Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Deer Country: How Cute, But What Will It Eat?
How cute—a fawn napping in a sunspot in our woods!
Two springs ago I surprised a spotted fawn—or did it surprise me?—as it drank from our spring-fed stream. I was armed with tree trimmings destined for our woodland compost pile, and that fawn vanished before I returned with my camera.
Last year I remembered to look for a fawn and walked through our woods one early June morning—but didn’t find one.
The last few days I’ve noticed a doe grazing on the lawn near our creek early in the morning and late in the evening. When I saw her again this morning, I decided to do a slow, methodical look in our woods for a fawn.
I was about to admit failure when white spots on chestnut-colored fur in a sunspot near a fallen tree caught my eye. I stopped and and smiled—a napping fawn—several weeks old, I calculated, and likely following its mother’s order to keep still until she came back with lunch.
I retreated to the house to fetch Ellen and my camera. When we got back to the creek, we paused on the east side while I took a “distant shot” or two. Then like kids—well, sort of—we hopped from stone to stone to cross the sparkling stream.
“What will that fawn be eating this time next year?” I thought. Pansies, heucheras, and hostas? Tomato, strawberry, and blackberry leaves? Sunflowers and green beans? Chard and beet leaves and lettuce?
Sleep on, babe. I’ll tend my fences and spray my sprays. But mind your manners when you switch from mother’s milk to summer salad and don’t jump the fence into our veggie garden. And remember to avoid mint-smelling greens, especially the ones I’ve sprayed.