Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Mornings like this are groaners. It’s 5:15 and the dogs have decided they need to go out. It’s drizzling, windy and dark out. I don’t want to go out. I don’t have to be up for work this morning. Maybe I’ll just give them a short walk and then climb back into bed.

No I won’t.

I’ve been at this long enough to know that even 5 minutes out there will have me wide awake and ready for coffee. Plus by the time we get back it will be almost time for the family to get up and get ready for the day, and I can’t sleep through that. I also now that once I am out there, there will be something to entertain me.

For instance our black cat who loves to rush through the woods to get ahead of us, and then pounce when we least expect it. The dogs looking with longing eyes for the neighbor to come out with a treat. (Sorry guys – even if he is sitting in front of the TV perusing the Weather Channel, he won’t be rushing out here with doggie biscuits at this hour)

I’ve gone across my field, up past the neighbors and along the drive by the little field, carefully keeping the dogs away from the edge of the woods, where they desperately want to go, so as to keep their leashes from tangling in the bushes. As I break through the arch, up into the hay field, I am greeted with 3 pairs of eyes, shining back the glow of my headlamp, about 3 foot off the ground, and 100 foot away.

The deer have heard us coming, but the dogs have not yet caught their scent. We stare at each other briefly and then I lead the dogs off in the other direction.

This particular group of deer have learned to be cautious, but to expect that I will not allow the dogs to follow them. These does have their fawns in my neighbor’s yard and are semi-tame to him. Their is no hunting in these fields so they are relatively safe. Over the past few months they have seen me guide the dogs away from them, or to wait until they have moved on.

It is cold and wet and dark, but by the time we get back to the house, the coffee is ready and I set about letting the fire in the stove come back to life, and watching the day ease into my yard.

My daughter and I talk about the problems of aging and how to avoid them, like limiting sugar, keeping your mind active, and getting plenty of exercise, even on cold wet days.

By AFarmer

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