Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. The year past has been a tough one for my family. Nevertheless I remind myself of my many, many blessings.
Every afternoon at dusk for the past week a doe has been visiting my back acres. Even as I took these photographs I could hire rifle shots cracking in the state forest on either side of the farm. However my friend D has filled his larder with venison and there will be no more hunting on my land this season. She is safe for the moment.
I know deer are a pest in many places, but not here. I am happy to see this doe feeding in my pasture — that three years ago was a tangle of broken balsam trees; two years ago a war zone of mud, boulders, and stumps; and one year ago a blanket of unpalatable winter rye between cherry saplings, weeds, and rocks. This summer I spent days mowing, weedwhacking, mulching, and picking up stones. My sheep spread fertilizer. I sowed timothy seed.
“It will be better next year,” I promise the doe in my mind.
In the meantime I give thanks that despite some hard losses, we have come through.