Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's a Boy!

This little man belongs to "Skittish Doe".  He balances his mom's jumpiness by being totally cool about everything.  His mom was getting a drink out of their watering bucket (I can't help it, we're in a drought) when I took this picture.  He walked away from her and just laid down--all with me sitting just 50 feet away with a big, scary camera.  

If you click on the picture, you'll see how we figured out he was a little buck.  He has two little dark spots on his head where antlers will grow in next year.  He also had a very large scar on his hip.  I keep wondering how he managed to survive without infection; especially since it's been a very hard couple months without lots of green food and water for his mom.  It's very well healed up, so it had to have happened in the first month of his life.  That's when the little ones act like statues all day and wait for mom to come feed them.  They don't budge from the spot where she leaves them for a whole month.  

Fireants are real problem for all ground dwelling babies that stay put (deer, rabbits, and ground nesting birds).  That's why I think it's especially amazing that this little guy didn't just get eaten alive by fireants with a large wound like that.

Folk often ask me if I name the deer that come to our water.  Nope.  They're wild animals that might get hit by cars or killed by hunters.  I've come to tolerate their existence by planting only things they will not eat.  They really are pests.  I would like to allow hunting in my neighborhood to thin them out, but too many folks are city people who just think they're cute.  Thinning only proves to strengthen the herd.  Too many deer and not enough food causes them all to suffer.  

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful deer. Amazing that you were able to take such a perfect picture.
    It sounds like the deer are getting very used to people and letting them get so close.

    Some might say that by giving the deer water or food, that humans are permitting deer that would otherwise not survive, to live. In a sense taking away that 'natural selection' and not allowing the hardships of nature to 'thin' the deer naturally.

    Of course, I'm like you and would be setting out buckets of water for all the critters (well maybe not the bear and cougars!) because it seems too cruel to die from lack of water.

    Nature is cruel sometimes, though, isn't it?

    Something about seeing all the beautiful new babies in the wild makes it all seem better somehow.