We were, therefore, both astonished and delighted to discover that the far side of our property is being used as a bed-and-breakfast. I supposed we should have been alerted by the multiple deer paths in the snowy yard but certainly had never expected them to drop by for anything more than a snack. It turns out that we've been hosting a neighbourhood pyjama party.
As I write this, I am fighting the impulse to go out and see who might have checked in for the night. In my opinion, the height of happiness would be to have a doe raise her fawn close by. We have had a raccoon mother park her babes on our bedroom window ledge while she foraged during the night; during the daylight hours she would guide them up and down the bittersweet vine until they had mastered climbing. (If you have ever run across a howling baby raccoon stranded on a roof in daylight you can be sure that while Mom may have tried in vain to teach the skill, Baby would be paying far better attention that evening.) Our vines have shielded the nests of different birds; many broods came of age beside the stone walls, and we had occasionally had to avoid a particular door until everyone fledged.
That said, we are ready and willing to be auntie and uncle to a fawn! This little orphan was adopted by a friend, whose three-year-old daughter christened her "Ceremony." What a perfect name.