A few weeks back I blogged on the pregnant black-tailed deer that had taken up residence on our back porch. See here. (Bucks are hanging around now.) Several of you commented that you hoped mom would bring by her babies and introduce them. Well, she did, yesterday. Twins. I think Peggy may have bribed her with an apple.
Mom had hidden the fawns until they could run. I guarantee they can. They were cavorting all over our yard, like kittens or puppies. Peggy and I sat out on our back porch and watched. A young buck that was hanging out didn’t know how to relate to the babies, especially when they decided he might be a source of milk. It was pretty funny. He gently suggested that they go play elsewhere.
This morning, a herd of deer, the downhill crowd, gathered around some shrubs Peggy and I had recently planted. They circled the fence I had built, looking for a way in. It drives them crazy that they can’t get to all of those succulent young green leaves. Finally they gave up and bedded down next to the fence. At one point we had four in a row.
There is no question about it; we live in a zoo. Our phone has been buzzing. The neighbors are reporting that another bear has come down off the mountain to check out our neighborhood as a possible food source. We hear the dog telegraph each night. They have a special bark for bears. It’s horrendously loud and goes on and on. But we welcome the warning. When I was away at Berkeley last week and Peggy was home alone, the bear came by and took out our garbage can. The can is now living in our shed. If I see the bear, I will advise it, however, that it isn’t wise to mess with Peggy. I don’t.
On the other end of the scale we have the lizards. We park our outdoor shoes next to the backdoor and the lizards think of them as mansions. Given the fact that I wear size 14, maybe they are. Anyway, it is important that we turn the shoes over and give them a sharp rap before we put them on. Peggy failed to do that once. She was painting our shed and her toe had a continuous twinge. Concerned, she pulled her shoe off to see what was wrong with her foot. Out popped a lizard. Boy did it disappear fast.
And ground squirrels, I swear they breed like rabbits. Not even the snakes, foxes, hawks and coyotes can keep up with their burgeoning population. Three years back I bought a Have-A-Heart trap and began transferring them across the river to Bureau of Land Management property, one at a time. It was slow work. This year I wised up and bought a Squirrelinator, a special trap that can accommodate several squirrels at once. I’ve had as many as four.
The squirrels growl and chirp at me when I pick up the trap to put it in my truck— but I sing to them: “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go.” Odds are they may meet their grandmother or grandfather, not to mention brothers, sisters, cousins, parent, aunts and uncles. I’ve transported lots of squirrels, 15 this last week alone. It’s never dull here. Just wait until next week when five grandsons descend on us.