Please excuse the really poor quality of these photos through a screened window! This deer was so close to the house that if I had tried to go outside to photograph him, or even moved to the deck, I am quite sure she would have fled at once.
I’ve been seeing a doe and fawn hanging about the yard recently and don’t bother them too much because I’m not really raising vegetables this year, only flowers and herbs on the deck and whatever perennials and bushes are already in the garden.
Usually they don’t come this close to the house, although since I’m using zoom here you may not have a sense of how near or far she was. At first I wanted to shout, “Go away!”, as I once would have, but then I realized it wasn’t necessary now, and began talking to the doe in a rather high pitched friendly voice, telling her how beautiful she was. To my amazement and amusement, she began wagging her tail very quickly, just as my dog Bo would have in such a case. I kept talking to her and she moved closer and continued grazing.
So now I know something that Virginia White-Tailed deer and silkworms have in common because this deer was snacking on my white mulberry, Morus alba, the one that silkworms are fed. I bought this tree, maybe a quarter of a century ago, thinking it was the black mulberry which I enjoyed eating myself as a child. So did Paul. We were both amused that both of our mothers who usually didn’t have the same opinions on things warned us against planting this tree because it was so messy. But it turned out this was not the purple one, though I have several of those at the edge of a little pine woods on the west side of the house. I didn’t plant them, they just showed up as volunteers. I’m glad they did because, though I don’t care for them that much anymore, my grandson Nathan adores picking and eating them. (Though this weekend he will be picking and eating delicious dark cherries near Chautauqua.)
The deer continued munching and looking at me, listening to me sing her praises in that higher tone of voice that animals and babies seem to respond to especially well, wagging her tail as I never realized that deer did.
I may be sorry sometime that I gave her this much encouragement. There is a lot of wildlife around here and some I am happy to see and some not. Luckily I haven’t seen the skunks lately, but I have a sneaking suspicion they are not really gone. We have ground hogs, squirrels, possums, deer, skunks, and turtles. I once saw a truck stop on the hill near my house so the driver could get out and assist a slow turtle across the road. It was reported in the local paper . We have chipmunks, moles and voles and deer mice and all manner of lovely birds and insects not so lovely. We have other animals I don’t usually see – toads and frogs, crickets and salamanders and who knows what else……. I am rather happy to have this abundance of life about. Even when woodpeckers are making holes in the siding and skunks are perfuming the evening air. It’s life, and creation and makes my spirit sing.
p.s. I fogot to add we have coyotes now. And always had foxes.
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