Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fawns in the backyard

The deer have a lovely quality of innocence and alertness.

These fawns were just born 1-2 months ago; we saw them when they were quite new. We've seen them nursing. The mother is probably nearby. Fawns are often left alone while the mother forages; they stay hunkered down and still, their spotty coats blending into dappled forest understory. This one (and her sister) were snoozing in the afternoon; they often do that, and they seem to like our shady, secluded-feeling yard. Because there are no natural predators, and plenty of yummy decorative foliage, we have too many deer. Still, they are pleasant to see up close... until they munch all the tulips, lilies, and hostas. I've successfully sprayed some plants with a "deer off" product this year. They also treat the bird bath as a water trough.

We have bunnies, a chipmunk, a hawk that eats the birds, and Mr. Stinky-Poo, a skunk who saunters by at night, forcing us to close our windows. I've seen a red fox-face peering out from the micro-forest that separates our house from the house behind us. We have been visited at night by what Richard thinks is an owl; I have twice heard a ghostly beautiful quavering hooty sound in the darkness. We remark how the trees are about twice the height they were when we moved in seven years ago. Richard chops the kudzu that threatens the trees in back, which are not on anyone's property. He devotedly maintains the two bird feeders. Perhaps the consistent infusion of black oil sunflower seeds into the ecosystem is also helping the chain of wildlife.

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