This was the sweet scene that greeted me one day last week from my front porch.  The doe and her spotted newborn were just inside the fence of the front pasture.   I grabbed my camera and zoomed in as quietly as I could.  Mama deer raised her head with her ears pricked forward, but she stayed where she was.  Perhaps she realized there would be no danger from me.

However, this farm sits in the middle of 58-acres in the Callahan Mountains and is shared with other wildlife:  bears, cougars, foxes and bobcats.  Early on Saturday morning, I was greeted with the bad news.  The buzzards were circling just above the front pasture and something was dead.  My first thought was:  where are my goats?!  I knew they had spent the night in their secure pen but cougars have been known to be out during the day and early morning as well.   I lost three goats last year to cougars and our neighbor just up the hill has lost eight to cougars.  Jim insisted I stay on the front porch while he went to check it out.  It was the fawn.

It was so tiny and helpless.  It could have been a cougar or “natural mortality” to quote the macho logger tree farmer.  Whatever it was, it was sad.

Again this morning, it looks like a birds-of-prey convention in the Douglas Fir just inside the pasture.  Jim says “they have a job to do”, but I still don’t like them.  Granted, these turkey vultures don’t kill…they just clean up.

Perhaps it’s time for me to re-read a superb book by Mary Alice Monroe entitled Skyward…a love story set in the low country of South Carolina near a birds-of-prey sanctuary.    I just cannot feel charitable towards vultures and buzzards.  Maybe reading Skyward again will help.