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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Feeling Overwhelmed, O Deer!


alert whitetail deer

This post is going to be a little more personal than some have been. The purpose of this blog is to focus on the positive aspects of my life, but right now there are almost more small joys than I can deal with. On the other hand I am still very tired from the last adventure, behind on home responsibilities and also must be planning the next hike in order to succeed at my goal of finishing the trail before the end of next summer.

All of my income comes from various self-employment opportunities and almost all of them involve writing or web site design and management. It's been very hard to leap from the joys of the trail to writing articles about chair rail molding or swimming pool maintenance. I feel fractured, yet pressured to write as much as I can so that I can afford to keep hiking.

I haven't yet fully returned to all that I was doing with blogs and promotion before I left for the hike. Actually, I'm still shaking my head and trying to figure out how I was doing all of that!

But, back to the joys... every time I go outside I find several things that I would like to show all of you, not to mention more things I could share from the hike! Just today I pictured several wildflowers, harvested more wild asparagus, saw another bluebird, observed the progress of the emerging leaves on several species of trees, checked what's blooming in my weedy rock garden, took in a whole slew of sounds and smells, and learned two more new words. And that's just today, not counting what I have selected to share.

Well, if you can stand it, hang on to the roller coaster! I'll just keep trying to share something good every day that I can.

First of all, let me say that I've enjoyed reading how many of you have great memories of mulberry trees and bushes throughout your lives! The comments have really pleased me, because society has really forgotten that mulberries are edible and make yummy jam or snacks. I see that many of you have not forgotten! Thank you!

So, first let's answer the question about the mulberries. Most plants are monoecious. That means that one plant has both male and female parts. Think of an apple blossom with both stamens (male) and the pistil (female). The pollen falls on the pistil, travels down to the ovary which ripens into the apple. But some plants are dioecious which means that the male and female parts are on different plants. Mulberries are real tricksters: they can be monoecious or dioecious! Sometimes they even change sex. Whoo-eee! So, to keep this focused, in yesterday's pictures the male flowers are on the left, and the female tree is on the right, already forming tiny green berries even though the leaves aren't even fully formed yet.

Now to finish today's best event. The doe above was alerted to attention when Maggie barked. But here's what she was doing just before that. I could wish that she had been standing so as to give me one of those "perfect" pictures, but instead she was busy being a deer, not a model.

nursing whitetail fawn

See Mulberry Mystery?
See The Local Deer Herd

8 comments:

Solomon said...

It's so cool that you have deer in your back yard.

JOE TODD said...

As long as the deer stay out of the garden I'm ok with them. Actually, I'm ok with them anyway. Love mulberries but haven't had any since I was about 10 years old

Ratty said...

I understand about feeling overwhelmed. I've been feeling that way myself lately and I don't think I have nearly as much reason as you. The deer shots are great. When they're just being deer, that's when I like the pictures. I knew about the male/female mulberry tree thing, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise. I didn't remember most of the details though.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Solomon- Well, it's cool except when they eat all my plants!

Joe- the mulberries are great!

Ratty- You are a "brick!" Thanks for your support. All that grass made a really nice backdrop for the deer, didn't it? I'm pretty amazed that I caught the fawn nursing. Of course after the alert the baby dropped to lie silently in the grass and mom bounded away (for awhile).

Sharkbytes said...

Just curious if anyone noticed what the deer was busy doing... no one said anything.

Ratty said...

I didn't notice the baby the first time I looked. I'm glad you mentioned it. It gives the picture a whole new dimension of greatness.

Anonymous said...

Joan,

Just found the comments. Of course I noticed what the mom was doing! Hey, the fawn has to get clean somehow, right?

tm

Sharkbytes said...

Hey TM! Glad you figured out how to see and use the comments. You are, of course, very observant of natural phenomena! Loved the fox and woodchuck story you sent me.

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