Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. ~Isaiah 35:6
Two does and two fawns grazed casually on the shrubs this afternoon, before playfully prancing across the field toward the pond. Such a beautiful sight.
These were a different set of deer from the three does I saw earlier today as I sat in my vehicle, watching them cross behind the big oak near the playground. The woods are full of deer this year, it seems-- and big ones, too: two of them are larger than most does I’ve ever seen.
Late in the afternoon, a pair of deer came out for a snack-- a doe and fawn, with spots still clearly showing on the young one. They munched for a bit, and I noticed them in time to watch for a few minutes, wondering to myself about how good twigs and leaves taste to a deer.
As they made their way around the bend, mother doe was startled by the crows, too-- enough to jump. Young fawn remained careless, not yet accustomed to the need to be wary. Crows are harmless to deer, though, and they continued on their way for a while before finding a convenient hole back into the brush.
I’ve also seen bucks a couple of times. One was just a glimpse of the big guy I first saw last fall; he stood at the edge of the far side of the field for a moment, then turned quickly back into the woods. The other was a younger (looking), smaller buck who crossed the field on his way to the pond. Thirsty in the late-summer heat, I suppose.
This summer has been inconsistent: sometimes the heat has appearently kept all the creatures under cover and in the shade; at other times, I’ve seen them out in force.
This morning, two does walked by the windows of my study, just as they have done so many times before. Again, it looked to be a mother and daughter-- though I think the daughter must be a yearling, not a fawn, since she didn’t have any hint of spots. Is this the same mother-daughter pair I saw so often last fall?
Earlier in the week I saw a group of them grazing in the field behind the church-- all does. There were at least five, but it was dusk and difficult to tell, especially because the grass was quite tall.
I’m certain that I’ll see more and more as the fall approaches. Now back to work...
As spring emerges, I've noticed the more conspicuous presence of my wildlife friends in the past week or so.
Last week, the does returned to the field behind the church; I saw them again yesterday, under the big oak tree by the playground. These days there are five of them. I still maintain my assumption that something happened to a couple of them, and either the group of five remains intact or they have united into one grouping.
I've also seen a lot of birds. I'm no birder, so I can't identify them easily. There have been some doves, though, as well as bluebirds.
On the other hand, the fox (or foxes-- both, incidentally, are grammatically correct) have been moving a lot! I've seen a red fox and a grey fox in the past several days.
UPDATE: Wouldn't you know, the same day I put this up, I see three of the does wandering about? They were on one side of the church when I came back this afternoon, and came out on the other side later.
And then, of course, there is the wildlife experience that is the skunk hanging out under the sanctuary...
Then not long after I arrived two does crossed the field behind the church. Lots of deer activity today!
I also saw a grey fox cross the field out back.
I've been watching these groups of does all fall-- the larger group was a group of five; I wonder if one met an early end. All of them are fairly young and pretty small, though there is one doe that is much bigger than the rest.
Every now and then, the bucks that hanker after them show up-- but these bucks are quite young, too; you can tell by the spread of their antlers they aren't but a year or so old. One buck, though, will be huge when he matures: his antlers are very narrow, but he's already a six-point.
I want to keep a log of what I see, mostly for me-- though some of you might find it interesting too. So I'll keep my log on this blog. Here's the list for today:
16 wild turkeys, including 3 really big toms, 4 jakes, and 9 hens!