Saturday, March 6, 2010


Is five deer enough to call a herd? There were definitely five: two does, three yearlings. Three does, two yearlings? Maybe there were seven… They kept stopping and walking, stopping and walking, and every time I looked away and looked back they disappeared and I lost count. Deer don’t look camouflaged (not like the woodcock with its quite obvious "can’t see me" patterning) but oh, are they ever! That particular shade of non-descript brown, and those long skinny legs—amazing how well they blend in, even into the thin cover of my back yard.

(Unless it's summer, that is. These are three bucks who came wandering through early one summer. That blur barely visible above the tail-end sticking out from behind the tree would be #3. Can't remember, but there may have been one or two others, as well. See? Five. Magic number.)

Trouble is, they could see me inside the house perfectly well, so I wasn’t able to get any photos the other day. Bit skittish, this batch of deer. And that’s not a bad thing, given where they are living. Apparently there’s a newer neighbor around the corner who takes shots at them from his deck (much to the dismay of the gals who run the therapeutic riding center whose property also happens to meet up with his backyard as well as mine). I admit that I myself have been tempted to invite one of my hunting friends over for a visit during deer season; I love venison…

So instead of the "find the deer" photos I would have loved to have posted—and I regret even more missing a very artistic shot of a deer being trailed by the most wonderful water ripples it left in its wake as it walked through the flooded yard—I give you Galadriel. Born in the house and never let out, this was apparently her first-ever encounter with one of the deer:

Something’s out there!

What could it be?

I hope it doesn’t like cat…

She bolted soon after I snapped that last picture. Can’t blame her, really; she was young and had only had free run of the house for less than a year, so mammals this large were beyond her experience. (Wonder if she ever saw the horses? Yes, we’ve had horses visit—and other unexpected creatures—but that’s a story for a different day.)

Galadriel's brother Russell, on the other hand, appears to have slept through this chance at seeing a deer...