Birds · Cottage Reno · Mammals

Keeping Vigil

We have actually had three visits to the cottage since I last blogged, but with a family wedding and visitors staying I just haven’t had the time for my fingers to dance over the keyboard and share my adventures. Whilst the logical part of me wants to be chronological, I can’t contain my excitement and will actually tell you about our latest visit this last weekend. It was a cold, wet weekend and we went with the view of it being a working weekend. We took our new “grey oak plank” vinyl flooring with us for the end room (future “inhouse”) and planned to get that laid. We also took some cedar with us just in case the weather improved and we got a chance to work on the dock, but that didn’t happen.

It was quite cold when we arrived and only 14°C in the cottage, so we were very thankful we had the wood burning stove to warm the place up. It really doesn’t take long to warm up and we actually had to let it burn out in the evening because at one point it reached 28°C!

We set up my husband’s new portable workbench in the main room to cut the flooring and whilst we were working I noticed movement next to the oak tree to the side of the cottage, by the water’s edge. I took a closer look and there was a fawn hiding in the reeds! I guess it was in the long grass there and unfortunately the noise we were making in the cottage might have spooked it.

DSC_9458 deer

For the next three hours I watched it, hoping to see mother return and rescue it. It was standing in water and I was surprised that it stayed there for so long, but I guess it didn’t dare move while it could hear us. I put myself on light duties, holding the planks when my husband was sawing them to size, but staying where I could watch out for mother deer to return. I got to really appreciate wildlife photographers that spend days watching and waiting. I must admit my attention kept wandering and I found myself watching the other wildlife around.

DSC_9499 blue jay

A lovely blue Jay landed on the old tree stump, which totally distracted me.

DSC_9519 chipmunk

Then I noticed a chipmunk seems to have made the tree stump home and watched as it went back and forth between the stump and holes in the ground. It kept posing for me, so I had to take some pictures… but I wasn’t keeping my eye on the fawn.

DSC_9512 chipmunk

During the fourth hour of my vigil I realized that I must have missed the moment and the fawn was no longer behind the reeds.

DSC_9453 deer

Before it would disappear from view, but then I would spot some spots, or some movement and get the odd glimpse.

DSC_9451 deer

However, time went on and there was no movement and no sightings. My vigil had failed and I had missed the moment. It would have only taken seconds for it to move and my guess is that it moved away behind the reeds. I am sure it didn’t come back out towards the oak tree, but given mother could probably hear us in the cottage I am sure she found a safer exit for it to escape. Still it was very exciting to see what we did see. It is two weeks later in the year than when I almost stepped on the fawn in the forest last year and I wondered if this fawn is a sibling of the fawn last year? It was less than 200 feet from the spot last year and I am pleased that the deer still consider this a safe haven to have their offspring.

DSC_0113 floor

We did finish the floor this weekend and are thrilled with how it looks. We chose vinyl because of it being a future bathroom, but hope to find some laminate that is similar in style for the main room of the cottage. We have struggled with deciding what type of flooring to put where. We decided that tile might not be a good option anywhere because of the vast change in temperatures with the cottage being unheated all winter. It is also cold under foot, which doesn’t appeal to us. We love the look of wood, but it is expensive and not ideal in areas that might get wet – like the kitchen and bathroom. That is why we went with the wood look vinyl. The decision isn’t as clear for us yet in the main room. We had a vinyl tile in our dining room at home and found that it didn’t wear well with the scraping of chairs. Part of the main room will be kitchen, so vinyl would be nice at that end. Do we divide the room with different flooring in different areas? That seems to be what we are favouring right now, but as we are not at the buying more flooring stage just yet, our plans could well change. I expect it will be some time before we have to make that decision!

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