You can take the woman out of the wild, but...

When we gave up our rural home on a three-acre lot after 22 years to move closer to the conveniences of "downtown" last summer, I had mixed feelings. I could see the benefits of the move, but I was sure I would miss my flower gardens, all of the birds that visited our feeders, and the opportunity to stroll a nearby river walk.

I do miss those things, but have been delighted to discover that, at least in downtown Dover-Foxcroft, nature is never far away. Our home is not far from some of the town's mixed-use recreation trails, which I am enjoying more than words can say (thus the many photos with this post). 

On June 24, I discovered a doe with twin fawns hanging out in a bog along one of the trails. The first time I spotted the twins, they were nursing just a short ways off the trail. Mom stood there patiently, keeping an eye on my husband and I. It would have been a perfect "Kodak moment," if I had brought my camera. Instead, I got a few so-so shots with my phone. 

Yesterday, I spotted Mom laying down on the trail side of the bog, so I scanned the area, and spotted the twins over on the far side of the bog. They appeared to be browsing, so may already be weaned. I got a few shots, but then Mom got nervous and began working her way across the bog, snorting to alert her kids to potential danger. Their alert attention to Mom's signals was adorable to watch. Once she had joined her offspring, the doe relaxed and so did the twins. They browsed their way off into the deeper brush.

This morning, I thought I might be out of luck, but then I spotted a splash of reddish-brown in the brush on the far side of the bog. This big doe was laying down, munching the greenery around her, and did not spot me at first. I don't think this is the twins' mother, as that doe has a white face and this one has a darker face -- but it could also be a trick of sunny day/cloudy day lighting. She eventually realized she was being watched, and not wanting to interrupt her meal, I moved on. 

I generally walk a mile, passing two bogs, then turn back. When I returned to the first bog, I discovered a fawn grazing all by itself. I am not certain if this is one of the twins or not, but I can't imagine there are other does with young hanging out in the same spot, so I'm guessing yes -- and that Mom and the sib were laying down nearby. The fawn was very alert, and worked its way into deeper brush to lie down and hide after I had taken a few photos. 

I walked on, looking for the rest of the family, and then doubled back. Sure enough, the little one had come back out to graze and I got a few more shots. I feel so privileged to see wildlife during my daily strolls, and so grateful that I did not give up "communing with nature" when we moved last summer.