the deer remind me

the deer remind me

the deer are not a metaphor
nor simile
they don’t mean anything
they are in town
because we don’t shoot them
outside the town limits
they are shy

here they cross at the crosswalks
and teach their young
about cars and trucks

the deer remind me

each time I see them
they have no voice
I remember
we think of bambi, gentle
and tragedy of a mother’s death

are deer gentle?
they are strong
fast, we are told hooves can kick
sharp and wound

I sing to deer
when I come across them
almost daily

they look at me
singing, watch me

the deer want to live
as I do too

the deer are not a metaphor
and yet they remind me
to be gentle
and that I am strong
and fleet
and can run when I have to

even when I do not have a voice

fawn call

This starts with my ornithology teaching assistant in college, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

I LOVE ornithology. A generalist class: bird wings, ecology, biology, zoology, physics of flight and they SING! Also we walk around in the woods with the teaching assistants trying to see and hear birds. We memorize their songs and markings.

We go out at night. Our teaching assistant hears a barn owl. He replies. He is an expert at that call. The barn owl answers. After a few back and forths, the barn owl swoops over us, coming to check out the caller! The barn owl is unnerving and gorgeous, passing just over our heads.

We all talk to the birds. We make pshhh, pshhh, pshhh noises and lbbs (little brown birds) will sometimes hop out on a branch, curious about us. Hooray! It’s a warbler!

We practice our bird songs.

Fast forward to the present. I walk with my friend and he is messing with his enormous zoom lens. We see crows harrying something in the top of a tree. A hawk, who calls. I start answering. The hawk is young and calling its parents. It’s the time when the parents say, you have to go hunt. My friend gets an amazing picture of the hawk looking right at us, mouth open, crying. I dig around on my cell phone, and think it’s a Swainson’s hawk. I play the Swainson’s song and then the young hawk REALLY cries: I feel terrible, as if I have teased the young one. Yes, it’s a Swainson.

We run in to two young bucks. I sing to deer. The deer are always alert and ready to run when I appear, but when I sing they just stand and look at me. My friend takes a photograph of the buck, just watching and listening to me.

My friend finds a fawn in his yard. The mother leaves the fawn for 8-24 hours. My friend has a low fence around most but not all of the yard.

The doe returns for the fawn one day. My friend is outside. The mother hops the fence. The fawn tries to, but it can’t hop high enough. It hits the fence and cries. It tries over and over. My friend goes up slowly and opens the gate. The fawn goes out the gate after he backs off. Both fawn and doe look at my friend.

I stop by his house to pick up a package for him. I park and hop out of my car. A fawn behind the fence startles and goes around the side of the house! It’s late afternoon and two fawns and a doe were lying in the shade in the front yard. The second fawn gets up and mom stands. I hold still and sing to them a little. Then I go in through the gate, get the package and slowly get back in my car.

Word gets around. The other day my friend has six fawns in his yard. He’s charmed and a bit shocked. He is outside. A doe comes and calls her fawn. It’s a bit of a meh or ma sound. My friend tries to make the same sound. Three of the fawns eating grass stop. They turn their ears towards him, alert. One fawn walks up to him….

….so now he’s a fawn caller.

 

For the Daily Prompt: gate.

Deer yard

I took this at my aunt and uncle’s, in Covington, Virginia. The deer are adapting quite well to their neighborhood even with new and more houses and people.

I didn’t get a photograph, but they also have a metal cage bird feeder on their porch. Various birds visited, but it is the first time I have seen a pileated woodpecker at a birdfeeder, right on the other side of the glass. Looking like a pteradactyl, really.

H is for heal

H for heal, healing, healed.

Heal is not used as a feeling as much as healing or healed in conversation. Unless you are a healer and you hope to heal someone. But we use healing frequently or say, “I need to heal from that.” What do you want to heal from? A physical, a mental, a spiritual or an emotional healing? They are all tied together and we need them all. I am working with a massage therapist, once every two weeks. I chose massage for healing because my sister and father had died 14 months apart and about ten months later I thought, I need some help. And the thought of discussing my family was horrifying. I thought, I don’t want talk therapy. Let’s go at it from another angle: heal and help the body and the mind will follow. I feel much better now….

verb (used with object)
1. to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment.
2. to bring to an end or conclusion, as conflicts between people or groups, usually with the strong implication of restoring former amity; settle; reconcile:
They tried to heal the rift between them but were unsuccessful.
3. to free from evil; cleanse; purify: to heal the soul.

verb (used without object)
4. to effect a cure.
5. (of a wound, broken bone, etc.) to become whole or sound; mend; get well (often followed by up or over).

H

I am a family doctor and one area of healing that we should use more is going outside, going for a walk and going in the woods. Why? I was feeling gloomy yesterday am and walked down the wooded paths in my neighborhood. The birds are celebrating spring. A deer stood watching me on the path, immobile in hopes that I wouldn’t see her. A sapsucker was up in the top of a dead madrona tree. I only walked ten blocks, but the new information from being outside and watching and listening, blew the gloom right out of my mind. The brain is geared for new neurological information using all the senses. We do NOT use them for computer and especially not for television. So go outside and blow the cobwebs away! And if you have a feeling you are not comfortable with, take it for a walk and show it birds and squirrels and just let it be present. Be kind to it and yourself. Heal.

I took the photograph Saturday. I walked into my lower yard and the deer and a yearling were startled. I stopped and the deer did too. She kept looking at an evergreen to her right, and at last the cat walked out from the lower branches…. If a cat may look at a king, then a deer can look at a cat….