Friday, August 14, 2009
Yesterday, early evening, my son said, "Mom, come and look at the two baby deer out back." I came to the window and just over the back fence I could see two little spotted fawns pulling the leaves off of a bush. I grabbed my camera and started to walk toward the back of the yard. They seemed fairly oblivious to my presence, so I approached with caution as I tried to get as close as I could before stirring them.
About 10 yards from the fence, I noticed there was a third deer, the mama, eating on the other side of the bush. Almost at the same time, she noticed me ... and off they ran.
One of the fawns ran into the neighbor's yard behind me and when she was at a safe distance, turned, stood still, and just looked at me. The other one ran with the doe into the next door neighbor's yard.
The first picture is that mama, ever so cautious, hiding in between trees - yet curious, and carefully watching me. I held the camera up to my eye and she tipped her head just a little bit so it was in between the branches as if she needed a better view. I walked toward her and she backed away ... always keeping her eyes on me. The little baby did the same, undoubtedly not quite sure just what to do.
Our housing development was built on the side of a mountain about 15 years ago. We took up quite a bit of the deer's natural habitat and feeding ground. It isn't unusual to see them walking up the hills, or crossing through my yard, or running down the street. It is just more usual to see them during the winter, when they are looking for food.
A few years ago, we had family visiting from Oregon. One night, just before Christmas, I looked out my kitchen window and saw 12 deer lingering in our snow covered back yard. I whispered to the children to come and look outside. I told them that perhaps some of them were Santa's reindeer, getting ready for their journey. Their little eyes got wide as they oohed and awed. It was one of those magical little moments.
Deer are such calm, beautiful creatures. When I watched them last night, I couldn't help but notice that the mama's rib cage was showing. I wanted to bring her a bowl of food ... I have never really minded if they eat my bushes - they were here first. And it always makes me happy to see them.
Posted by Polly Wood at 11:12 AM