Millie doesn’t understand. We put the guns in the pick-up but we

didn’t ask her to get in. Every time we took the guns before we told her to get Ian the truck, too. How do you explain to a springer spaniel that this was different? We were going deer hunting, not looking for small game.

She probably never would understand the difference between a

rifle and a shotgun. Another springer who lived with us didn’t

understand. We left without her, headed to deer camp. When Kerri let her out later, she ran down to the pond and came back a while later looking like she lost her best friend. Millie probably won’t understand, but I’ll make it up to here after deer season when small game comes back in. We’ll hunt some pheasants, some grouse, some rabbits and maybe a duck or two.

My deer report is pretty slim. The first day at camp we only

heard four shots. On Tuesday we heard more, some closer but no deer ran the fields or woods. On Wednesday and Thursday we hunted to farm with similar results. Cris drove to D.C. to bring Max, my grandson back to hunt Saturday and besides not hearing many shots we again saw no deer.

I don’t know if there weren’t many hunters or what was the reason but may during the second week we’ll do better.

On Sunday I filled our bird feeders with black oil sunflower

seeds and filled the suet cages with fresh suet cakes for the woodpeckers. Our feeders are close to the old farmhouse and near windows, where we can watch from easy chairs while drinking morning coffee.

There was a time, when we filled the feeders with the cheapest

bird seed but found that most of it was scattered on the ground for chipmunks and probably other rodents. Corn and milo don’t attract that many birds and the doves and other ground feeding birds seem to come to the black oil sunflower seed spilled out by the cardinals and bluejays.

We even stopped feeding the tiny black thistle seed because the

birds ate some and dropped some in the meadow, where it grew into thistly during the summer.

We’ve never fed the deer or wild turkey because I’m told it will

attract black bears, too. We don’t need them getting into our garbage, chicken feed or dog food stored in the garage. Besides, with the orchard right across the road from the farm and cornfields nearby, wildlife seem to have enough to eat without us feeding them, too.

I’m told we don’t really need to feed song birds either. They can find enough to eat with our few feeders but we enjoy seeing them close and sometimes discover a stranger feeding with the regulars like titmice, juncos, chickadees and sparrows. For one winter we had golden crowned kinglets visiting. Another winter grosbeaks came by the hundreds and along with red bellied woodpeckers, we had a pileated woodpecker feed on suet cakes all winter.

I guess if I can’t see a deer to shoot, at least I can watch the feeders with a cup of coffee.

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