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Backyard Deer

July 17, 2020

A couple of weeks ago my wife glanced out the window and saw a deer in the backyard. She called out for me to come see it. We both watched in wonder as it grazed on the plants growing in the yard. Plants that we mow and refer to as grass. Some of it is of known varieties, creeping fescue, centipede, bermuda and zoysia that I have planted as sod or sown over the years. The rest is crab grass, wild flowers and other green vegetation that most people call weeds. It grazed and munched on what it wanted and liked and left the rest, wandering around the yard as its nose and other senses guided it. The yard is fenced in with a four foot fence and closed gate. But a four foot hop is not much for a deer to jump over, and I had seen signs of deer in the back before. After a few minutes the deer heard a noise and scurried with small hops to the rear of the yard, beyond the grass line, sheltered under the large oaks, pines and poplars, hidden by the smaller and younger dogwoods, hollies, young cedars, fir and spruce trees, and surrounded by azaleas, a large camilla, and other various types of evergreens and shrubs. Natural cover and shelter for a deer.

We continued to watch for the deer daily and would see it in the early mornings and late afternoons peeking out from its shelter, them coming out to graze. It would listen to sounds with perked up ears and watch for a while and then retreat to its hidden home.

A few days later as I drove up the driveway my wife looked upset and asked if I had trimmed her hanging basket of begonias. The beautiful flowers had been cut off evenly down to the stalks. I laughed and denied touching them. The deer had eaten the tops of the plant. It was in a large hanging basket our youngest daughter had given her for her birthday. She had placed it on the ground the day before under a dogwood tree in an island of small plants and flowers near the driveway.

After that my wife was not as happy about having a deer living in our backyard. It was not as cute and nice to look at. The next morning when it came out onto the grass a newborn fawn was with it. We watched as the doe grazed and reached up to eat some vines growing on a low hanging branch of a small wild cherry tree. The fawn was trying to walk on its small legs and staying near the doe. Soon they disappeared into shelter behind the grass line. That was the last time we saw them. Does like to move their fawns around, not staying long in one spot. We talked about it eating the begonias, and how deer eat small plants and how much damage they do in areas where they are overpopulated. They can cause damage if uncontrolled. But the deer were beautiful and graceful. We enjoyed having them in our backyard for a few days. But a few days was enough. The hanging basket is hanging high now. We are watering the plant and waiting for new blooms. One week with the deer was enough.

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