Deer, flowers, friends

There’s a young mule deer doe who’s been hanging out by herself in our back yard quite frequently for about a week and a half now. Deer being gregarious herd animals, I figured she pissed somebody off enough to be ostracized, as deer ostracize members of the herd who are different in some way that’s often perceptible only to the other deer. I wanted to be pissed off about her eating my flowers, especially the pansies and violas that are really having a tough time of it in the front yard. The dry winds have made it tough on those flowers, and then the damn deer comes around just as they’re looking pretty again and bites them off right at ground level. But it’s hard for me to be pissed off at an ostracized deer.

This afternoon while I was looking out through the kitchen window at the world outside, that doe was lying under an aspen when another doe, also one of last year’s fawns, approached the fence warily. The two of them looked at each other, ears forward, and apparently came to some kind of understanding. The new deer hopped over the fence and the two of them hung out for a while. How long, I don’t know, but it was at least a couple of hours. Then they were gone, for now.

It may well be that they were both chased away from the herd for trying to nurse alongside their younger siblings, which is not uncommon. If that’s what happened, they’ll be accepted back into the herd when this year’s fawns are weaned and the mommas stop lactating. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Either way, it’s good to know that the loner doe has a friend.

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