Vote “YES” Georgia!

Vote YES on AMENDMENT 1

We have more than one million acres of public hunting lands available in Georgia. Your vote YES on Amendment 1 will help to protect and maintain these lands that have been enjoyed for generations.

The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment is on the ballot on November 6 as Amendment One. This is the first time Georgians have had a chance to dedicate funding for conservation and it can be done without a tax increase.

The amendment will dedicate a portion of the existing sales and tax we are already paying on outdoor sporting goods to the protection of the state’s land, water and wildlife with no new taxes or fees.

Over $20 million would be dedicated every year for the next ten years. This funding could not be used for any other purpose and would be subject to strict accountability provisions and public disclosure. Only projects consistent with the state’s established goals for conservation would be approved.

If passed, this funding would:

• Protect lands critical to clean drinking water and the quality of Georgia’s lakes, rivers and streams

• Acquire and improve parks and trails

• Maintain and improve access to wildlife management areas and create new opportunities for hunting and fishing

• Support Georgia’s $27 billion outdoor recreation industry

We need your help to get the word out so we can pass this historic Amendment. Please forward this email to everyone you can and let people know this is a chance we will have only once in a generation.

The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment is supported by a coalition of leading conservation organizations including The Conservation Fund, Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride, and The Trust for Public Land.

For more information, go to http://www.GeorgiaOutdoorStewardship.org

Strange times

Ok, so I haven’t been on my site in a while now…seems like forever, but I know that’s not the case. Things have been crazy around here, from family drama to hectic work schedules, you all know what I’m talking about, that thing called “life”, but with just a lot more stress than you’re typically used to.

I can sense this shift in my animal friends as well. More specifically, in my deer friends. As the summer comes to a slow end, and the fawns have all begun to grow, the sounds of gun shots ring out in the distance, a looming scarceness is present now. They have become distant. Distracted by stresses in their lives. Busy doing other things, preparing for the upcoming changing of the seasons, planning for the future that they hope to have so long as they make it through the looming hunting season. Honestly, I don’t know what the real reasons truly are, but it’s amazing to me to see that these wild animals, just like ourselves, also have a natural instinct to sense the changes around them that they need to be aware of at certain specific times.

We are, after all, essentially wild animals!

 

What should my name be?

Well, so far this is the only fawn we have had the joy of seeing. There were at the least three or four pregnant does, but only our Doe “Maggie” has blessed us with this little nugget.

So far my 9 year old son Austin, who gave “Maggie” her name, has decided that if the fawn is a boy, it’s name should be “Max” and if it is a girl, he came up with “Emma.”

What do you think????

This is it…

So as I sit here on my back deck, grilling our dinner on the grill, drinking a glass of wine, listening to music…louder than usual as to drown out the HIGHLY ANNOYING neighbors music (another story for another time), watching my deer feast on their dinner thrown out for them earlier…

This is it I think to myself. This is true bliss. A calm serenity sets in. It is in these moments where I stop and catch myself enamored with these amazing creatures that I am blessed to share my time with.

They are such curious and intriguing animals. Brave, yet so skittish. Bold, yet timid as heck. Beautiful and intelligent. I almost feel as one with them at moments, but then a sudden noise or a too quick movement on my part and I then realize as thy run off deep into the woods, that no, still not one of em. Lol

Either way, the peace I get from watching them in all their many behaviors and mannerisms is enough. They are my family. Whether they know it or not!

And this is what happens when the buck finally realizes that he has ventured too far out of his comfort zone on the opposite side of the yard…

 

This just happened!!!

If you have had any interaction with whitetail deer, then I need give no explanation as to how crazy as well as amusing that this was.

As I sat on the steps of my back porch, watching the deer as they feast in my yard as they typically do, I am left speechless at this…

The buck deer are not frequent visitors to our yard like all of our Doe friends. The bucks do not hang out or stop by for a quick snack along their travels if us “humans” are anywhere to be found. As elusive as they are, everyone has to eat! I guess with all their recent antler growth, along with pumping up for the upcoming rut, they decide to throw caution to the wind and go for it.

Here you will see how this poor old broke leg buck reacts once he realizes that I am literally sitting eye level with him only 4 feet away. Shockingly enough, he did not freak out as I thought he might, nor did he blow at me.

His look of astonishment on where I had come from is $$priceless$$!!

 

 

What the Buck?

Well, I was just getting my July started when all of the sudden, August snuck up on me… I mean how the heck does this always happen? I mean, I’m pretty sure school just let out for summer break like a week or two ago, and there are still so many things that I had planned on doing if given the time, but oh well, what the buck? Guess there’s always next summer?!!? (Which I’m pretty certain is what I end up saying every end of summer!) wauwauwauuuu….

Ok, so what does any of this mean. Well, along with the everlasting “never enough time,” “wish I could have done more x, y, z,” and on and on, you know what I am talking about here. But rather than dwell on the “should of,” “could of,” “would of,” let’s give thanks to the many other miracles going on around us at this time of year. Instead of focusing on the end of our summer, let’s focus on nature’s miracles.

With these end of summer months also comes many new changes. A Doe gives birth to her first Fawn, becoming a mom for the first time. New baby fawns are exposed to the outside world for the first time ever. The Bucks antlers are in full growth mode. The young bucks with their ever growing new points, causing both greater confidence as well as greater anxiety, especially as it pertains to their place in this world. Changes are all around and let’s not forget the much anticipated fast approaching start of rut and the 2018 hunting season.

So when life has you asking, “What The Buck?” happened to my summer, just do like I have always done….say it with me…

“oh well, buck it!!” (there’s always next year!)

😉😂🤣🤭

 

My Deer, My Family

So I admit it, I am what you would call obsessed with my family, that also being my Deer Family. I love animals, probably more than I actually like humans.

Like my dog for instance, there’s no judging, no belittling, no making you feel inferior. Just unconditional love! I was raised on unconditional love. My parents knew what the true meaning of love was and they instilled that in me. Maybe that’s why I feel so in touch with wildlife.

Respect is a two way street. You give it and in return you get it. I care for my family, my human family as well as my animal family. But for me my animal family holds a special spot in my heart. Maybe it’s simply because they know nothing of me other than the fact that I feed them and give them a safe place to go. Regardless, my connection with them fills a hole that has been empty for years now….over 10 years to be exact and for that alone, I am blessed.

Let us all thank Mother Nature for all her glorious creations!

Deer Baiting Bill Passes “legislation” to Now Make it Legal to “hunt” Over Bait in Northern GA!

SHOCKER!!!!

I am so amazed that this bill actually passed, while being totally aware of why it did, as well as not surprised at all.

NRA, gun toting Second Amendment Rights supporter, men and their ego’s…oh yeah and did I mention…BIG $$$, DEEP POCKETS, Right Winged Republican, dirty southern politics…money, money, money! MONEY! $$

Need I say more??…

This is why I have never been a fan of this sport. Hunting by definition is:

No worries, I’m done, but if the GA Department of Natural Resources, the state’s own government agency responsible for wildlife management and conservation is

Deer Baiting in Georgia Expands to Northern State Line
DNR Faces Challenges to Manage Landowner Disputes and Herd Health

From there to here

I did not grow up amongst a family of game hunters. My childhood was spent on Lake Lanier and fishing was probably the closest thing we ever did that was considered some form of hunting. I have always found great beauty in nature and therefore never truly understood the concept of hunting and killing one of Mother Nature’s creations.

Needless to say, my theories on this topic would only become more strongly on the side of the opposition after seeing the careless disrespect and disregard I witnessed in previous years while living in our first home, which was located on the opposite side of town from where we are today.

Our first home was in a culd-a-sac on the backside of the neighborhood and this small little dirt road ran right behind our fence connecting the main road to the next road over. Year after year I would be horrified at the amount of discarded deer carcasses that were half-hazardly just tossed out alongside this dirt road. How disgusting and disgraceful that people would do such vile things. If you are going to take the time to kill it, then by all means you should also take the time to properly dispose of it. My anger towards these “hunters” grew even more with distaste.

I know what some of you are thinking and to make it clear to you, yes, I know that that does not represent all hunters. I have recently been more interested and involved with the proper practices of quality deer management and standards. I am not anti-hunting, but I am anti-poaching, which is what I saw living in our old house.

The below images are only a small set of what I would see while driving my son to and from school most winters. It’s heartbreaking and does nothing more than confirm that not all life is treated equally. If you are this careless with your takings I hope that one day you might be given the same sort of treatment.

Please remember that true hunting is done so with respect to the land and the animals that it gives us. Hunt responsibly!

What state (the one you live in) symbols can you find in your very own yard?

After finding many different creatures in my back yard and wanting to know exactly what specific species and animal it was I have found that in my very yard I am coming across many of my state of Georgia’s state symbols.

Obviously I have whitetail deer as my next of kin, but did you know that the whitetail deer is also the Georgia state mammal? (Me neither, until further research.) If you visit www.statesymbolsusa.org you can click on your state and learn all about the many different symbols recognized by your state as being their own.

IMG_2343

 

The state amphibian is the Green Tree Frog, which I just happened to come across napping on my back porch yesterday.

greentreefrog

I am now on a quest to find and photograph my state symbols that are found in nature in my own yard…I made my checklist:

1 – State Gem – Quartz

2 – State Reptile – Gopher Tortoise

3 – State Mineral – Staurolite

4 – State Insect – Honeybee

5 – State Game Bird – Bobwhite Quail

6 – State Flower – Cherokee Rose

7 – State Dog – Adoptable Dog – found download (5)

8 – State Bird – Brown Thrasher

9 – State Butterfly – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

I know that some of these I may not get a glimpse of in my yard, but by all that I have encountered so far I believe anything is possible.

What can you find right in your back yard? Try it, let me know. You’ll be surprised how much is right outside your very own back door.

How do we coexist?

The squirrels eat more than any of the other animals that frequent my yard. It’s like my yard is their never ending buffet. As I watch them converge on a pile of feed and corn mixture I notice them working in teams os sorts. The first one creeps in for the food, while the other slowly lingers in the back behind the one as it’s lookout. Just standing there on its back feet watching. It must signal the one feasting on the pile of food as that one quickly runs to a near by tree and hides himself behind it while finishing his meal.

The chipmunks and squirrels seem to co-exist with no issues. As the squirrels eat, the little chipmunks bolt back and forth from the food pile gathering their take. Mother Nature is a funny thing. The more I witness the more complexity I find among these otherwise uncivilized creatures.

How they adapt, how they survive, where they live, how they handle other creatures, all just some of the many questions that I hope to uncover some sort of an answer to.

Never have I ever…

In all my years, never have I ever imagined being so close to so many wild animals. By “wild” I mean undomesticated woodland living creatures, not “wild” as in African safari gonna eat you “wild.” From chipmunks and squirrels to owls and rabbits and deer, Oh my! The wildlife I have fallen in love with is all around.

Noticing them, seeing them, taking note of them has turned into waiting and watching them, trying to learn as much as I can by just the little I witness. It becomes some what of an addiction.

The following video is of a Barred Owl who hunts in my yard very frequently, some weeks he is there every morning every day, all day. Never have I ever witnessed anything quite so spectacular and amazing. He is a patient hunter, as you will see in the clip, take note of all the other critters who invade his hunting area and how he never breaks. He also likes to have stare downs with me as well every time he sees me with my camera out.  (side note: I am NOT a good videographer, that is a definite work in progress!) 

Meet Annie-Belle

Don’t laugh…ok, nvm you can laugh. So my husband decided that he wanted to name our favorite (don’t tell the others please) daily visitor and his new found deer “girlfriend.” She comes to eat and has no qualms with walking almost all the way out of the woods into the middle of our open backyard. She is the only deer regular that we have whose curiosity and desire for a good meal out weight her natural instincts.

She is a loner…

 

I have overtime been able to come to this conclusion. But with that comes so much more. Her spirit is undeniable and she is extremely inquisitive and curious. Brazen almost. Regardless of the fact that she knows in her gut that we are not like her, but somehow understands that we will not do her harm.

 

I feel a strong connection to Annie-Belle, I myself am what you might consider to be a “loner.” Almost in the same sense as she. I lost my mother when I was in my mid twenties…much too early and rather unexpected. Annie-Belle seemingly has lost her mother as well, and I am sure that just like me, to Annie-Belle it was totally unexpected and she was far too young for this loss to happen. Yet she has continued on. She is still very much alive and holding her ground among the others. Despite the fact!

When I first started this post I hadn’t yet made the exact connection that I was feeling for this beautiful young doe. It’s truly amazing to me to finally get it! I get it now, now I know why I feel a deeper connection to this deer…because she is me!

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

 

After the rain

The woods are a mysterious place. Once you begin to focus and truly pay attention to the world living outside of yourself the things that you start to see are astonishing and to think that they have been there the whole time and you never noticed until now!?! It is somewhat crazy and unbelievable to think about.

It’s been raining here for the past two days after a fairly long dry hot spell. The animals seek shelter under the cover of the woods and my visits from them are less. But wait…the rain eases and it’s all out run to the buffet for as much food as one can possibly gorge on before having to retreat back to the shelter of the woods. The squirrels are my largest group of “dinners,” the ones that are already way healthier than any other squirrels I have ever seen. They come out in herds it appears, lol, no not really, but when you look out over the backyard the landscape is covered with those little gray bodies chowing down. I sometimes think that they are eating more of the corn and feed that is for the deer than the deer actually eat. Once the squirrels come out then it’s time to locate the infamous Mr. or Mrs. (I’m really not sure yet how to tell the sex of certain birds) Barred Owl, one of the most amazing “pets” I have visiting pretty much daily now. He has startled me on more than one occasion while he was hunting and I not being present outside of myself, not to mention that they are completely silent flyers! The smaller birds still stay fairly hidden, singing to one another every now and again. The cackling crows decide to annoyingly chime in. And then I wait…patiently wait…where are my favorites? When will my little deer brother and sister be back? The Doe has been coming by herself the past two days and feasting herself on as much feed as she possibly can get before being startled by some barking dog or screaming kids. Lol

So while I wait I will have some fun with the crazy squirrels and get some target practice in at the same time!!