Monday, July 12, 2010

Animal babies

Photo by Jennifer Ellison

My lambs are all getting big. They don’t look like babies anymore. In fact, some of them are bigger than their mothers and they can all take care of themselves. They just eat grass and drink water from the water tank, safe within the confines of our pastures, protected by a four foot stock fence and three strands of barbed wire.

Today I was reminded that there are still young animals on our farm, just outside the pastures and the barnyard. My lunch was interrupted by a rhythmic tapping just outside the door. I pressed my face to the screen and waited. A three inch high woodpecker hopped into view, tested the aluminum door frame for bugs, and, disappointed, moved on to try the siding on the other side of the door. I had never seen such a small woodpecker. The red on the top of his head was no bigger than my fingernail.

I glimpsed more babies on our quarter mile driveway. Three turkeys scuttled across the road, followed by three little, dull gray pullets. They immediately blended into the underbrush at the side of the road. Just as I moved out of the trees, a young deer bounded across the drive in front of me and then ran along side the field, its golden brown coat thick and healthy looking. At the top of the driveway, a young kit fox trotted out of the high grass and crossed the road, its bushy russet tail streaming out behind it.

If I had a day job, I would have missed those babies. I am so lucky to work at home and have a flexible schedule. Because of that flexible schedule, I can take the time to visit Kieran, my grandson, the animal baby closest to my heart.

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