Curious Whitetail Bucks

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on July 20, 2011

Whitetail Buck

Whitetail Buck Image by funpics47

When we returned from our trip to Modesto on Tuesday, we used the upper driveway for the first time since it was paved, the ‘Beca was loaded down with people and camping gear.

We had been shopping for a mess kit and tent, since 0ur son and his friend will be doing a three day camping trip with other young men from the Twain Harte Chapel in the Pines — and they are very excited.

Just moments after the ‘Beca came to a stop, I pushed my door open, arms loaded, headed for the house and just about ran smack dab into a huge buck, standing stately near the edge of the driveway, I am sure he was wondering if I was going to stop. All I could think was, “darn, darn, darn, here is this magnificient buck standing just feet in front of me and me without a camera!” He stood tall and proud, his rack was large, at least 10, maybe 12 or even 14 points.  I was too numb to think, move, speak and especially…count.

Much to my surprise standing not two feet behind him was yet another buck. This one was much younger than the first. Both bucks stood motionless for the longest time. Have you ever sat and watched deer? They can stay still for an amazingly long period of time.  I headed for the house and when I turned around to get one last look before opening the door, they had vanished.

For the past several weeks all I’ve seen in the yard are does. We have two that visit regularly — since we haven’t mowed the weeds in our yard. (Don’t judge, it’s a BIG yard!) The deer love the vegetation and I’m happy to let them have it — I just wish they would eat more of it. Faster.

Put it this way, we could have a mountain lion living in the front yard and no one would ever know.  We have some pretty dense vegetation out there. I keep hoping some industrious young man will show up and offer to mow the grass and clean up the yard for me, but so far that hasn’t happened. I asked for a quote from some men who were working nearby but they wanted $800 to clean it up. Wow! It’s not that bad and for that price the mountain lions can stay.

I’m keeping my eyes open for those bucks to return but it could be at least a month before they make their way back here again. They seem to operate on a cycle and I believe they only came down the mountain because our temperatures have been cooler than usual. I expect them to wander back up to the high country once the summer heat hits us again.

Lily Mae update

Lily Mae gave me quite a scare yesterday. Try as I may, I could not get her to eat or drink anything (not that she is eating yet), nor was she using the litter box. This morning was another story. She had three small meals this morning and afternoon. She actually stayed awake for several hours this morning.

She is resting now and appears to be healthy and happy. I will be happy when she starts eating regular food. It’s been 14 years since I had to warm bottles and mix formula. I forgot just how much work it can be.

Take it slow folks and watch for the wildlife. If we don’t protect them, then who will?

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Keep on smiling…

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Opinion, Twain Harte News on June 29, 2011

The New York City fireworks over the East Vill...

Image via Wikipedia

The family piled into the ‘Beca yesterday, with an entire laundry list full of stops to make and what an adventure we had. I find it simply amazing just how many things can go wrong in one day and we just keep on smiling — often through gritted teeth.

I’m laughing because I can’t believe it was hailing last night, the fog was so thick I felt like we were swimming in pea soup. I am very thankful that we made it home last night before dark, when I know it got really ugly for motorists traveling highway 108. It was pouring rain and just as we were unloading our vehicle it began to hail – hard.

I was thrilled to be back home, the National Weather Service was predicting up to 5 inches of snow in the upper elevations, I’m all but certain they got it. I feel sorry for the folks who plan to camp near Dardanelle’s Resort over the Fourth of July weekend. There is still hope the weather will clear up before the holiday arrives but it’s a toss of the dice. I know many locals have opted for camping at New Melones or Beardsley both at lower elevations, instead of camping at Brightman Flat or Kennedy Meadows.

If you decide to brave the elements, be prepared for cold, nasty weather, especially during the evening hours. Pack some warm sweats, you will need mosquito repellent and a heavy sleeping bag. It gets down right cold at night and in the morning. I type this as I sit wrapped in my warm snuggie that I almost packed up for the summer — it’s 48 degrees. I still have bins of summer clothes stacked high that should have been taken care of by now but every time I start getting into them the weather turns ugly and I need my winter gear.

It just goes to prove if you want to live in the mountains you must be prepared to keep on smiling. It’s a wonderful adventure. Have a happy July 4th weekend. Fireworks of any kind are illegal in Tuolumne County though with all this rain we are getting it would be a terrific year to have a fireworks display but I don’t really mind the restriction.

Keep it safe this holiday. Don’t drink and drive.

 

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