I don't normally send pictures to black and white, but these were taken in the early morning hours and they looked awful in color.
We seem to be in a 'feast or famine' mode here in the Austin area. Two years ago, we had a year of nearly no rain. The local lakes dropped over 20 ft. Last summer was the summer of love from the weather gods! We got gentle rains all spring and summer, and the temperatures never reached 100*. My gardens and yard looked as though I was a master gardener.
This summer is another year of little/no rain, coupled with 43 days of temperatures over 100* since mid-May. The lack of rain has dried up my otherwise "do what's right for wildlife" brain. I began leaving out water for them when a doe brought up the first fawn of the season. She must have told a few friends.
These three boys showed up this morning, along with some less impressive bucks. A few does came along, as the draw of water was too much to resist. I had 10 deer gathered, showing little fear of me. That worries me, especially for the boys with the big racks. Hopefully, Hurrican Edouard will alleviate some of our dryness.
What is very curious about this whole drought/heat thing. I'm wondering if it has caused a mass die off of fawns. In the spring when I started watering, I saw several very pregnant does. The fawns should have appeared with the does in late June. There are none. The one little buck fawn that I posted so many pictures of, has disappeared. His fate was probably a run in with a car or a coyote, but I wonder about the heat. I guess, the drought can be a good thing--thinning the herd.