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Posts Tagged ‘deer’

This past June was the hottest on record in the United States. July saw the issuance of multiple tornado warnings in my state, one specifically for my town and the surrounding areas. Never in my life here in Jersey, have I ever had to seriously sequester myself and animals in either the basement or lowest interior space in the house (my chosen option), in response to serious tornado warnings. And they did hit, too, just, fortunately for me, not here.

But let’s look on the bright side, because there always is one.

One of two dwarf red maples on the property, this one is more a deep bronze than a shade of red. Unless, of course, you’re a little newbie sprout. This close-up doesn’t tell you how tiny the new leaves are in comparison to the whole, which is huge. But it might tell you why it brings a smile every time I look at it.

One morning, I looked out my kitchen window and saw something indiscernible in between two of the ornamental grasses out back. It looked like a face. Oh …. it WAS a face. The face of a very young (and adorable) deer holding very still but just about ready to chow down on a hosta. I went down the porch stairs to gently shoo her away. Maybe only 4-5 months old, she easily cleared the nearly 4′ garden gate. As I returned, I saw she had been on my porch, and had eaten the front half of the impatiens above and a few other potted plants. It’s discouraging, but that little wide-eyed face holding soooo still, trying to be invisible …

For some reason, this pretty pair was spared, and is now starting to bloom.

There are snowball hydrangeas all over this property. They bloom snow white, and are now in their green phase, to turn a stunning rust as the summer wears on, and it becomes cooler.

Hello, little fella. This very young praying mantis greeted me one morning on a kitchen window screen. Soon after, he disappeared. But he hadn’t gone very far, I later discovered. It was turning out to be a very hot afternoon, but I managed to find myself a little time to sit on the back porch and read while there was still some shade nearest the house. And there he was. Not far from me on the decking, in the very hot, bright sun.

I thought to make his way a little easier by moving him into the shade. I offered him a large hydrangea leaf to climb on, as I didn’t want to handle and frighten him. He very calmly walked right over the leaf, and into the shadow of the railing. “Thanks, ma’am, but I’ve got this,” I imagined he said as he found his own shade. And then over the next half hour or so, he slowly made his way across the length of the porch and disappeared.

All I could think of was that that must be what `biological imperative’ means. He knew where he was going and what he had to do, because at the other end of the porch is where I often see adult green praying mantises, like the one next to Pumpkin in a photo from a few years ago.

I know for myself, and most everyone I know, that the last year and change has had a lingering impact in one way or another. And yet, we find, there are still always bright spots. Hope you keep finding yours.

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FoggyWoods-Deer2

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.

~Linda Hogan

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Although I am surrounded by country, I do live “in-town,” as they say. But perhaps it is exactly because open space surrounds us that there is no shortage of wildlife so close to our homes.

NeighborhoodDeer-3

Working at my computer just this past June, I looked out front and saw a doe nonchalantly strolling down the street. She did not observe the Stop sign, but continued walking, looking for the tastiest greens she could find. Unfortunately, this is at a particular neighbor’s home who happens to be the most ardent gardener for a few blocks around. Of course! She has the delicacies!

But Ms. Doe wasn’t stopping and no sooner was she out of sight, than she came through the hedges bordering my property and casually walked down my driveway at an angle. This made me believe this may be is who is responsible for the deer tracks I see in the snow in roughly the same places – she must have a route.

DoeAndFawn3

Today I looked up and saw … the same doe? a different doe? and her still-spotted fawn. Mama could easily scale that white picket fence for the best nibbles while baby clearly hasn’t yet mastered leaping hurdles. I was able to go outside and get a few shots before the more worried fawn walked further down the road.

While I enjoy watching animals of all kinds, having deer so at-home in our neighborhood isn’t good. They have become accustomed to our smells and sounds and are no longer frightened. The offspring they produce will become even more acclimated to being around people. It is certainly wreaking havoc on our properties as the deer now consume shrubbery and flowers year-round even though there is plenty of browse in the nearby woods and fields.

Sadly, it just creates more enmity towards these beautiful creatures, even referred to by some as “vermin.” It’s a problem for farmers as well as residents and a complex one, yet it is we who have taken more and more of their land through endless development. It’s not a problem with an easy solution.

Meanwhile, I truly do enjoy seeing them even though they have “deer-scaped” the plantings around my home as well.

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It’s gonna be a long wait, Mama Doe; it’s only June!

Mama has made herself quite comfortable weaving in and out of neighbors’ yards as of late. Sunday she appeared with her two yearlings who were not nearly as brave as she. While they stood somewhat apprehensively in the roadway, Mama casually chowed down a couple of ┬ámy neighbor’s hostas, grazed thoughtfully on their lawn, and then jumped the picket fence of the folks across from them to see what other delicacy she might find.

I understand her under the apple tree. Once the apples come in, you can watch any number of deer and other wildlife feasting on those apples already fallen and those on the lower branches. But considering that there is so much browse available surrounding our neighborhood streets, I wonder why she chooses to come so close to humans. I’m guessing she has simply acclimated and is in her comfort zone.

The small irony which I could not get any closer to capture lest she run, is the child-size scarecrow sitting at the edge of my neighbor’s very well-fenced garden not 20′ away from┬áMama Doe grazing under the apple tree. I do not believe deer to be cunning animals, but I wondered … could her apparent search for apples have really been a sly stake-out of the garden?

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