The Rut, and some snow, have hit Zen Mountain
The Rut has finally come here on Zen Mountain; one of our big bucks has been flirting about with one of our girls, and she doesn’t seem to mind in the least.
One of our little wild family has come back, or at least is showing himself once again as he starts his matches against other young bucks in our area. ” LilBuck” is back and staying fairly close to home lately as things begin to amp up with the does coming into season…..
Speaking of seasons, Archery and Rifle seasons for deer have come and gone up here. I didn’t go out as we have had a lot to work on this year… and my eyes are giving me grief along with an old work injury to my right shoulder and neck has been giving me a bad time…LOL.. it seems as though my body just isn’t happy anymore.. For the most part, other than slowing me down and shortening any of the tasks I use to do, it is all in the ” Oh Well, whatch’a gonna do?” bracket …. Anyway, our two biggest bucks have not been around since Archery, so no idea if they were taken or whether they are just deep in the havens and only coming about at night… It is always hard to tell..Just like ” LilBuck” showing up…
Now you might ask; ” Right.. How do you know it is the same deer?” … and, of course, I would have thought I couldn’t tell either with two years on him. The faces elongate a bit as they reach maturity, just like ours..basically.. He’s a buck, so his antlers grow and change depending on what stupid things they might get into while they a growing or simple genetics…
Thing is, just like you can usually figure out an adult that you last knew as a kid.
” LilBuck” has a look that he always had when we had the giant load of too small apples that the kids got to enjoy for most of the Fall and Winter…and so, the short story:
LilBuck and his mock battle
“LilBuck” , on the right: the 1 X 2 buck, is the smaller of the two bucks. The other boy has a little more mass, and a little heavier rack as well as being a 2 x 2.
Ma; my better half, and I were in the living room when she saw the two little guys trying out their dominance acts.
I grabbed the camera, opened the door and took the first series of pics through the storm door, but, alas , the door fogged up , making the shots a little grey. Ma had me open the door, which didn’t bother the kids in the least and I shot their second round from outside.
The first round, clearly went to LilBuck’s rival , sending LilBuck off to catch his breath. The other buck had slammed his antlers in to LB’s side though, as we can see; there is no visible damage, but I bet it hurt from the look LB had on his face when it hit.
After a second bout, LB was taken down once again, as his partner in crime got him in the neck…and once again, LB closing his eyes to try to keep them safe, and I am sure from yet another jab that had to smart.
Ma and I were doing chores off and on through the day, one of them being me taking the trash out to our dumpster.
The dumpster is a good 60-80 yards from the house closer to the beginning of our drive, and yet this side of where we had all the parking for the wedding.
While I was walking out, I saw, against the trees, a buck watching me, glowering. I stopped, looked at him and smiled.
This was ” LilBuck”. The face was more adult and his antlers weren’t just stubs anymore, but you couldn’t not tell it was him.
“Well Hey there Lil Buck.”
“” hi Da…”
” What’s wrong?” I asked as I started walking towards the dumpster again.
LilBuck sighed and said,” Well, you saw… I lost both times.”
” Well,” I answered, ” He had weight on you, and a little heavier rack, easier for him to push your spike away and get inside, so not your fault, you just need to get a little bigger.”
” I neeeeeeed appules.” He said, a grin creeping on one side of his mouth.
I snorted, shook my head and replied, ” You had a ton of apples just a couple days ago.”
A full grin swept across his face, ” Yes and they were the best ever.”
I laughed, ” You only ever had them one year before you know. “
” Yes, and these were way better.”
I closed the dumpster lid, securing it and turned to face LilBuck once again. ” Yes, yes they are…and you guys wiped out a good sized cart load in a little over one day.”
” ..And two Nights..”
” Ok, and two nights…But, for now, that’s all you get. Ma and I have to process all of the apples we took before we know what leftovers you will get.”
LilBuck huffed behind me as I walked back to the house, complaining quietly to himself.
Lookin’ for Love
BigBuck has been staying close by the house lately, not only because he is smart enough to know that being close to home means safety , but also, it means; ” GIRLS!”
We, of course have a lot of deer around here, and depending on the time of year, we not only see more or less , but, of course; new and old faces.
” Our Girl”; ” Lil Buck’s” Mom, as well as having her first fawn right under our bedroom window, where she slept for months, right by Ma’s head, is always here, like Lass, she knows where “home” is.
Our Girl, usually has friends over for lunch and to just hang out with Ma while she sits under the cover of the porch.
The girls had been hanging about when BigBuck came in, Lookin’ for Love..They gave Ma a pained look, leapt up and slowly walked away; BigBuck in tow.
Well, he Knew the girls had been spending a lot of time here as the ground around the tree on the berm was covered in their scent. The girls would spend the warm days under the cover of the branches, they could see 360 degrees around them and they could keep an eye out for Ma.
Each morning , we would see either the girls or BigBuck standing or laying on the berm…
BigBuck, roamed the meadow and fields about the house, waiting and waiting for the girls to show again , but no luck…
Then, finally, one morning as the sun rose, the two finally ended up together at the berm.
Normally, we see the does continue to walk off, trying to get the bucks to leave them alone…… but not today.
The two were together for a good half hour as we watched. Our doe, not against having a boyfriend, but not quite wanting to “seal the deal”.
Eventually, the two made their way over the berm for a little more privacy.
The next day, BigBuck was back, hoping to spend some more time with his girl…He stood at the berm for a very long time, barely moving as he watched and waited. He, then, made his way over to her bed under the tree and lay down to continue waiting.. He was sure that they had made plans to meet up this morning again. After waiting over a half hour, BigBuck decided that he must have misunderstood the plan and slowly wandered off.
Not more than some fifteen minutes later, the does showed up, looking around for BigBuck.
” I told you we shouldn’t have hung out at the lower watering hole , you gossiping.” The doe complained to ” OurGirl”, who simply shrugged, made her way down into the field close to the house so that she could visit with Ma.
The other doe sighed, sniffing about for BigBuck, smelling his scent all over the berm and even more so in her day bed. Pouting, she slid down into a spot close to OurGirl, the two drifting off into a light sleep.
Well, Hi Stranger!
With temperatures dropping, the hummies have been heading down to the “Humstone” in town to spend winter by the fire, watching the Ipad Big screen TV with the amazing earbud surround sound that Hummie had set up.
Lass, of course, is still hanging about, refusing to leave as she has a very nice apartment in the large juniper , close to the feeders and with a fence on the back side of the apartment, keeping it even a little more toasty for her.
She waits till she hears us come out for tea and coffee before she heads to the feeder; two bugs, one stone. She’ll chat with us for a few minutes, then heads back to the apartment to warm up. She is enjoying the better connection with the new wireless we are using now, though we all know, once the snow comes, it’ll be me running down to try to clear the dish for a signal…and as I can’t clear the big dish that we get the signal from , it may get a little weak soon… But, for now, she sits in her cozy little home and watches Christmas Hummer movies on the Humtime TV channel.
Yesterday, Ma went out to the porch in the afternoon, when she was greeted by someone we had been missing all summer.
” Hummie” sat on a branch close to Ma’s swing chatting up a storm, both to Ma and to Lass. Ma called me out and sure enough, our little guy had come up from town, shoved out of his Lazyhum Chair by his Mrs. to come up and tell Lass to come home fore the holidays.
Lass being the stubborn little thing that she is, flipped her beak into the air over her head and closed her eye, not at all interested in Hummie’s demands.
” But I don’t want to go to town yet. It is still nice up here.” Lass complained.
Hummie fluffed his red orange hood feathers in frustration, starting up again. ” Look.. I get it, look how many years I stayed up here all winter, but remember, you almost didn’t make it one winter. Your mother wants you home for the holidays anyway. It’s warmer, you will be with the family, Big screen TV …and I really want to get back to my Lazyhum by the wee fireplace.”
Lass rolled her eyes.” Fine fine..just not today.”
Exasperated, Hummie started in again , flying over to her branch to grump at her in volumes.
Lass, flit up and zoomed into her apartment, slamming the door behind her. To which, Hummie sat , complaining and fluffing his red head, yacking at Ma and myself..as if Lass would listen to us.. I have been telling her she should head down for days now. We have some low twenties coming in at night with chances of more light snow. I don’t see where it looks like enough snow to insulate Lass’s home, but enough to chill things a little bit more.
Again this morning, Hums is back and telling his daughter to get her tail feathers back home before the cold sets in, making it a long nasty flight if she waits too long. Hummie, getting to be very old, as he has been here since before Ma moved back over from our other place in ID. When the cold snapped this morning and snow came through, Hummie started flying very slow, I know his aches and pains are getting to him and the valley is always warmer for his old bones. It was great to see him again. Last year about this same time, he came up from town to tell Lass to come back down.. Only difference, Hollywood was here too. This year, Hollywood hit town long before Summer set in, deciding he liked all the lights and noise of the big city.
Hummie is STILL out there, visiting the Homestead while he gripes at Lass..who, in turn, ignores him.
As I mentioned earlier on, we gave Ma’s new 1970s Shetland wheel a spa day, well it took more like three days for repairs, oil and wax, which made her into an easy fit into the family of wheels…
That, however, didn’t set well with Mama Wheel 1970s Dutch wheel.
As she is the workhorse in the family…and actually darker than this pic shows. So she knew that it was the squeaky wheel that gets the oil… So, Ma tore her down and she had her own spa day…Happily, she began work again, singing to Ma as the two spun up 40 wraps per inch two ply yarn….spider silk… though, Ma always gets her wrap number ever higher .
Ok, All is happy and jolly now in the house right?… Oh no… Now we had two other wheels glaring at us, so another spa day was set up.
So Ma tore down Sister wheel; a newer , never been used…as I had to do some fitting to get her to work for Ma, sister of Mama Wheel.
Her spa day went fast as she wasn’t used anywhere near as much as Mama Wheel; the original.
Well, we had taken care of three wheels and Ma’s antique rocker, which sucked up a ton of oil before she was happy and we had one last girl left to go: Ma’s Irish .
Irish was made in the same year that George Washington was re-elected into the office of the President. The same year that Kentucky became the 15th state of the United States, so, yes, she has seen a few things.
Up to this point, I had cleaned her and simply used the extremely hard museum wax, hoping it would make her happy… But… After the Oil and Bees Wax spa days of the other three, we decided to do the same for her… I lost count of coats of almond oil that she soaked up before she was happy. Several working parts show the wear of all of the years she worked hard when she was young and watching the United States slowly grow.
Letting the wheel continue to soak in the oil, we let her rest over night, Ma waxing her the next day.. With all the coats of oil, she began to darken back to her original color…which means, as I matched the new flyer to the color she was…I’ll have to sit down and try to darken it up to match the color she is now and is suppose to be.
All wheels, and chair, sit in the living room where Ma can work between them by the fire, the soft satin sheen of the wheels set a warm glow where they sit by the indoor plants.
Ma has been getting requests for her work from Ladies of WAFA to do some work for them to show off their yarns, from socks on up, Ma’s designs make the most of the pallets these other fiber artists use showcasing the work… Finding striping, pooling and on, depending on the yarn and article made from it.
Though, at this point, everyone is still working out “wants and needs” it looks like Ma will be doing some work for these sellers which I think is amazing.
Ma is also playing with her Spindles to get more comfortable with them before we , hopefully, send her off , in the Spring or early Summer, to learn under the best Orenburg spindle spinners known and one of Ma’s idols… Things there, as well, all have yet to be worked out, but as I am trying to get Ma out there for that and hopefully later next year to visit her buddies and show in the Michigan Fiber Festival…Once again.. still working things out..
Ma’s fiber work only gets more and more impressive in all of its forms and I am extremely proud of her and what she can do. She is absolutely amazing, and I just can’t hardly believe that she never stops refining her already incredible works.
We have to run the jeep down to the shop this coming week, it seems that the tractor isn’t the only brat this year. It took me an hour to get her to start the other day only to find out that her oil light won’t go out. I didn’t hardly touch her last winter as we got hit hard enough over night that we were simply snowed in and no way out. I didn’t touch her this summer because she was ok last winter when I started her, though the light did flash on, but then went out.. The year before , it turned on a couple times for a moment when I turned onto our road of the main backroad up here… So, At least her I can get to a shop to have her fixed. I wish I could just do the same with the tractor….But I don’t see AAA dragging a tractor down to Gotham.
I sit here typing away, occasionally seeing Hummie chasing Lass about , griping at her.
We are in the clouds, and as I said, it snowed a bit earlier. It didn’t snow hard enough and we are just barely warm enough that it was” just for lookin at snow”.
Hopefully, the AAA truck can make it here on Friday, I am a little concerned about trying to get it to the real road. I got hold of the nephew to see if, just in case, they might be able to grab me to go pick it up.. whenever that is, if the weather is too rough for Ma.
With her bad leg and” Blue ” ; Ma’s truck still sticking for her, but not for me for some reason, I just can’t have her fighting that if the weather makes things slick. I don’t need Ma’s brakes locking and her sliding, because once they lock, you have to back up to break it free… The trip is curvy and all steep downhill with drop offs…Not going to happen.
We ground pork yesterday, as well as cutting heavy steaks, one feeds us both, and stew meat, as we continue to get ready for Winter. A trip to town will be our next move and that is tomorrow to pick up more of the supplies we need as well as some fresh veggies…
We did manage to get all of the apples off the trees this week, though we had to cut them as the bulk still were still happy where they were.. but losing so many to the birds and concerns of freezing, we just wanted them down and ready to process… at present, there is a path in the entry room to get in and out with boxes and boxes of Grannies and Goldens. We got the biggest apples we have ever had up here, much bigger than store bought , even from the Young Granny tree.
Tomatoes are all off and on the counter and all the root crops harvested save for a bed of potatoes we still have left.
We have a LARGE batch of chicken stock to cook up , but, we need some more quart jars to do it…as we need a bunch for the Goldens for juice and we have Turkey stock coming up before you know it too. After all of that is done, then we should be about ready to work on Pasta Sauce ….The busy time of the year has started for us and it can be a handful some days….But…You know what?
Just another day on Zen Mountain