Thursday, June 30, 2011

North Idaho Senior Games

The NISG (http://www.northidahoseniorgames.org) is a week long series of competitive events for men and women 50 years of age and older. Age groups of five year spans compete in everything from pickle ball to pinochle and where your home is doesn’t matter. There were competitors from several states. About 15 years ago I competed in the cycling event which was my only experience with the games. There was quite a bit of advertising for the event this year and as I would be in the bottom of my age group I decided this would be a good year to give it a try again.

I had been doing some swimming during the tax season at the gym near where I work so I thought I would try some of those events along with the cycling. Injuries had terminated my running some years back but I thought I would see if maybe I could hold it together to do at least a couple of events. Pistol shooting looked good too because I can get plenty of practice on the farm. Even though I hadn’t played much table tennis in many years I thought I’d throw that in to have something to do on Tuesday.

About a month before the competition I went to the track, ran 400 meters at ¾ speed, a 100 about the same and then tried another 400. Just as I was finishing the second 400 I felt a hamstring pull in my right leg. I immediately quit, waited a couple of weeks and tried again. This time it pulled really badly and I knew that was it for the track.

The swimming had been going well until a few days before the competition. The breaststroke is my best event and as I was getting in a final practice there was a young buck in the pool who looked really good. When he tried the breaststroke of course I had to jump in and try to stay with him. And I’ll be danged if I didn’t pull a groin muscle in my other leg. It wasn’t too severe and I figured I could swim just doing a weak kick relying on my arms and shoulders to carry the load.

When I showed up for the ping pong competition I knew I had made a miscalculation. I mean these guys were serious players! It had been so long since I had played not only had the way you score changed but the size of the ball had too. Of course everyone but me had there own paddle. One of the competitors was gracious to loan me one from his arsenal. Actually when I wasn’t returning a serve I didn’t completely embarrass myself but trying to return serves with all kinds of spins was much more than I could handle. To make things even more embarrassing I won (was given) a gold medal because I was the only one in my age group.

Wednesday was the pistol shooting so I show up at the range with my old H&R revolver amongst the competitors with their fancy and expensive semi-automatic target pistols. On top of that the range was so dark I had trouble seeing. This story has a happy ending though because in spite of all that I not only won my age group in the stock competition but had the third highest score overall. I’m now shopping for a target pistol.

Thursday was an off day for me (no competitions) and Friday morning was the swim competition. I signed up for the 50, 100 and 200 meter breaststrokes along with the 50 meter freestyle. My leg was still bothering me but not nearly as much as it was after I finished all the events. They combined the age groups for the actual races and used times to determine the age places. Here again, for some reason, I was the only one in my age group but there was a guy 4 years younger than I am who was a real swimmer. He kicked my butt in every event until the last one which was the 50 meter breaststroke. With a Herculean effort I clipped him by 3 hundredths of a second. However, to be fair, he had swum one or two more events than I had although he was able to coast because he had no real competition.

The cycling was Friday afternoon and the event was a 10K time trial. Time trialing is the weakest phase of my cycling ability but due to lack of competition again I won that. The only person to beat me overall was a friend from Sandpoint 5 years younger who is a world class cyclist.

So I bagged 7 gold medals which I believe was the most of any participant. Now the grandkids will be getting something to use for target practice or Xmas ornaments. M/W

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BULLDOZER PETE

Rrrrrrrrrrrr. Rrrrrrrrrrr. Vrooom -- rrrrrrrrrr. Here comes Bulldozer Pete. When I was a child we read about Joe and The Busy Bulldozer (1952). And of course, there's the old classic, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939). Both of those stories served to show children what men can accomplish with a machine.






Mike and I live here at the homestead without farming equipment. We have a 4-wheeler and a trailer, but that's it. If a big job comes up, we have to find a man with a machine. Thank goodness for our neighbor, Pete, and his old bulldozer. Pete loves old machines and is as skilled as Joe or Mike in the old stories.

During this wet spring, a section of "June's" field sloughed into our lane. A correction was needed, so Mike approached Pete for the job. They agreed that Pete would move some of the dirt to the tire that Farmer Kyle brought to us for a raised bed. Oh, and by the way, said Pete, he had a tire we could have, too.

It took a few days to coordinate schedules -- so funny when we're all retired and no one really has a schedule. But on Monday when Pete first showed for work, bringing the tire with him, Mike was off to Orofino for some geocaching off Well's Bench Road.

So, Pete left the big old tire, which he had used as a feeder when he had cows, but we agreed that it would be better if some prep work was done before we loaded the tires with dirt. Finally on Tuesday we made a good start. I think he and his bulldozer hauled five loads of dirt to my tires.

Pete, who is about Mike's age, grew up here in the Gilbert community where his grandfather homesteaded. When we see him, he never fails to tell us something interesting about his family, my family, the community. Noticing the fading poppies in the yard, Pete recounted how his dad had said that Aunt Bertha used to like to grow poppies and eat the poppy seeds. Sometimes she was "loopy" from all those poppy seeds, he said. Interesting. Last year when Hallie was here we wondered if these poppy seeds were edible and if one could get "high" by eating them. Hallie dissected a poppy pod but no, we didn't try the seeds. (Never put anything in your mouth unless you know it's edible, goes the old rule.) Online research on the issue of poppy seeds seems inconclusive.

Anyway, much of the soil Pete transported contained clay. Mike and I spent some time removing clods. Now it remains to enrich the soil with some organic matter -- compost, grass clippings, and the like. We're getting a late start on the growing season, but I can probably grow something and the beds will be ready next year.

We have a nice crop of spinach in the rectangular raised bed. I made spinach crostata for dinner the other night. The peas are coming along slowly.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

O-O-OH! IT'S THE RESERVOIR! (duh!)

A couple of years ago I was pedaling down Miller Road when I happened to spy "the river." I didn't know that we had a view of the river from anywhere on Russell Ridge, and I was a little confused. "Where is this?" I asked on the blog.


Uncle Dan sent word that it was the reservoir. L.J. sent an email: it's the reservoir.



I still didn't understand, but I took their word for it. "If it's the reservoir, then why can't I see the dam?" I wondered to myself. Well, today Nellie and I took a little trip down Miller Road and I stopped at the same spot. This time I could see Dworshak Dam -- and of course, that's the reservoir behind it. See if you can make out the dam in the center of the picture.

Lovely wild roses are everywhere in varying shades of pink. And I found a stand of blackberry bushes along the road as well. KW

Sunday, June 26, 2011

MID-CENTURY VACATIONS

You know, back in the day, there weren’t overnight accommodations such as we have today. Hotels were expensive. Motels were few and far between and meant only as a place to sleep. My mother never trusted that such motels were clean. (At a motel, I was not to touch my feet to the floor unless I had my slippers on, a rule so ingrained in me that I still abide by it.) So, when you traveled, you planned to stay with friends as a means of cutting expenses. And if a friend or relative asked to stay with you, you were glad to help them out. It was just the way the system worked. And you believed this system the very best way all around, not just because of the expense but because hotels/motels weren’t comfortable. And besides, you were glad for the opportunity to visit your relatives or friends, and you believed they were glad to see you. 

Until recent decades, the destination vacation was out of the question for most people unless they could stay with friends. Travel was for the affluent and was exceptional if it happened for the common man – worthy of mention in the home town newspaper. 

I remember my dad sitting in the kitchen at the farmhouse after harvest in 1959. The harvest had been a good one and he was happy – joyous even – and he felt like celebrating. “I tell you what I’d like to do,” he said. “I’d like to go to San Francisco.” And so we made a late summer road trip to San Francisco in our ’55 Ford Fairlane. Daddy had friends there and so did Mother. Both couples had lovely homes. We spent several days with one and several days with the other. On the way home, our route was planned so that we stayed in the home of another friend. We could not have afforded the trip without the hospitality of these friends.
But the destination vacation didn’t happen often in our family. Seven years later, when I graduated from high school, we went to Disneyland. Again, we stayed with a friend of mother’s who had invited us to come. She had visited in our home several times.

Often the impetus for travel was to visit a friend or relative. The sights you saw were relative to where you were going. For instance, my Uncle Earle, my dad’s brother, lived in Idaho Falls, so he took us to Yellowstone while we were there. And Mike and I drove with our family to Arkansas three times – and flew once – so that we could visit Mike’s mother and other family members. Those visits included a stay at the family cabin on the Ouachita River. As we drove across the country we stopped at various points of interest. We wouldn’t have dreamed of any other sort of vacation. I’ll never regret that Mike was able to show the children where he grew up and how he spent his summers as a child.

Today, though, it’s different. People are more affluent – or less conservative – and willing to spend for travel. It’s not just a matter of more money but also of vacation allotment. 

All of this is glittering generality, of course. After marrying in the ‘30s, Mike’s mother and dad delayed their family for seven years so that they could make some road trips. But here again, I know some of those trips were to visit family.

[I try to match my posts to my pictures, but this one fails miserably. Nevertheless, I wanted to show the lovely wild roses out on Curfman Road with the snow-capped hills in the distance.] KW

Friday, June 24, 2011

NOW IT'S SUMMER -- NOW IT'S NOT

I had to tease Mike and Ken. The one day of real summer we've had this year -- 96 degrees on Wednesday -- and they went to get wood. "It was summer," I told them, "and you guys chose that day to get wood." It wasn't as hot in the woods, but it was plenty warm for them while they unloaded -- half to Ken's house and the other half to ours.

Wednesday evening a thunder storm went through and cooled things right down again. And the forecast is for more daytime temps in the 60s and 70s here at Gilbert. Tonight's low is supposed to be 42. The sun is warm, but the air feels as though it's being cooled over the snow. I traded back my cotton nightie for my pajamas.

The picture of the town house is an attempt to show the riot of color from our xeriscape. Six years it took for our plantings to develop into a mature landscape. In the fall we will trim back, pull out, and re-arrange the plantings.

And so today it was back to the farm. I packed up all my sewing stuff -- the machine, the embroidery module, embroidery thread, sewing case, sewing case, sewing case, tote bag, doll in laundry basket and overlooked items in my purse. Mike said he'd never hauled so much stuff, but I think he's forgetting about that Christmas when we didn't have room for anything more -- not even the coffee pot! I look forward to setting up the "vintage sewing room" and getting to work.

And when we drove in, I noticed a wild rose blooming beside the old woodshed. Perhaps it's there in tribute to Ina, who loved them, but this is a work area where Mike splits wood and the garbage can sits.

Mike hit a rock with the lawn mower last week, so we picked up a part in town and once we had settled in he fixed it. It's always something, you know. And I baked cookies, updating an old-fashioned oatmeal raisin recipe with white chips and dried cranberries.

Grandma Ina's old spirea bush is in need of some  T-L-C. The rodents have gotten into the roots and it needs some radical pruning. Hopefully we can save it, but there's no dearth of these bushes here if we have to start over. And see how the poppies have bloomed. They are also leftover from a bygone era. And in amongst that grouping is a lilac that bloomed -- just one bloom -- for the first time this year. Success! I would like to make this area into a defined flower bed so that I can more easily care for the plantings. Maybe people will come from Seattle to help.

And here are the iris I transplanted from the "Wright place" when a neighbor tore the house down a couple of years ago. They have really multiplied and will have to be thinned in July. The soil here is so hard! It won't be easy.

So, we're here for a while. It always feels like a step back in time -- a step back in time with creature comforts, thank goodness! KW

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SIGNS OF SUMMER

Now it's hot. Last night I slept in a cotton nightie for the first time this year. And I walked the dog this morning at 8:00 instead of waiting until mid-afternoon. The rivers still run full and swift so we can't exercise her in the water.

Mike and Ken have gone off to find firewood today from our town base, but we're looking forward to getting back to the farm in a day or two. Here are some "summer" photos taken June 20th as we finally began to feel some warmth from the sun.




Farmer Kyle is spraying the fields with Round-Up. It was good to hear the sound of machinery and occasionally catch a glimpse of his big new Case tractor.


Here's Nellie on point. "Move in carefully now, Kathy, and I'll show you what I'm talkin' 'bout," she says.
 And if you look really closely you can see the Hungarian partridge in the center of this picture. I've never seen one hang around long enough for a picture to be taken -- probably protective of a nest.
 Country panorama -- sort of. I can see the snow on the hills but the camera isn't sensitive enough to record it.
 And this, too, was an experimental photo. Can you see the deer -- yes, right in the middle. We have seen lots of deer this year.

Back to the farmyard. KW

Sunday, June 19, 2011

FATHER'S DAY BANANA BREAD


We’re back at the farm today after spending the past week in town so that Mike could participate in the Senior Games. He came away from the awards banquet last night with seven gold medals. Anyway, that’s his story to tell if he chooses to do so. I have trouble keeping up with the details.

When we got to town last Monday, I realized we had left behind two boxes on the floor in the den. They were just overlooked as we loaded the pick-up. Thankfully I didn’t need any of that stuff – food for thought in itself. Our only concern was for the bananas. I had folded a newspaper around them just to provide travel protection, but I didn’t know how much they would ripen in almost a week’s time or whether they would attract mice.

Well, I’m happy to report that while the bananas were soft and easily mashed, they hadn’t darkened a lot nor had they been bothered by nocturnal marauders. We figure it had stayed fairly cool in the house which retarded the ripening process. The four bananas were just right for the batter, which has now baked into two 8-inch loaves and is a welcome treat.
We won’t be here long – just a couple of days this trip. Mike and Ken are going to get wood on Wednesday. I’ll meet with friends and maybe I’ll finish the work apron I started as Mike’s Father’s Day present. 

The photo of Mike was taken this morning as he picked up a geocache along the Clearwater River. Since we can’t share the day with family, what’s better than to pursue an activity you love? Yesterday afternoon we found 13 of 16 caches along the Juliaetta-Kendrick path. It was pouring rain so I didn’t take pictures. KW

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WHEN COMPANY CAME . . .

I’m a ‘50’s child raised by parents who grew up in the 1910s and ‘20s. My parents were well old enough to be my grandparents. As I grew up, I thought their attitudes were rather out of step with the times – more so than my friend’s parents -- but now that I’m older and talking about the days of yore, I appreciate my first-hand knowledge of vintage ideals.

My shirt-tail cousin Leah commented on the previous blog about her aunt and uncle (her aunt now 96): “This generation (including my aunt & uncle) would feed anyone that came to visit, no matter how long. They never complained about cost or inconvenience. I think that in Bertha & Ina's time, the welcome mat was always out (at anyone's house).”

I was glad Leah said it because that’s the way I remember it – extend the hospitality of home and table when called upon to do so without complaint. When I was at home with my parents, we had company frequently, and my parents welcomed the prospect. (Well, my mother did; my dad may have grumbled to himself behind a closed door.) The welcome mat was brushed off, fresh linens put on the beds, and the house and yard put in order. 

Here are some things I remember about how my mother managed the prospect of company:
  •  It was at once an obligation and a privilege to accept any social invitation. Whether called to serve as guest or hostess, the service was accepted willingly and seen as a blessing.
  • Whatever she was doing within the home was not an obstacle to serving guests. If she was babysitting three or four grandchildren that week, she did not turn away company. The household machine gathered up whoever was there and we continued on.
  • My mother had help. Sometimes when I feel I just can’t do what she did, I remember she had a girl who was really dependable and helpful – yes, sometimes even capable. I would entertain children, bake cookies, help with the laundry and the cleaning, stir a pot or carry things up and down stairs. “I’ll need you to be my right-hand man,” she would say, and I would “take up the slack” where needed.
  • Mother saw it as a good thing when the general routine of life was turned upside-down for a spell. When you returned to life as usual, you had something new to think about.
Once I grumbled to my mother that I had been uncomfortable sleeping on a broken-down hide-a-bed when visiting relatives. Mother’s quick comment silenced me: “People share what they have.” 

[The photo was taken when Arvid and Laimi Portfors and their son Paul and his wife Martha visited us about 1962. Arvid was my grandfather’s younger half brother. From left to right: Laimi and Arvid; me (Kathy); my mother, Dorothy Dobson; my grandfather, C. O. Portfors; Paul and Martha. The visiting Portfors were from Thunder Bay, Ontario – AND – they didn’t speak much English. Apparently there's a Finnish community in Thunder Bay, and they didn't need to speak English. Sadly, I'm the last man standing. Paul was the first to go -- passed away of a heart attack, I believe, not too many years after this visit.] KW

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WE GROW WEEDS

"And positively no mowing," said Mike as we laid plans for our second home, the modular house in town which serves as "base camp" when we can't be at the farm. The result was that he and a rather artistic excavator landscaped our front yard, setting four flower beds within piles of big rock. Drought-tolerant perennials completed the scene. This is the sixth year of this plan.


It's basically a good plan, I think. The soil in this area is sandy. It was never meant for water-guzzling lawns. And it was fun to experiment with the drought-tolerant concept. The downside? Weeds, especially morning glory. Dealing with the weeds drives Mike crazy. On the other hand, drought-tolerant perennials are basically weeds anyway. We love the way it looks, and when we need to, we get out and pull a few weeds or transplant from one bed to the next.

These pictures were taken last week when the "snow-in-summer" was in full bloom. We also have lavender, basket 'o gold, hen and chicks, varieties of stonecrop, gallardia, coneflowers, thyme, etc., etc. Mike even transplanted some cactus, which proved to be a mistake as we can't weed around it. And now that sagebrush volunteers, we pull it up where we don't want it. When I shop, I watch for perennials that enjoy full sun, sandy soil, and little water. Mike runs a drip system through the beds that operates on a timer. So far this year we haven't needed to water at all.

And here's Nell. She knows she's not supposed to but it's one of her favorite things to do -- to snooze on the satin-covered pillows at the foot of our bed. I experimented with letting her have a regular bed pillow in the living room. Apparently it just wasn't the same. KW

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A CENTENNIAL AFFAIR, 1936


“We all went to Lewiston to this centennial affair, except June and Jack,” wrote my Great-aunt Bertha in June of 1936. Aunt Bertha and Uncle June Dobson lived on the homestead adjoining that of my grandparents, Ina and Jack Dobson. Bertha and Ina were sisters. Jack and June were twin brothers.

The Idaho Spalding Centennial took place in Lewiston May 7-10, 1936, celebrating one hundred years since the establishment of the Spalding Mission 11 miles east of Lewiston on the Clearwater River. Aunt Bertha penned only two paragraphs related to the event and one of those is largely devoted to transportation and food.

The journey originated in Orofino. Apparently the opportunity to ride to Lewiston with the Hunters took Bertha and family by surprise. Besides Bertha and her three adult children, the party might have included my Grandma Ina, her daughter Shirley and Shirley’s fiancĂ© Henry Shockley. She specifically states that Jack and June didn’t go. They likely stayed behind to take care of the farm chores. I doubt they cared too much for celebrations.

“I was glad we could ride with the Hunters,” Aunt Bertha continues. “We were out $7.00 on the trip for gas and eats as we only took Dutch cheese along. We stopped at the home of Mrs. Hunter’s cousin, Mrs. Brown, and she didn’t know we were coming -- ten of us in all. If I’d known we were going I could have taken some food from home. Instead I sent Ruth [her daughter] to a nearby store and she bought two loaves of bread, 6 lbs. sausage at $.25 per pound, one pound butter, a pint of cream, and some fancy cookies. Mrs. Brown made two pots coffee – think we drank less than one. She opened two one-quart jars fruit and we didn’t use one. We just made up sandwiches using one of her big loaves of newly baked bread. (We left our two loaves for them.) The men and boys ate outside. Hunters just took some cupcakes and brought a lot of them home – just left two for Browns as Mrs. Brown said they couldn’t use them all. The Hunters didn’t seem to feel beholding to the Browns, and I don’t either now. I bought a dozen oranges at $.35 and a box of crackers and cheese for lunch coming home, too.
 
“Well, $7.00 for four once in a lifetime isn’t so bad. We had a fine time. 40,000 people in Lewiston that day, but we didn’t visit the museum as I heard admittance would be $1.00. I thought it was out of town, but it was at the DeFrance Hotel. Will C. [Chandler, perhaps – a local historian] was head man in there. Ina went and held in her hands a little old copper kettle that came over on the Mayflower.  She saw so many old dolls -- one 200 years old. She thinks she’ll send her 57-year-old doll down there. Mine of same date is to pieces though the head is whole. Ina thinks the museum was the best part of the celebration. Pa C’s old clock is there and Mrs. McCain’s side saddle.
 
“We saw the Lewis & Clark canoe at Spalding as we passed. Ina went to Spalding for the dedication but the day was hot and no shade nor seats and only two stands where a dozen were needed.”

[In the first picture, Bertha and June Dobson are on the left while Jack and Ina are on the right. I think it was taken at June and Bertha's house in the '40s -- before 1945.  The dolls in the next picture were treasured by Ina and given to me by my dad in 1968 (see note on right). I believe the doll Ina considered sending to the museum is one of these in the picture.The small one bears a tag that states she was given to Ina by a cousin in 1878. That would coincide with the 57 years Bertha mentions.]

What would you do if ten people showed up at your door asking to share your lunch? KW

Monday, June 13, 2011

WHIMS & WHIMSY

The windmill is repaired and working. It's great to hear the comforting "oom-oom-oom" as the blades turn. 
 To the right -- just one frog in the pond. We have many more -- and some are quite large. Obviously they get enough to eat -- we aren't quite sure what.



I recently added windows to the mouse door.The set was originally designed to be hung on a tree, but I set it at the bottom of the stairway, and that's where it stayed.
Whimsy in a yard is especially appealing. My first thought was to develop my tiny outdoor village in the grove under a big pine tree, but then I realized I wouldn't be able to see it there -- at least, not very often. So I decided to establish my town under the wild rose bramble bush that Hallie and Nick pruned. Such a nice job -- and so nicely raked underneath. Now I can see the little house while I hang the clothes -- and I can even see it from the laundry room.

Here's some country whimsy at the neighbors', the old Plank place. Lilacs and wild roses grow over an old piece of farm equipment -- quite picturesque. Can you believe the lilacs are still in bloom? Such a late spring!
And of course, we can never have too many picture of Nellie. Here she is on point. A Hungarian partridge got up and flew off. "I thought so," said Nell.

(Formatting with a lot of pictures -- what frustration!) KW

Sunday, June 12, 2011

CLEARWATER HIKE

I try to keep this blog current, so when I fall behind, I have pictures that just don't get posted. This one, however, I felt was too good to by-pass both for the scene and the experience.

Last Tuesday, June 7, as Mike and I returned to the town house, we stopped to geocache along a trail which runs beside the North Fork of the Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, just four mile northwest of Orofino. Fishermen were present and mist rose from the river. I thought it a pastoral scene.

Dworshak Dam is the highest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere. Construction commenced in June 1966. I graduated with the Orofino Class of 1967. So, I grew up in a world that was anticipating this dam and construction was controversial.

As a child I used to swim at a beach here that is now underwater. As I walked along the trail I tried to remember -- tried to imagine -- what this area was like in previous eras. My mother told me that when she was in high school, she would hike with friends to this area, carrying an apple or a picnic lunch. Do you think my mother would have let me hike to the North Fork with friends? Not hardly!! Young people did it in the '20s, though. Life changes. KW

Friday, June 10, 2011

RETRO HAPPINESS

Well, it finally happened. The old clothesline, purchased in 1988, did not make it through the winter. Yeah -- we should have taken it in, but it was getting old anyway and I guess we lost interest in protecting it from the elements. But we have to have a clothesline at the farm, so I researched online -- the only place you're going to find clotheslines for sale -- and finally chose a model I hoped would be more than adequate for my needs.

"It's here," exclaimed Mike as we drove into the farm yard. "There it is on the porch." Well, you know Mike -- as soon as the Dakota was unloaded, he had opened that box and tackled the problem at hand -- setting up the new clothesline. It took longer than you might think because the old post was stuck in the concrete, but eventually we overcame that obstacle and the new unit -- a jim-dandy if I do say so myself -- was installed.

Hmmm. I might need a retro clothes pin bag to complement my new retro appliance. KW

UPDATE: Mike wanted to commemorate the inauguration of the new clothesline with some pictures. I was reminded of when my parents used to take pictures of me hanging the first ornament on the Christmas tree.

Mike was really impressed with the quality of the aluminum, the solid construction, and the protective packaging of this "Breezecatcher" unit. The experience of ordering this clothesline through clotheslineshop.com has been positive. Of course, it's wonderful to have a sturdy clothesline after working with the broken one. I like that the lines are longer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

EVENING VISITOR

Mike looked up from watching television at dusk last night to see two young white tail bucks in the farmyard. One moved on through, but the other remained on the bank above the clothesline between the poplar trees and the bramble bush. We crept to the sun porch and Mike took pictures through the glass, fiddling with the camera settings to disable the flash. The one here is the best of the lot.

Deer are naturally curious, but apparently white tail are more wary than mule deer. I have to say, though, that the fellow in the picture was really not too concerned. Despite our use of the camera flash, he was only spooked once. He quickly moved a few feet into the field and stared at us for a moment or two. But he really wanted to graze on our lawn so he came right back.

It just goes to prove how diligent we have to be in this environment to protect our vegetation. I wonder if the deer will be more interested in the yard since the fields lie fallow this year.

Oh . . . and I don't know if Nellie saw the deer or if she just generally didn't like the way Mike and I were acting. She took herself off to the laundry room where she stayed until it was time to get her teeth brushed. KW