A fawn pauses with its mother atop the rocky knoll behind The Nuthatch cabin. The rope tied to a tree trunk serves as a handhold for humans scaling the steep bank.
IT’S THE SEASON OF FECUNDITY on Center Island.
Suddenly the bird feeders are besieged by whole families of fledgling goldfinches, just days out of the nest. They are small, socially awkward and they fly like children thrown by centrifugal force from a merry-go-round horse. They’ll soon learn how to work their wings, I’m sure, and perfect their landings. When four of them descended on the bamboo fountain on our deck, one teetered on the edge of the bowl and fell in the water. It’s a hoot to watch them. And they are cleaning out the feeders like a fleet of winged Hoovers.
This morning we also saw the first spotted fawn of our year, accompanying its mother as she slurped up the less-desirable birdseed that the goldfinches had strewn from the feeder outside our kitchen window. When I cracked opened a door to take their photo, the fawn showed itself much more surefooted than a goldfinch chick. It pranced effortlessly behind its mother up the side of our rocky knoll.
Life on a small island has its pleasures.
Shot through with lights of stars and dawns,
And shadowed sweet by ferns and fawns,
— Thus heaven and earth together vie
Their shining depths to sanctify.
— excerpt from “My Springs,” by Sidney Lanier