Published originally in the December 2002 issue of The High Prairian
We have lived here on the prairie for five years now and it seems that the beauty just keeps growing on us. No matter what season it may be, there is always the beauty of nature for us to enjoy.
About mid-July the deer start arriving in the high areas such as ours. They come to our yard to graze on the green clover that we have planted for our yard since grass doesn’t do too well during the dry summer months. This year we have not had to mow since the first week in August – we have the “deer mowers” who do it for us. After eating the clover and anything else they can reach that is not fenced off from them, they head for the birdbath for a fresh drink of water. We have seen doe and their fawns drinking from the birdbath at the same time. What a beautiful sight to see. We have seen as many as eleven deer in a herd roaming through our yard. We stand at our dining room window watching them, amazed at how close they come to the house. We can almost reach out and touch them.
Then in the mornings we are awakened to the songs of the meadowlark. The birdbath needs to be refilled since the deer drink it dry during the night. The birds flock to the birdbath, many species at the same time. We have seen a flicker, bluebirds, purple finches, and goldfinches all drinking and bathing together. Then they fly to the nearest perch, be it on the fence, a branch, shrub, or a dried stem from the daylilies, and preen. We put a sprinkler out where they love to play in the water where the cats cannot get to them. Sometimes in the evenings we can hear the call of the killdeer when they are in the area.
One day we heard a different type of chirping and it sounded really close. We went to the dining room window and there on the fence close to the house were two baby goldfinches with their short stubby tails and their feathers all fluffed up trying to feed one another. We watched them for several minutes before they flew away. How privileged we felt to be able to witness something like this that few people have probably ever been able to see.
All this to enjoy here on the prairie – but wait there is even more. Early mornings the sunrises are spectacular and in the evenings the sunsets are beautiful. Sometimes the whole sky is in shades of pink, blue, and lavender with Mt Adams in pink tones. The other times the colors have more of an orange and golden hue.
Then there is the peace and quiet that comes with living here away from the crowds, traffic, sirens, etc. And the neighbors we have met from all over the area are a special kind of people. Everyone seems to be willing to help each other when the need arises.
So we thank God for leading us to this very special place in this world.