There are times when I long for a more luxurious home. I fantasize about having a spectacular kitchen that has a pot-filler at the six burner stove. I think how great it would be if I had a dishwasher and two ovens. But, although my home is nothing like the one I sometimes dream of it has charms that no granite countertops could ever match.
In the field behind my garden the deer come to play each evening. There are generally about six of them and they jump over the deadfall and chase each other around the hills. The fawns bounce around like adorable, spotted balls. They come in very close to the house at night. At times another few feet would have them in the kitchen. They’re not afraid of the light on the back of the house and rarely even run away if they spot me watching them. The deer sometimes cross right behind my garden in the morning and stop to munch on the leaves of the staghorn sumac trees.
The grove on the west side of the house has a den of foxes living in it. I’ve name the vixen Victoria. The little ones are Caution and Spooky. The adult male I call Butch and he’s a bit of a bully. He likes to run across the lawn and knock Spooky over but she’s gotten much tougher and has even snarled at him, albeit from her side as she lays in submission.
I do something I know I shouldn’t and leave food for the foxes every few days. Victoria is fearless for a fox. She’ll come right up and munch on whatever scraps I’ve put out, only checking casually for any predators. Caution is fairly brave, as well. He’ll eat but is more likely to run off if a car passes by or if he sees me watching. Victoria isn’t at all intimidated by my voyeurism. Spooky, as her name implies, is the least courageous of the family. The slightest sound sends her fleeing to the back of the house where she can use the cover of the field to make her way back into the grove and the safety of the den. Butch isn’t interested in the food I leave. I think he thinks it’s not manly to eat table scraps when there are field mice to be caught. Foxes will come out in the daylight hours if they’re hungry. I’ve been able to watch them as they eat the mulberries lying on the ground in summer and snatch up mice leaving my garden. Good foxes! The evenings of days I’ve seen them out and about in daylight I leave a little snack. Not enough to curb their hunting instincts but just enough that they’re not going to bed with completely empty tummies.
Our youngest son lives only a couple of miles away and the drive there is wonderful. Not only are there deer and wild turkeys everywhere, but we’ve seen a Bald Eagle! That hasn’t been a common sight here in many, many years.
It’s not just the wildlife that makes it a fun drive. There are longhorn steer that share a pasture with a horse, an alpaca, and a very chubby goat. These steer seem very interested in conversation and I sometimes stop and chat with them for a few minutes. They’ll move closer to the fence and seem to be terribly interested in what I have to say. I’m totally in love with any male that actually listens!
Some people think a dream home has to be a mansion but, in most ways, I have the home of my dreams. There’s room to grow my vegetables and to have rabbits and chickens. There are my deer, foxes, and other wildlife right outside my door. I get to chat with longhorn steer on the very short drive to my son’s house. It really is a dream home.