Friday, January 9, 2015

snow and freezing wind

snow and freezing wind --
a doe and fawns take turns eating 
dry corn, keeping watch

All night I keep waking to the sound of our wind turbine roaring. It sounds so much like a tornado that my heart is beating almost as fast as the blades of the turbine, spinning in 22 mph wind that whips dry snow into spiral clouds. I feel sorry for the turbine, forced to rotate far faster than is good for it. A switch trips the generator so it doesn't overload, but anyway, without battery backup, we aren't getting any benefit from the wind, which sent temperatures plummeting below to -9 F (-23 C) with a windchill factor of -20 F (-29 C).

Yesterday I refilled the bird feeders with black oil sunflower seeds and peanuts, and left a ground feeder full of dry corn for the deer and squirrels. This afternoon a doe and her twin fawns step out of the woods, across the open snowy lawn, straight to the corn, as if they've been here before. The doe eats first.

When she lifts her head to scan for danger, one of the fawns takes a turn.

But the doe doesn't let the fawn eat for long. First she paws at the back of the fawn with one hoof. When it doesn't move off, she mounts it to push it away. I have never seen a doe use this method of discipline, but I suppose she's really hungry.

After the corn is gone, they all go on the alert. First one fawn, then the other, moves off, and finally the doe follows back into the woods, where there is more shelter from the wind.

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