First Day of School

Spring is when school starts around Prairie Bench. We live on an ecological reserve, so May is a very busy month. Not only are we rushing to get all of our seedlings in the ground, we are also mindful of school crossings… like the old footbridge, the meadow entrance, and the forest trails.

Blacktail fawn follows Momma doe into the forest trails.
Momma Black Bear leads cub into forest trails.

The bears actually arrive first and move into the forest trails and the deer follow about ten minutes later. In the afternoon, they return in the same order. All the animals are very respectful and share the meadow together. The momma bear is teaching her cub to avoid us humans, and we encourage the distance so the cub grows up safe with no human interaction. The deer, however, are more curious and know us very well, often watching us work in the gardens. Sometimes the deer will leave the young fawns with us like we are on-call babysitters. They run around and try to get us to play hide and seek. Once, one of our designers took the bait and followed three young deer down a trail. They hopped over an object and stood behind it, teasing the human. The object they jumped over was a sleeping bear. Very funny, but no chance the human was going to follow.

Momma playing with cub.
Cub is being schooled to be wary of humans and to watch at a distance.

So much to learn… like the fact dandelions tickle the nose.