Monday, June 21, 2010

The Cutest Thing Of All Time - Bambi's Got Nothin' On Me!

It was so hot today that this deer was panting!
It was eighty-two today and so humid you could have steamed cabbage on the hood of my car. While I was Weeding For Dollars, the sweat was just pouring from me, running into my eyes, down my back and other places that no one wants to know anything at all about. Well, except probably my husband who is on the payroll for that kind of interest. Everything was making me itch, grass, dirt, bugs, my hair, my clothes, everything! We have a type of mosquito here that folks call 'Marsh Mosquitoes.' I don't know what species they actually are, but I can tell you they bite with a vengeance. Even though they are smaller than other kinds of 'squitoes,' they pack a mean, painful wallop when they bite. This is accentuated by heat and the salt in sweat. It's also Horse fly season. For those of you from 'away,' those are biting flies. I don't know if they are called Horse flies because they annoy horses, or if it's because they are so huge. You know, big as a horse. Probably somebody from away said they were "as big as a house," which would make sense. That got changed over time to "big as a horse," because in Maine we add 'Rs' to most words that don't have them and remove the Rs from words that should have them. You get the idear. They are impossible to repel and difficult to kill. You have to actually let one start to bite you so that it's distracted, then slap the hell out of it from behind so it doesn't see your hand coming. If you are lucky and hit it, what is the hand of doom for the Horse fly also leaves a smart slap on your ownself. You can see why some people go nuts in these situations and run, screaming into the woods never to be heard from again. I've been driven near to that more than a few times myself. Today though, instead of insanity, I decided to go to Popham Beach after my dues had been paid at the end of my trusty garden trowel. My intention was to take photographs of the Common terns and maybe some Osprey. Scanning the skies, I didn't see enough action to bother getting out of my car though and there wasn't any place left to park, either. So, I headed home, despondent and still itching. Before the state park entrance, there is a huge salt marsh on both sides of the road. At a great distance across the marsh, I could see a brown lump. At first, I thought it was a Red fox. When I pulled the car over, I could see that it was a White-tailed deer fawn. It was about an eight of a mile away which meant I couldn't get very good photographs. So, there was nothing to do but head out across the marsh. In all my life of travelling the road through that marsh, I have only ever seen someone out there once. That was duck hunters in February. At least, I had rubber shoes on for gardening. This may have been part of my heat intolerance since my poor dogs were just a boilin' in there, thus the reference earlier to steamed cabbage. But, that did save me from getting soaked. I had to go a long way out there and slowly so as not to spook the little darling deer. Every few yards, I would step into a mud hole and rile up the stench of heated, rotting vegetation. At some point, the fawn laid down in the grass. It was so camouflaged that it was nearly impossible to see it and a couple of times, I lost it completely. Eventually, I was stopped by the channel. I stood there for nearly an hour waiting for Bambi to stand up, hoping and praying that she would. All the while, I had to be still. This made me a prime, juicy target for the voracious mosquitoes and Horse flies. The Green Heads, another biting monster of a fly, also joined the party. Since I was nearly up to my ass in grass, I was also very worried about ticks. And, do you think I was smart enough to be wearing a hat for this outing in Phippsburg's answer to the Sahara Desert? Oh, no. Of course not. I could only have been more suitably attired for this gig had I been wearing my bathrobe. I nearly gave up when finally the fawn stood up and looked right at me. I couldn't have been more thrilled! Now, I must go call a plastic surgeon for some skin grafting for my third degree sunburn and find a pair of tweezers. Don't ask for what. 

Just in case you thought I was joshin' ya, do you see a deer in here? I used to love Highlights magazine when I was a kid. This is the kind of 'quiz' they used to have. Believe me, there is a deer in there.
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  1. I see its ears! Great story and photos Robin!

    I headed out across that marsh last summer trying to sneak up on a Little Blue Heron. I got about 30 feet from the road and fell into a mudhole from hell! I left out a squawk as I plunged into the dank mud, scaring away the LBH and bruising my ego. I had to remove my jeans before I got into the car. Good thing the road was quiet and no one was around at the time.


  2. If I had known you were coming, I'd have saved you a spot! Mum, the boys and I were at the State Beach today hogging up your parking spot. Not birding, just enjoying the sun, the surf and the outside. Got me one heckofah sunburn too. Maybe I'll see you in the grafting room.

  3. A most discriptive, delightful story...I felt like I was right along side of you! But I think I rather enjoy this story from where I am sitting. Two words...BUG SPRAY! (Yes, I found the deer's ears!)

  4. RRR,

    Whatever accolades you get from your blog fans, you've earned them with escapades like the the slog across the bog in pursuit of Bambi. You're an inspiration to those of us who more often photograph from the roadside. Well, you do admit to some "bathrobe birding", but hey, I'd do the same thing if I had birds flying right into the living room!


  5. Yes Sir-- told like a true Mainer-nah!!! I was there but I was on the beach with a beauty of a breeze blowing sun blue skies ahhh!!!
    Where is this grafting place- I might need it to!!!

  6. Fantastic photos ! Your Bambi looked like our Bambi that we saw across from the driveway last week.It's too bad they grow up and like to eat what we have in our gardens.Bug spray in the car at all times,my dear.

  7. Thank you so much ALL of you! Your words and the time you each take to put your thoughts in writing are very much appreciated. You should each keep in mind though, that I might be lurking with my camera in the shrubbery somewhere the very fateful moment you decide to take your pants off.

  8. sharon f in west kJune 22, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    You take great pics Robin!That little fawn is a sweetie. It is nice to know there are others that do bright things like marsh slogs full speed ahead with no prep whatsoever-kind of like when we were 10 or 11(or 20...30..40)! Carpe diem-seizing the day!
    Deer/animal stories are acceptable alternatives to the bird stories- which of course are always top of the list...

  9. Thanks, Sharon! Some would say I don't need any encouragement for my antics. I'm probably more inclined to 'full speed ahead' antics now than I was when I was ten. Back then, I listened to what people cautioned me about. Now, I only listen to my heart.

  10. I'm really dissapointed that I missed so many of you who were on the beach. Maybe next time, I'll take a fishing rod which I'll carry straight up in the air with an enormous, silk orchid blossom, like what people have on car antennae so they can find their vehicles in parking lots. Then, you'll all see me!

  11. loved the fawn photos and fabulous story !!

    Bonnie Kynoch

  12. I am laughing - sorry - but we have here just mosquito season too, in July will come horseflies ( three different types ) and of course smallest and worst black flies( gnat ). Now we have got as new also deer flies, which are really disgusting.They will come in September. But the nature is like that, plenty of beauty and other things too.
    You writing so alive and colourful and photos just excellent.

    Thank you for your commenting on my page!

  13. Again some letters and even a word have dropped during the journey over the sea!
    Your writing is. . .

    Sorry my poor English.

  14. Thank you, Leena. What words of high praise! I'm so sorry about your biting bug problems over there. I was thinking about moving to Finland next week, too until you told me that.

  15. Wow, Robin! You have some nice, new images.

  16. I thought you were going to say that you had stopped long in one place to have them get sucked up in the mud.

    Tom Robinson

  17. bless you!
    Kathy Knechtges

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