Prior to moving into the middle of nowhere, just off the grid, and amidst the hills, I had never really come close to real, live wildlife. This is not to say that I had never seen wildlife at Camp Nelson. I did. Just not up close and personal.
There is the story of Mrs. Patterson (our next door neighbor at Camp Nelson) scaring off a bear. And there is the story of the bear breaking into our cabin. But I never saw a bear or a mountain lion. I did see a few deer from a distance. My mother warned me that they had ticks so I was not to get close. I didn't know what a tick was but mother made it sound very dangerous and dirty.
So when we first saw deer in our yard, I took to examining them (from a distance) to take in their natural beauty and grace. I learned that deer don't so much run as they BOUND. Boing, boing, boing, across the yard.
But I never imagined that I would be really close to them.
Over the last week or so, the weather up here has been in the range of 109-111 degrees. The streams and ponds have dried up. But we leave water in the bird baths for the birds and the squirrels. We didn't think that deer would come into our front yard for that water.
Over the last few days a herd consisting of two bucks, two does and two fawns has been hanging around the dry creek bed next to us. Last night the birdbaths were full. This morning they were empty. And this evening, we found out why.
Meet a momma doe.
And deer up to the bar!
I now know why they are called Mule Deer. And I now know to keep the birdbath full!
Oh, they love the plum tree, too!