Tag Archives: deer
Here’s the cute little spotted fawn that we spotted in our backyard last night at dusk. It was busy eating clover and frolicking around, until a wild turkey scared it. Then it ran back to its mom who was standing nearby. The two deer disappeared into the woods as the sun went down.
A few days ago, Ed and I noticed that our beloved deer neighbors have been nibbling on our apple trees. I don’t mind a nibble here and there on our white pines in the winter, but when there’s plenty of clover for them, I’m not going to let them destroy our little trees.
Here’s what our white pines look like, after late winter munching on the bottom needles.
And here’s our dawn redwood, after a buck decided to try to rub the velvet off his antlers with it last fall. The tree was just too tiny to take it!
So, with knowledge of what deer can do to little trees, Ed and I set out to create barriers. We used some leftover plastic netting and wire mesh for our six little trees. Ed started trying to weave the plastic netting together with a stiff wire, which I promptly grabbed out of his hands. Instead, I sewed them up with my big yarn needle and some strong yellow string.
Meanwhile, Ed got to work with the wire mesh. With him working in the basement and me in the garage, it became sort of a race. The race ended in a tie, with both of us finishing at the same time.
Now we’ve got three black plastic cages and three wire cages. The wire ones are less noticable, so I’m leaning toward liking them better. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see which cages are more protective in the long run.
With spring comes the return of our animal friends. While the deer never really left, we are seeing more of them at once. One night, we counted 12 deer in our yard, nibbling on the bright green clover.
The wild turkeys are back, and I’m excited to see their babies this year. I’ll be sure to try to get a picture of them this year, since there were 13 at the beginning of last year and that number got lower every day until there were only 5 left.
I’ve also seen a few red tailed hawks in our yard, but I’m hoping they’ll leave the baby wild turkeys alone this year, or at least that I won’t witness them grabbing one again!
Most importantly, I saw a rabid racoon yesterday. I spotted it walking in the back yard in the daylight, and my immediate thought was rabies. It walked right toward the house, wobbling all the way, clearly disoriented. When it got close, I banged on the window and it didn’t stop or look up, showing no reaction to the sudden noise. Although it wasn’t foaming, it clearly was sick and I diagnosed it with rabies. I called Ed and asked him to bring home a gun (from his parents’ house, I don’t like them here) to shoot it, but it left our yard. It walked up our driveway, crossed the street and went toward the neighbor’s house. I saw my cousin (who’s also our neighbor) and she said she’d call the animal control officer.
If you’re not familiar with wild animals, you should know that if you see a nocturnal animal like a racoon in the daylight, it’s probably sick. You should never try to approach a wild animal, especially if they are letting you get near them. Wild animals usually avoid people, and if they don’t, that’s a good sign there’s something wrong. Be sure to call animal control if you do see a sick animal. They’ll want to test it for rabies.
Finally, tick season is back in our area! If you are outside, make sure to check yourself later for ticks. I found one last week after we were outside all afternoon planting apple trees. Be sure to check all over, including in your hair. That’s where mine was. And if you can’t find them all yourself, take Brad Paisley’s advice and have someone help you.
The twin deer came to visit us again this morning. This time their mother was out of sight, but suspect she was watching them from the woods. They got close enough for us to see that one is a female and one is a male, thanks to the little nubs of antlers starting to appear on his head. We named the female Apple and the male Pumpkin.
Apple is the more skiddish of the two. She spent a lot of time looking around, ears moving, and didn’t venture far from the edge of the woods. A few times she ran back into the woods and reappeared a little while later.
Pumpkin spent most of his time eating the clover in our lawn. He kept his head down and came really close to our house. I didn’t snap pictures when he was close because I didn’t want to scare him away.
To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.