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.
21 thoughts on “Oh, Deer! We Live in a Zoo.”
You do have to get creative when so many things want to eat your garden! Consider yourselves very lucky to have that zoo going on. We have wild boar but they’re notoriously shy. In all the time we’ve been here (12 years) have only seen one when returning home in the beam of the headlights. They have left us a calling card on the barn mat once though so they’re not shy in coming forward at night. Our wild forest has reached a certain type of maturity as it’s turned into a Rookery in the last year – each night hundreds come to roost and the sound is magnificent as is the sight when they all take off for work in the morning.
Your fawns are a delight as are their nearest and dearest.
I’ve seen many fawns in the Sierra foothills, but never that close and besides I don’t have your photographic talents. This series is exquisite. Fawns are the most adorable looking creatures. All baby animals are gorgeous and very moving to look at. But the fawns…
And I love what you wrote about the mother and father. Animal parenting is very interesting. I love the quails and the way they care for their little ones. Males and females together, and also with other quails.
You are fortunate to live in the zoo and not to have to go to the zoo, too often sad places in comparison to nature.
Peggy and I love it Evelyne. There is always something going on to distract me from my writing. Another doe came by with another set of twins. –Curt
You weren’t kidding — you really do live in a zoo. And I’d be very wary of putting on my shoes before checking. A lizard would have scared me to death! Now, here’s a question: how do you know those fawns are twins? Did you compare each of those dots? 🙂
I suspect if Peggy had realized it was a lizard in her shoe, it might have come off quicker. 🙂 Dot might be more than I would want to tackle. 🙂
So glad the fawns came back for a visit. It’s a bit of a funny conflict, man versus nature. We love the animals, but don’t love them to eat our green leaves. Here, we live in a bird sanctuary, but often wonder why there have to be so many of those darn birds. 8)
And another momma doe brought by another set of twins this morning. 🙂 I am pretty sure the moms are showing their kids future sources of food. “Now be sure to stop by the Mekemson’s house daily and see what they are growing. ” Bird sanctuary sounds like a fun place to live, Susan. –Curt
I am so cheered by your posts and all the life (both fauna and flora) to be found in them.
Thanks Hilary. It comes from being a nature boy. As a child, I spent untold hours wandering in the woods with my dogs as my main companions. The wonder, fun, and beauty of the natural world has never left me. –Curt
Oh my! I’ll stop complaining about the deer. How ever do you garden?
With a very high fence. The one with the shrubs is small but the string across the top with flags stops the deer from jumping in. They spend a lot of time thinking about it, however. –Curt
Hi Curt: Oh how we’ve missed your blog. Sorry we’ve been ghosts for so long. Such is the life of a writer. And that’s where we’ve been. traveling through our character’s journey while penning book two in our P-7 series. But we’re back now in the blogiverse and at one of our favorite haunts. These pictures are so precious Curt. We’ll be sharing them with our blogging buds. We recently watched a video on Facebook where a man hand feeds a deer in his home. Leaving the link with you as I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrOLo49u7zQ
Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out. And welcome back! I’ve missed you. And I get the book business, having self-published my book on Africa this spring. What a chore. Of course now the marketing is supposed to start, and the next book. Sigh. –Curt
You certainly do live in a zoo. Or a wildlife paradise. Those twin fawns are completely heart-meltingly beautiful.
They just bounce all over the place. I’ve watched Mom scold them a few times for getting out of line, however. 🙂 –Curt
Despite all the deer and fawns I’ve seen, I never have seen them napping. Honestly, I can’t even remember seeing it in a documentary. It’s my favorite photo of the bunch. The fawns are adorable, of course.
I am a little puzzled by the squirrel. You mentioned “ground squirrels,” but the one in the trap looks like a garden-variety gray or fox. When I think ground squirrel,I think of something like a chipmunk. Do we have a terminology difference here? Or do you have the hunkiest ground squirrels in the whole, wide world?
They just plop right down, Linda. I don’t think I ever saw them sleeping either although I found lots of deer beds over the years. Yep, it’s a ground squirrel. They come by the dozens around here and happily live in holes in the ground as opposed to trees. The adult Belding ground squirrel is about the same size as a grey squirrel. They are a far west squirrel found in both northern California and southern Oregon. The ground squirrel you are probably thinking of is the Golden Mantle ground squirrel, which looks rather like a large chipmunk. It’s the Golden Mantles that you find begging wherever people gather. 🙂 –Curt
OMG… Does Poeggy know you selected her as your Rambo protection against bears?! After you took on cockroaches in your WC in Liberia?! Shame on you! But indeed, you and Peggy are so blessed to have so much of Mother Nature around you…
Peggy has always been quick to get behind me in bear encounters, Koji. I suspect if I got in serious trouble, she’d take on the bear, however, poor fellow. And yes, we are lucky to live in such beautiful country. –Curt
LOL. You two are way braver than me. I remember the bear photos… I’d NEVER be that close! 🙂 Enjoy your time off!