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Posts Tagged ‘deer’

the buck

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We are able to observe a lot of deer behavior at our place, and how their behavior changes through the seasons. We also see certain deer on a regular basis and have gotten to know them by their particular qualities, to some degree. For example, there is “big mama” -  a notably solid, strong, beautiful, and very calm doe. She moves with a sense of peace and knowing. Our property is part of her territory and we have had her company since we moved here 4 years ago. She has raised a number of sets of twin fawns in this area, often tucking them into safe spaces at our place while she goes on to forage.

And then there was “the big guy” – a massive, majestic buck that frequented our property in the fall and summer. This year he didn’t return, but it seems this buck pictured above has taken his place of dominance.  On this particular day, the doe (big mama) came through the same path not long after him, with her 2 fawns. I often wonder what happened to that big buck.

There is something about these creatures that can seem almost magical.  At least when they’re not eating your garden (can’t blame them though, can you).

 

Fun fact: Antler tissue is the fastest growing tissue in any mammal, and can grow up to an inch per day.

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wild things

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There is a whole lot of lounging and ruminating happening around here these days. The bucks seem wily and restless, and the does are very restful. Babies should be born any day now!

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june highlight

This is a big highlight for us, every month of June, since we have lived here. One we actually wait for with anticipation come mid spring. We had our first super brief sightings on June 1st or so, but today was the first day we were able to really observe the new fauns.

This doe, from all that we can tell, is the same doe that has frequented our property, and felt safe to tuck her babies in while foraging, for the 3 years we have been here. She is a strong, calm, beautiful doe – a bit larger than the others we see here – and her prominent brow is distinctive.

Today the 3 of them came a few different times and spent quite a while in the yard each time. These little babies are the funniest most precious things we see here. There is so much silly behavior as they explore this new world. Today we saw nursing, dandelion eating, wandering (sometimes a little too far, which sometimes creates a panic), frolicking, bouncing and racing around, peeing, all the simple things of new life.

So excuse my gush of baby deer photos, I can’t help but share.

This was immediately following a reunion, after one of the babies wandered too far, getting confused and then causing concern for itself and it’s mom. Just like human babies, nursing seems to be a consolation (for all of them?) after these kinds of events.

We treat our yard as a sanctuary as much as we can. While deer create a challenge for us as gardeners (yes, I have been super bummed and irritated at times when that plant got chowed to the ground), I don’t think we would trade easy growing for the lack of their presence here.

Just a little aside – These photos were all taken from inside the house, with camera zoomed in (in low light on this very rainy day).

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side by side

Sweeties. Restful day for deer today. The mamas are looking super pregnant. Should be new tiny babies soon.

I’ve been too busy to sit down and blog lately, but am looking forward to sharing about a few things soon – gardening, dealing with slugs, balancing busy days, and a simple recipe to name a few :)

I hope your weekend was superb. Did you see the solar eclipse today? Too foggy here for us to see.

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hi

Just a little something to make you smile (click, it gets bigger!).

It’s a busy morning. Time to make some coffee and get to work.

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I love going out to the garden just before dinner to pick our veggies. Right now we are having an explosion of snow peas and cucumbers, and there are always lots of greens. On this evening I had some company nearby. This doe has a wounded foot and walks with a heavy limp – the left front leg you can see is lifted off the ground. Since a couple weeks ago, she and her baby often hang around our yard much of the day and night. The other day, with all my porch plants moved away from the house for painting, we had the biggest “grazing” event ever. It was a pretty sorry sight, with some plants completely gone and most others left bare like sticks. Feeling pretty sure it was her, it was hard to even feel upset about it though. She doesn’t get around too well, and seems to eat things the others don’t (like even some of these dried up kale stalks I am getting ready to harvest seeds from!). We treat our yard as a sanctuary for the animals, and this summer has sure shown us some amazing things, and some of the harsh realities of life in the wild.

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summer babies

Two new little cuties showed up here last week and have showed up every day for the last few. Mom has been tucking them in a little hideout near our shed, while she forages intensively in the surrounding area, throughout the day and into the evening. We feel super lucky that she trusts to leave them here. I wish I could tell the deer apart better, but I am thinking this may be the same doe that tucked her babies in that same spot last year. She would be very familiar with us from the past couple years, and we have always offered lots of space and respect.

Every now and then these little babies venture out of their hiding place to eat and cautiously explore. It is so fun to watch them! Wish I could replay some of their funny behaviors for you. One of them had the funniest interaction with a crow the other day. It’s so endearing to see new beings explore their new world.

This year it’s been a lot different than last, possibly due to the cougar that was hanging around the area recently. These babies are much more cautious than I remember the babies of last spring/summer being, and I’ve been surprised to see how much time they spend on their own. Since the last cougar sighting, we didn’t see a single doe for weeks, and started seeing bucks often – which had been a rarity for a while. One day we even saw a buck all scratched up with blood on it’s fur. Needless to say, we are super happy to see this mama and her little ones. It really feels like a sacred thing to be able to observe this.

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baby deer

One of the highlights of the year here has been seeing the little spotted baby deer appear. This spring we have been waiting, observing a couple of very pregnant moms graze and relax in the yard, and finally, early one morning last week, I spotted 2 tiny creatures on the far side of the lawn. There was quite a herd, with mom and babies, a big buck and a couple of 1 year olds. I was practically giddy, and had to refrain from waking Steven up. After that first glimpse, I decided to get out of sight and not make a spectacle, in an effort to make mom feel comfortable bringing them through here.

We finally got our fill of baby deer watching yesterday. Ahh, so dang cute!

This baby was so curious about mom going pee.

They are so little, and still funny and awkward like babies can be. While they mostly stayed close to mom, they were also very playful and ran around in circles with each other. I didn’t notice them eat much, but they seemed pick up pieces of grass and clover, taste it and then drop it, so I’d guess they are still nursing. I’ve never been anywhere that I have been able to observe wild animals so closely in this way. It’s really so amazing.

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