A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to see a deer and what had to be her newborn fawn out back. It was a cool, rainy day, I had just gotten home from work and was walking one of my dogs when I happened upon them. The deer immediately darted, leaving her baby, barely larger than a chicken and tottering unsteadily on shaky legs alone in the path. I took a couple of quick pictures, scooped up my Jack Russell, Tempest, who was convinced that since the mother ran off the baby was fair game to claim as her new property, and headed back to the house. My other dog got a bit ripped off on his walk that day, as I didn’t take him to the trail in hopes that the doe would return quickly to reclaim her fawn. A month later, while walking the pups early one morning before work, I saw them again peacefully grazing in a yard off the trail. Then this morning before work, another sighting. I only got a quick glimpse of the baby. The doe remained in site longer as she bounced away, leaping to be seen over the brambles between us.
I don’t live out in the wilds, but the abundance of wildlife nearby is fantastic. The rabbit population is ridiculous, and I’ve startled a woodchuck simply by opening my front door. Out behind my house is an old, historic railroad track. The track itself and a small foot/bike path remain pretty clear, but to either side nature grows freely. A seemingly never-ending plethora of wildflowers bloom, changing with the weeks like a department store display. The phlox gave way to violets which were replaced by wild roses followed by day lilies, only for the color to renew again with types for which I have no name. There aren’t many wildflowers in Florida, mostly just weeds, so it’s a real treat to head out every day to see what new surprises have bloomed.
I thought I recognized a vine last week, but thought it couldn’t be true. Then the vine started to flower; I recognized those too, but remained skeptical, as my own attempts to grow this plant always failed at this point. To my delight, a fruit has appeared, almost doubling in size every day. PUMPKINS!!!!!! Growing wild right out back along the trail. I tried so many times to grow pumpkins in Florida without success, now here I find them thriving on their own in the wild. I’m eagerly anticipating watching them grow, and hoping I’ll be able to carve at least one for my favorite holiday, Halloween.