It’s not just a day for moms on our human calendars. It’s a big week–a month, actually, for moms all over our Hill Country homestead. This whitetail doe brought her fawn for us to see, while the two of them enjoy a morning browse through the fresh vegetation. Another doe brought her fawn to the south meadow, where he tried out his brand-new legs, racing in joyful circles around his mother.
And much more. The cottontail rabbits tuck three or four baby bunnies into a nest the size of a soup bowl beside the fence in the backyard. Mom and dad rabbit are so tame that Molly (our heeler and fierce guardian of her territory) no longer bothers to chase them. To us, they are special. To her, they are just part of the scenery.
The raccoon has a burrow under Deuteronomy, the old live oak on the other side of the creek. If this is a typical year, she might have as many as a half-dozen kits down there. The possums breed during most of the year; once, when we were camping out here, we found a joey (a baby possum) in our bed!
And there are the birds. A pair of wrens have set up housekeeping in a tin-can nest outside the window of my writing studio. At last count, they had four tiny, speckled eggs. The cardinals’ nest is a twiggy cup tucked into a dogwood beside the creek. The hen turkeys that were courted by their splendidly fantailed toms have all disappeared to sit on clutches of a dozen or so large brown eggs, while their forlorn toms are reduced to displaying their fantails to one another. The hummingbirds’ nests are beautifully crafted but impossibly small, as this photo from Birds and Blooms demonstrates.
And I opened my email to find that my son Bobby had sent this sweet reminder that no matter how tiny or how crowded or how muddy our nests may be, they are overflowing with love. Happy Mother’s Day to all who have ever built a nest and nurtured a child there.