the distance while her babies nursed furiously, with little tails flying. A few minutes later, the mother had had enough. When she turned to leave, the one fawn ran back up the hill to his bedding spot. The other followed its mother as she went back into the horse pasture to check out the horse’s salt block. Another doe with a single, slightly older fawn approached from the timber on the east. When the two fawns saw each other, the race was on. They chased each other in circles and ran around their mothers, jumping and playing. It was easy to tell, the fawns were enjoying the nice summer morning as much as we were. The one doe eventually led her fawn back to the dam and put it down for a nap with its twin. The other doe led her fawn back into the timber to the east.

           

The freeloading birds are also enjoying the cool mornings. All of the birds in the area seem to have raised their babies and are now teaching them how to get a free meal supplied by us. Oriole parents will sit on the jelly feeder with three or four begging babies. The adults are trying to teach them to reach into the dish and grab a mouthful of grape jelly, but the babies sit at the side, mouths open, making pitiful noises. The parents always give in and feed their offspring that are almost as large as the adults. The wrens that hatched their brood in the decorative bird house on the porch have convinced their young to leave home. They have not gone far as we see them frequently lined up on the porch rail, waiting to be fed. At times the parents oblige, but it is obvious, they would rather the noisy babies would go find their own food. Meanwhile, a pair of bluebirds have taken a liking to the decorative house on the porch. This is creating a conflict between them and the wrens who have not completely moved out. I think the wrens want to nest in it again as they are hauling more twins into it. The male bluebird flew up to check out the facilities and was met with an angry wren. The two birds fought to the ground, fluttering and chirping all the way. The bluebirds spent the rest of the day on a nearby branch glaring at the wrens as they made a new nest in their house. Only a few times did they attempt to invade the space of the feisty little wrens.

           

We have a good time watching the wildlife around us as we plan our days.