Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Blur Of A Few Weeks

I'm not exactly certain where the past few weeks have gone, but they have been a blur of work, seemingly non-stop activity, injuries and health scares.
 It seems like a long time ago since I took these pictures but it was only a few weeks ago.
When I took these pictures I was standing outside our large metal storage building talking to a lady I had just met but who I liked instantly.
The day was very cold, very clear, it had just snowed recently, and the deer were unhurriedly wandering through town.
After having spent the entire winter inside the limits of this small community 30 miles from the nearest civilization, they have become very tame.
Used to people, they are friendly and curious.
Ready to scoot away at any unexpected movement, while at the same time wanting to cautiously approach and visit.
They are wonderful.  Beautiful.  So friendly and I love having them around.
That will change in the spring and summer, but during this time in our frozen world, they are regular and welcome visitors..................
As the adults and some of the young deer milled around, I watched these two closely and with amusement.
Just before Christmas I had pulled a small metal sleigh from the garage, filled it with pine branches, and sat it in the snow by the entrance to our driveway - a driveway that has been visible and then covered with snow so many times this winter that I have now lost count.
As I stood talking to the woman we watched as two yearlings found the branches and began to feast on them.
By the time they were done the sleigh was empty.
And that was just fine with me................
About a week after these pictures were taken the temperature suddenly spiked to 40 degrees for a few days.
I had been shoveling snow off and on away from the house throughout the winter, but with the unexpected rise in temperature (in early February) suddenly this small desert town was over-run with water.
For three days straight we struggled to keep water away from the house - shop vaccing non-stop, shoveling non-stop, breaking up melting ice non-stop, changing out buckets that were filled with run-off.
We weren't the only ones fighting with the unexpected rise in temperature of course.
The entire region experienced more snow than they had seen in decades, and when it all suddenly started to melt the entire region was struggling to catch up with it.
Many worked as hard as we did and succeeded (as we did) in keeping water away from the house, but many also lost the battle and got flooded out.
By the end of the third day we had it mostly under control and had purchased two sump pumps (one for either side of the house).
By the fourth day the world froze over again.
We had lost half of our snow, but still have much more left.
I had tendinitis in both arms, both of us had messed up backs (from hauling a full shop vac away from the house multiple times) and we were both exhausted.
More than exhausted in fact.
It had been a rough few days.................
For the next few days I slept fitfully - constantly waking up because of my back and constantly waking up because of numb arms resulting from the tendinitis.
During that same time I made a decision.
I had not seen a doctor in far too many years.
I saw an advertisement and (on the spur of the moment) decided that I should go.
I had not had preventative screenings.
Had not had a physical.
I was due.
I was long overdue.
And although I felt fine I knew that it was time..............

Everything came back normal with the exception of them finding a polyp on my cervix.
It took two weeks from the time of the original discovery - to the time of a second appointment with another doctor for a tissue sample - to the time of the the tissue being tested - to the time of receiving a phone call from the doctor to let me know that it was benign.
So it appears that I am healthy and now hopefully I can forget about doctors again..............
On the day I snapped these pictures, the deer roamed easily around the yard and around the road in front of the house for a very long time.
I occasionally snapped a picture here and there, but mostly I just watched them.
They were making it through this rough winter very well.
All looked healthy.
None appeared injured (usually at least one a year sustains a leg injury or the herd sustains a death) but this year everyone looked very good.
And while I watched them I relished in the comfort they obviously felt in this town.
This was their town.
They roamed every yard, every driveway, every square inch of this town with comfort and abandon.
The entire community belonged to them.
I could see it in the way they moved..........................
Come spring - if they are still here - everyone in town who has a love/hate relationship with the deer (and that includes us) will begin cursing these gentle creatures with the same enthusiasm and abandon that we have now when we greet them.
They are devastating to plants, bushes, grasses and make landscaping a challenge in an already challenging environment.
But for now they are always a welcome sight...............

"What do you call yourself?" the Fawn said at last. Such a soft sweet voice it had!
"I wish I knew!" thought poor Alice. She answered, rather sadly, "Nothing, just now."
"Think again," it said: "that won't do."
Alice thought, but nothing came of it. "Please, would you tell me what you call yourself?" she said timidly, "I think that might help a little."
"I'll tell you, if you'll come a little further on," the Fawn said. "I can't remember here."
So they walked on together through the wood, Alice with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the Fawn, till they came out into another open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden bound into the air, and shook itself free from Alice's arms. "I'm a Fawn!" it cried out in a voice of delight. "And dear me, you're a human child!" A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full speed..............Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

For a while I thought this young doe was going to come right up to me.
She slowly wandered towards me one step at a time, inching her way to almost within arms reach.
I stood very still and silently smiled at her, curious just how brave she would be.
A foot away from me I slowly reached out my hand.
Backing first her head and then her body, she took a few steps in reverse, before turning away from me and heading back to the security of the adults..................     

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