Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deer-ly Beloved

 On February 20, I was upstairs when Mom came to the door and told me to hurry down. A deer was by the hen house and looked like she was going to begin grazing in the yard. By the time I got my camera she had stepped into the open and was scanning the area for any danger.

 It is not at all unusual to have deer in the yard - we've seen as many as five at a time - but rare to see just one. This was a beautiful young animal, wet from the recent rain. All she wanted was an opening to stand in and some dried winter grass to nibble upon.

 And that's precisely what she started to do as I stood at the north dining room window and watched. How could animals of this sort be hunted? I am happy to provide them with a safe place to roam. At length she walked behind the garden and then behind the garage where we could no longer watch her. Actually, most of the time deer come into our yard it is much later, certainly dusk. They are generally afraid to be in well-lighted open spaces.
 I wish I had more time to stand and watch. What wonders are there at all hours of the night?
 I once came upon an opossum eating a discarded tomato at our compost pile. He didn't seem much concerned that I was there. As I got closer and closer, he began to think the better of it and began to leave slowly. He never ran, just ambled across the yard and back into the meadow as though his lunch was done.
 Next to these, raccoons and rabbits are most common. A rare fox or coyote is seen hereabouts, though never in our yard.