Roaming the backyard

I am experiencing wildlife withdrawal.  I miss the tremendous diversity of wildlife I saw every day in the African savanna.  Even the local birds have deserted my backyard (of course that could be because the bird feeders were empty for a while). I have roamed the backyard (and the wetlands beyond the backyard) in vain over the last couple of weeks in search of something besides squirrels and chickadees. Finally a couple of yearling deer took pity on me and came in for a visit.

deer eating in the garden

Eat those weeds, and help yourself to a drink of fresh water while you’re at it…

My neighbors tell me this pair has been roaming the neighborhood, gobbling up the last remnants of wildflowers and herbaceous greenery before the hard frosts arrive. They certainly are tame, foraging in the backyard in broad daylight, and even allowing me to stand close (within 25 feet) to them while they eat.

deer eating in the backyard

Yellow leaves don’t have much of the nitrogen-rich chlorophyll left in them, but I guess anything will do.

deer eating in the garden

I love the way they wrap their tongue around the leaves to selectively pull off just the right ones.

Finally, she/he notices me standing there watching.  One ear forward and one cocked back -- just to make sure nothing sneaks up without notice.

Finally, she/he notices me standing there watching. One ear forward and one cocked back — just to make sure nothing sneaks up without notice.  A nice fall deer portrait.

So many choices here of good things to eat.

Immersed in weeds — so many choices here of good things to eat.

deer eating in the garden

16 thoughts on “Roaming the backyard

  1. I love how they stay buddy up at times. Just as with humans, however, we have watched out our back window to see that threesomes don’t always work. The pecking order displays itself in many of those cases. I find myself wanting to go out and have a talk with the bullies (display of teacher ways!)

    • So interesting, the differences in deer tastes from yard to yard. I think of sunflowers as kind of prickly and unpalatable, but then I’m not a deer.

  2. Beautiful visitors. I suppose you deer-proof your yard by having nothing that won’t survive their attentions in the winter time. We have deer here, but the winters are usually short and such that there is plenty for them outside the garden so they don’t bother to venture in although they pass nearby. Amelia

    • Actually, the snow pretty much covers anything the deer might like to munch on, and most of the vegetation has completely died back in winter. It’s a really tough time to be a vegetarian here!

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