Turkey, Deer, and 50 Goldfinches, Oh My! by Lori J. Loesch

Country Living At It’s Best

I complain a lot about living in the country, but it’s days like these that make it all worth the hardships. In fact, I don’t remember any hardships when I open wide the blinds and see, oh I don’t know exactly, but I counted fifty Goldfinches outside my window, on the deck. It looked like Goldfinch world! There were no others except the one Dove that seems always to be about. She’s a part of the family.

I am looking forward to the arrival of spring. I have dreams of planting a Sunflower field, Timothy grass and some Field corn for harvest. It will supplement the winter feeding. It sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea, except for a small fact, that I haven’t the ability, or the desire, to drive a plow on the back of a tractor! I’ve never driven a tractor. I guess it’s never too late to learn something new, even if I am later in years.

I hope to see the spring birds building their nests, hatching their young, the continuous feeding, and finally watching as mother and father bird coax the last of their brood off the nests’ ledge into the air, to at last take flight!

I have been scattering deer feed and bird seed around the yard, I usually put it in one area, but this year I put it all around the house, and to my surprise, I get all kinds of birds, little birds, medium sized birds and yes, big birds like Crows and Turkeys! I love Turkeys! They look like prehistoric birds walking around the yard! There are fifteen in the flock. I also have a Red Tailed Hawk that visits quite a bit. I’d like to think he comes to see me, but it’s probably my salad bar of birds and squirrels that keeps him around. In August he landed on a small branch just above my head, close enough for me to see him blink, blink. What a majestic bird!

I should not slight the squirrel population, I have 10 that regularly come to eat the seed. They scamper up on the deck and when I lift the blind, first thing in the morning, they don’t run away. There’s one that I call Skinny Tail, his tail is very thin, not at all like the bushy, full tails of his peers.

There are also deer that frequent our yard. One is a very nice buck. He is always alone and he never lets me see him in the clear. No matter where he grazes, there is always a bush, tree, or something keeping me from seeing him full on. My brother in law lives next door. He feeds the deer much more than I do, and this year we had a young guy ask my husband if he could bow hunt on our 100 acres. My husband said yes. We were joking about the buck. My husband said, “Lori, tell him about the buck that we have.” I said, “What buck? There’s no buck.” I didn’t want him to get shot, but I also understand the “Hunt”. And it’s necessary to keep the herds down. Any who, when my brother in law saw the guys’ truck on the first day of Archery season, he went ballistic on my husband, his older brother! He said, “I feed them and watch them! You’re not going to let someone kill the deer!” And that was the end of the bow hunting guy. My brother in law is a very large man, but the softest heart.

Country living is a love hate relationship with me. My sister in law said to me yesterday that I was the one that wanted to live in the country and now I’m ready to move back to the city! Yes, country living has been my dream since I was a little girl and would visit my grandparents on their small farm. I have been fortunate to experience my dream, it’s unfortunate that it feels more like a night mare. I thank God that I get little glimpses of paradise in the country. And after school my daughter and I go outside, and with the spring melt, there is water everywhere making streams out of what used to be grass, fields and trees. She and I like to watch how the water ways go, and how it bubbles up out of the ground, like bubbling crude! (If you remember The Beverly Hillbillies).

Yes, I suppose I will live here for another ten years, when I first moved here I thought I’d be taken out when I died. I had a man tell me that in 10 years, someone will offer us more than our property is worth, and we will sell. Hummm…I’m counting the days and years, and trying to take in the experiences with my young daughter. I should have an environmentalist from the University show us how wonderful our land can be. Maybe a young student. We have a marsh where we watch tad poles and salamanders hatch and grow, that’s awesome! Maybe I enjoy it in the country more than I thought. I just wish I were 20 years younger to do the physical work.

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