Anybody home? A deer looks in our screen door. We are glad we don’t have a door bell. The deer would likely use it— constantly.
It’s time for another quickie: A break from my bike six-month bike trip with a little humor to counter our serious times.
I’ve blogged before that a deer herd actually owns our property on the Applegate River in Southern Oregon. They take their rent in apples. If they aren’t paid on time, they come and stare in our windows— our front windows, our side windows, our back windows, and our bedroom windows. Or they eat Peggy’s flowers. She always runs out to discuss the matter with them. They think she is just being polite, asking them how the flowers taste. Or they deny that they have been eating the flowers at all.
A nosy neighbor. If one window doesn’t work, the deer go around our house, peering in each window.
Come on! I know you are in there.
Mmmm, is this edible. Checking out a daffodil. Peggy is constantly searching for plants the deer won’t eat. Daffodils are one, but that doesn’t stop the deer from biting the flower off and spitting it out.
I have not been eating your roses! A thorny issue. This deer is receiving a lecture from Peggy about not eating her rose-bush. Check out that stance of rightful indignation!
Wow, that apple tasted like I want another one! Always.
Me too! (We get to see the deer in all stages of development. The first buck above had fully grown antlers. This guy was just beginning. Bucks lose their antlers in late winter/early spring and have grown another set by mating season.)
When they aren’t eating, which is what they do most of the time, they do other deer things: fight, mate, have babies, raise their kids, groom each other, sleep, and lie around chewing their cuds. Since we are a part of the herd, more or less, we are invited to witness all of these things. Sometimes it can get a little hairy, like when a doe ran behind me when a lust-driven buck was chasing her…
Okay, already! I’ve been pregnant long enough. Women can probably feel great empathy for this pregnant doe who couldn’t seem to get comfortable sleeping on our back porch.
Soaking in the sun and chewing their cuds. It isn’t unusual to have several deer lying around outside our house. When Peggy and I arrived home after re-driving my bike route this summer, it was like the deer had taken over.
You know how it is with families. Even though you have seen pictures of the kids once, you are bound to see them again— and again. It used to be that mother or grandmother (and occasionally dad/granddad would whip out her/his wallet and show you one or two. Now they whip out their smart-phone and show you 40 or 50. 🙂 I’ll conclude with some of the kids from around our place. Odds are you will see them again.
Lean on me. This fawn was so young it still had shaky legs and was leaning up against its mom for support.
A real cutie who is all legs!
Did you remember to wash your ears? I never get tired of watching deer groom each other. They do it all the time. This is a mutual effort.
And then there are the teenagers. I call this fellow Little-Buck. He, his sister and mom stop by daily and visit. He has high hopes for his small antlers.
Is it edible? Here he is checking out my camera this morning. Next Blog: Join me as I finish my bike ride in Montana and head into Idaho.
52 thoughts on “Oh Deer!… Another Quickie”
I’m looking for the blog posts from the deer. Their photos and captions will be so much fun. Things like, “it’s so odd how that woman (I think they call her Peggy) grows all those amazing plants for us and then chases us away when we eat them.” And, “we’re happy that they returned from the trip so they could make sure the winter vegetation was planted for us.”
Good idea for a post, Bruce! Look for it. And you have made a great start. Momma deer to baby deer: “Just remember dear deer, two legs are good as long as they feed us. But never forget, four legs are better.”
The best may be the one that was written when you moved in. You know, the one titled “There goes the neighborhood.”
The jury was probably out on that one, Bruce! But deer are pretty tolerant creatures. They were okay with us living here as long as we improved the property with edible plants. –Curt
Oh dear, the deer are taking over. Be careful! Soon they will move in and you will be outside looking through the windows hoping to be let in.
Maybe they will throw me an apple, Gerard. 🙂 No, forget that. Deer don’t give away food. –Curt
I think they will let you and Peggy stay there so don’t worry about that, they may want the master bedroom though. They are adorable!
Master bedroom? I have to draw the line somewhere, Cindy! 🙂 One dear in my bed is enough. –Curt
Wow! Your photos are amazing. These beautiful creatures remind me of paradise.
Thanks! It is kind of a paradise here. (grin) There are a million acres of National Forest out the back door and a river out the front door. –Curt
This made my day! How fabulous to have all the generations at the back door. That little fawn is a heart melter.
The babies are cute! No doubt about it, Sue. And we have now watched several generations grow up in the six-years we have been here. At first, it would usually be a month or so before we saw the babies. But now we have seen many shortly after birth. –Curt
The Mamas must trust you very much. What a gift to see that in your own yard!
They’ve certainly decided that we aren’t going to harm them, Sue. They are much more wary when we have visitors. And it is a gift… –Curt
Ahh…some of these photos are priceless, the deer looking so sweet and cute and questioning – probably asking after more apples! 😀 Poor Peggy and the plants though, takes patience galore. Still to have these as part of the family it must be worth it. Don’t think I’d venture out with the bucks about!
Thanks, Annika. It’s no doubt that the deer have apples on their minds. 🙂
Peggy has gone a long ways toward solving the deer/flower problem. There is a lot of information on deer-proof flowers around here. Advice always comes with a proviso, though. Maybe. 🙂 Interestingly, different herds go for different things. What one herd won’t touch, a herd a mile away might gobble down. As a general rule they don’t like herbs and stay away from plants that give them stomach aches. Foxglove, poppies, daffodils, and lavender seem to be plants they leave alone. More or less.
As for bucks, probably wise. All wild animals can be dangerous. –Curt
Thank you for the list of plants, Curt – we will try some of these in Sweden as we have the same problem on the land there – one beautiful bush has been struggling for years. The deer-proof fences don’t seem to have worked too well!
Our garden has an 8 foot fence around in Annika. 🙂 –Curt
Looks like your lovely deer are trying out for longest tongue!
Laughing! I actually meant to mention that and forgot! –Curt
If they come to your door, will they eat out of your hand? I used to have squirrels come to the house looking for food, but they tore my screens up if I wasn’t home!!
Not really advised, G. But the answer is yes. They don’t seem destructive. Just hungry. Peggy has done a good job of finding plants they don’t like. Foxglove is a good example. We have also fenced off our garden and other plants we want to protect. In my years of backpacking, I found that squirrels would chew holes in food bags, back packs, etc. Bears were worse. They can tear a pack apart. I was always careful to hang my food, or more recently, use a food barrel, when I was in area where bears were noted for liking backpacking food. 🙂 I also left my pack open so they could go through the pack without ripping it up. I watched one do it once, a few feet away from where I was sleeping! 🙂 –Curt
That what you get for carrying bear food around with you!! 🙂 We don’t have that problem, bears are up further north.
You just have those black buzzards that can shred a bag of groceries faster that a bear, G. (grin)
I needed a huge dose of cute today – thanks for providing it! I know they can be a royal pain in the neck (we have a bunch in western PA also), but they are so utterly charming its easy to forgive them, especially in your yard! 🙂
You are welcome, Lex! I even cheered myself up. Truth is, there are too many. It isn’t healthy for the deer. In fact, there are a lot more deer in America today than there were in 1900. Hard not to like the rascals, even when they are scarfing down Peggy’s flowers, however. A lot depends on the availability of their natural food. –Curt
This is too wonderful!! I read it once and then read it again aloud to Ben. We both loved it. The photos are just perfect, accompanied by your commentary. Love the photo of “Little Buck” with his huge eyes and of the pregnant doe outside the door. They seem pretty comfy at your house, apples roses and all. And your reward, of course the entertainment of their poses, personalities etc. This is so great. Love it!!!
Thanks Peta! They do entertain, and they do have definite personalities. We’ve learned a fair amount about deer since we moved here. The most amazing to me is the affection they show for one another, as in the grooming. They can be territorial, and there is a pecking order, but I have yet to see them do any serous damage to each other. This time of the year, the bucks are going at it. We watch them go antler to antler and make sure we stay far away from the action. But even here, as soon as dominance is established, the fight is over. BTW, as I was writing this a doe went dashing by with a forked-horn in hot pursuit. 🙂 –Curt
So amazing. Love watching wild animals…and you have a close up show right in front with f your windows!
They know where my writing chair is Petra. 🙂 –Curt
They are deerly adorable:) – Ginette
They are a cute, hungry bunch. Thanks, Ginette. –Curt
I guess you folks don’t have to worry about Lyme disease in your area. Here in Maine if we had your deer population circling our home we’d be the epicenter for that debilitating condition.
Good point, David. Lyme disease does exist in Oregon. Some 35-45 cases are reported annually. –Curt
Your own private zoo! How funny. Have you named any of them?
I confess we have. 🙂 And some names were handed down to us from our neighbor when we moved in. Now do they know their names? That’s another thing. They do, however, understand apple. –Curt
And I thought we were popular with the birds and squirrels coming by with the “where’s dinner” look. You must have half the forest creatures swinging by for a visit.
There’s a few Dave… um, make that quite a few. Beyond the deer, the only ones that get take-away are the deer and birds, however. 🙂 –Curt
It’s easy to see they make themselves quite at home. So cute unless it’s your own garden. May you and your “deer family” have a lovely Thanksgiving Day.
And a very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well, Kayti. –Curt and Peggy
I always enjoy it when your deer show up. They are such interesting creatures, and your being “part of the herd” allows you to get the sort of photos that really do reveal their family life. Little Buck is a cutie, with an expression that would melt the heart of even the most determined plant grower: and probably has!
One of these days, Linda, I will do a more serious blog on Blacktail deer. I’ve gained a fair amount of knowledge about them over the past five years. Little Buck, more than any other deer, is a regular here. He is really small for his age. I don’t know how big he is going to get. Peggy was out talking with him five minutes ago. 🙂 –Curt
Never mind daffodils try peppers!
Good idea, Andrew. 🙂
‘magnifique’ creatures… ❤ I want them in my backyard, please!!! 🙂
We certainly enjoy having them around, Melanie! 🙂 –Curt
So so amazing!!! Such beautiful animals! xx
Thanks. They really are, Natasha, which is our daughter’s name, BTW. –Curt
Awwww! Cuteness, plus. I love deer, they are the most adorable weed whackers on the planet.
I was a professional personal gardener/designer in Colorado and spent many hours compiling the No Chomp List. Pretty much, if they’re desperate enough, they’ll eat anything but Peggy’s got the right idea with daffodils, which are highly toxic. Hyacinth, too. Other celebrities on the list are lavenders, evergreens, yarrows, and anything with an acrid smell and a furry leaf and stem. Doesn’t feel good on the tongue so they leave it ’til last. Unfortunately, roses are like deer sherbet, so either tell everybody the heavy metal cage around it is art or switch it out with a rhodie.
Some swear by planting goodies on the perimeter of the property as a sacrifice but you and I both know deer are bottomless pits. They’ll just regard it as hors d’ oeuvres and move on to the main course under your kitchen window. Have you considered a rock garden? Ha, ha!
The rose has it’s fence but the rose insists on growing out of it. Bad idea! I am thinking it needs to move to our seriously fenced in area! Goodies on the perimeter are an open invitation: “step right up deer, there are goodies inside!”They leave our lavender totally alone, regardless of how skin and bones they are, ditto daffodils as you have noted. And pretty much foxglove. I like yarrow. Good idea. Professional landscapers around here are pretty much deer proofing experts as well. 🙂 Less drought this year has certainly helped…
And they are cute, sigh… those big brown eyes staring at you. And mom isn’t above sending the kids in. –Curt
From what I’ve heard about deer, Peggy is never going to win the flower bed territorial debate!
Nah, but it doesn’t stop her. 🙂 And she likes the deer. –Curt