Ponder this:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Yesterday Sightings surmised that we must not have deer because the wild azalea doesn't get devoured by them. 
Au contraire, my bloggy friend!

We have deer galore. For the last year or so, we have often seen two does lingering within sight of the house. If I wake up at 5am I can watch, from my pillow, the two girls grazing in the field below the house. 
It's a lovely way to start my day. 
Last week I came home a little early, and the approach of my car surprised them in the field between the road and the driveway. Leaping, soaring, they moved across that field, across the house field and off toward more isolated grazing places.

One cool morning I was out early with the dogs, enjoying a short walk. We'd almost completed our circuit, and I was looking to my right, admiring the evergreens along the driveway, when I heard, from my left, "PPHHHH!!" and there was one of our girls, evaluating whether or not I would be scared off by her huff. The dogs were oblivious; the doe and I stood and stared at each other, neither of us moving, except for my cautious raising of the camera.

Her tail flicked back and forth, rising suddenly and falling again, while we observed each other. She turned to face me, stamped her hooves, raised her tail again.

After five minutes she opted for retreat, her departure appearing not frightened, merely a considered wish for more privacy.

I wondered where her sister was. Later in the day Husband came inside with the news that he had seen one of the does with a fawn. A brand new fawn, only about twice as tall as the poodles, he said. That would make the baby only a couple of feet tall. Tiny! We don't know, now, if Mama Doe was off delivering her fawn while I was enjoying my standoff with her sister, or if I had been face to face with Mama, and the baby was hidden somewhere nearby. Either way, I expect sooner or later we'll be seeing the threesome, moving silently, gracefully, through the fields.

As for why they aren't eating the azaleas . . . who knows? There is so much other wonderful foodstuff for them here that maybe they just haven't found the things.


georgia little pea said...

we don't have deer running around too much here in Sydney :p but the last time i saw some [at some zoo up north], i was shocked at how huge they are. they look so gentle and sweet until you get up close to them. then, they just look really really big and rather scary!

June said...

Their sharp little hooves can be scary . . . but you'd have to really crowd them to worry about that. Here, they're just gentle large mice that dally around in the fields.

Muffy's Marks said...

We had what one would call a 'cottage deer' a few years ago. She didn't care if people were around or not. I got so close to her, I could almost touch her nose. Reality set in as I thought, hey this isn't the Milwaukee Zoo.... look around lady, do you see a fence? So I cautiously retreated, not taking a chance of getting 'hoove' They are beautiful animals.

Barb said...

What a fabulous encounter! I think you met the Mama and that's why she huffed and didn't back off immediately. She was protecting something precious.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

What I'd like to know is , were her eyes "doe-like"?
Or is that just novel-ese for a submissive , rather daft , shy peek at the world ?
Your doe sounds much more able to look after herself .

Tom said...

I'm glad you like your deer. I wish I could wax so lyrical about them, but around here in NY and southern New England they've become so destructive they've lost their charm. I guess we just have too many of them, living too close to too many people. And of course the worst thing is, they carry deer ticks which cause Lyme disease ... which I've had three times, and it's no fun. But I'm glad that yours are so benign.

And I'm glad to be your bloggy friend!

Friko said...

Shall I ask you a silly question? OK, here goes.

'Would you like to live in town?'

I have no deer round me, they are all in the woods away from the sheep.

Sally Wessely said...

It does seem she was warning some other creature. I would say you had a very interesting encounter.

June said...

Muffy, it must have been so neat to be so close. We see them all the time, but I've never been that close.

Barb, you might be right...although they do tend to stand their ground a little just to see if they can stay right where they are instead of having to leave. The other evening Husband kept hearing noises outside his workshop...the overhead door was open...he walked out to see what he could see...which wasn't much...and it was our two does. He huffed back at them and they left.

S&S, deer eyes look a lot like cow eyes. Make of that what you like. :-p

Sightings, THREE TIMES? I am sorry! We seem to be, at the moment, safe from deer ticks, but there're infestations to the north of us, and certainly to the east and south of us. Husband came home from a friend's house in Saratoga County with a dozen of the things on him. We removed them and he went to see the doctor, but he's had no ill effects.

Friko. What? Are you kiddin'? We did live "in town" for the first eighteen years of our marriage. This is like heaven to me! When I think of having visible, audible neighbors again...! UGH.

RET, I really would love to know if she was warning me off to protect the fawn, but as I said, her behavior wasn't all that different than I see all the time.

Sometime I'll tell you about the dog/deer playtime that we watched years ago.

Hilary said...

Oh that's so lovely. I would imagine that her wee one was already in this world if she was trying to intimidate you a wee bit. I hope you'll be seeing the little one soon.. and that you'll have your camera with you. ;)

June said...

Hilary, I shall not leave my camera behind until I see that fawn! :-p

Morning Bray Farm said...

Oh, how I miss them. I saw quite a few while in Maryland over the weekend. There's something that's just so delicate about them... I find them incredibly beautiful and love watching them run.

Frank Baron said...

What a nice treat to see those critters with some degree of regularity! Colour me jealous.

Carolynn Anctil said...

I can't imagine anything more wonderful than having resident deer that visit regularly! I saw a couple of shy ones this past weekend while we were enjoying a break from the city and I've already determined that I'll be planting yummy treats to lure deer onto my property when we finally get our little cottage in the country. I can't wait to see the fawn! So exciting!

(Do be careful around them though...they have been known to be dangerously aggressive and can be deadly with their hooves)

Linda Myers said...

I love creatures on the property unless they're eating fruits or vegetables.

Wanda..... said...

Sounds like one of the mornings here, June. I think we're both lucky to have deer visit us. I just posted photos of a day old fawn resting in my flower garden.

Medieval Muse said...

Everything here is so beautiful!! I've a special fondness for deer.