Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Daily Deer

At the right of the photo, do you see the antlers of the third deer?
Strolling past the pond

An impressive head of horns

Eating leaves

He has a challenging glint in his eyes

The deer are spending the summer ranging over the property. At best count there are 5 buck, a doe and a fawn. Most often lately we see this group of three buck. They are mule deer. At 5:30 this morning they were wandering around the house, stopping to pull leaves from the small trees near the guest cabin. The photos I took through the windows were a gloomy blur as the flash went off and reflected on dusty rain-streaked glass.
Later the trio trouped by again. I took several photos through the picture window, then went quietly out through the garage to get a better view. Two of the deer seemed untroubled by my presence. The big fellow was very alert and was becoming more suspicious by the moment as I inched my way closer. I could hear J. warning me from the garage, "They can move a lot faster than you can." The buck stood poised with one hoof raised, eyeing me, and I decided I had ventured close enough.
It was interesting to note that when the deer bent to browse, their furred antlers looked nearly like the tall fuzzy brown weed stalks.
A constant conflict roils within me regarding the deer. I love to watch them. I wish they would spare my struggling flowers. [They ate the pansies and violas in the porch planters over the weekend.] I flinch when I see one dead on the side of the road, I wouldn't want to shoot one. And yet.....I have cut up fresh venison for the freezer, cooked and eaten it. My husband doesn't hunt, but our son and son-in-law are hunters as is our grandson.
These are troublesome and beautiful creatures. We encroach on each others' space. The deer can't understand that the roses are not planted for them to nibble.
Grandson had his own encounter with the big fellow on Saturday. He had gone down the path to the barn. When he came back up through the marshy meadow he found the buck barring his way. The buck didn't "shoo"--he stood with that un-nerving stare, not exactly threatening, but holding his ground, unpredictable. Grandson punched in the house number on his trusty cell phone and he and the deer stood glaring at one another until parental reinforcements arrived, crashing through the cat tails, and Mr. Buck decided to retreat.
I suppose if I can figure out that new camera with twice the zoom power I can spy on the deer from a safe and respectable distance.

No comments:

Post a Comment