Outdoors Column: Enjoy It When You Can

Several days of cool temperatures accompanied by cold rain was starting to wear on man and beast alike. Saturday afternoon, for short time, the wind stopped blowing and the sun came out. It was like a scene from a Disney movie. I looked out of the living room window to see why it suddenly became so bright and saw a bluebird on the porch railing. A rainbow arched across the sky and the rain glistened on the freshly watered grass. Unlike a Disney movie, the bluebird flew into a window and knocked himself unconscious. I went outside to see if the little bird had killed himself. When he saw me, he composed himself as best he could, and flew to the nearest tree. It was then, I truly noticed the wonders of nature that surround us.


Bright green grass covers the rolling hills. The leaves are changing in the surrounding woods. Most of the wildlife in the area were coming out to enjoy the sunshine after hiding out from days of rain. Three big old gobblers, two does and three fawns were in the horse pasture just below the garden. The fawns were feeling fine, running and playing. The old Tom turkeys seem moderately annoyed by the rambunctious deer and moved out of their way when they got too close. Two bucks walked across the hillside on the opposite side of the lake. The sun glistened off their antlers as they stopped frequently to smell the ground and grab a quick bite of something to eat.


Billy, the poodle pup, bristled and growled while looking off to the south. I could not see or hear anything that would bother him. I did notice several deer standing in the driveway just past where my truck was parked. Fortunately, he did not see them. I went back to trying to figure out what had him so concerned when I noticed just the heads of turkeys poking over the edge of the hill, watching the house closely. I could then hear the hens clucking and the young peeping back at them. They spooked and ran down the hill toward the cabin. I could make out three hens and twelve to fifteen young birds. Billy was excited to see them and really wanted to chase them away. I was able to stop him before he made a break for it.


A line of clouds was forming in the west. I told my wife to join me and the dog on the porch to enjoy the last of the sunshine we would see for several days. We sat enjoying the view while the dogs played on the wet and slippery lawn. On the far hillside, near the new fence, several does and fawns made their way across the opening between two patches of timber. It is far enough away, it is difficult to tell a doe from a fawn at this time of year. A few minutes after that parade had passed, three more deer came across the same clearing. Even at the distance we were at, we could tell these were three bucks, just from the difference in size. I would have liked to have been close enough to see if the size of their antlers matched the size of their bodies.


Before long, clouds again covered the sun and a cold drizzle of rain began. The wildlife slowly made their way back to cover and we went inside. I can not complain about the rainy days since we went most of the summer without any, but just like the wildlife, I will enjoy the sunshine when we get it.