Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doe, a Deer, a female deer

So, I meant to tell you about the deer.
I guess she's a doe, a female because she doesn't have antlers.
Anyway, I live in the city.
OK, not some BIG city like Chicago or something, but it's not the country.
I know this because 95% of the people I work with, live in the country
and they tell me that I live in a city.
AND I live directly on one of the main roads going through town.
Sometimes I've seen deer very early in the morning or very late at night in the empty lot down the street next to the church.
I've also read about deer on a blog that I follow and the blogger just lives 3 blocks from me
but she has ravines near her and also a wooded backyard.
Yeah, no deer here.
Until a few weeks back.
I saw her in my neighbors yard at the bottom of the hill eating out of their bird feeder.
My neighbor had told me that he'd seen one down there before but this was a first for me.
I was out working on my yard.
My garden that I've shown before and during photos.
I'm still "during". Kinda one step forward 2 steps back type of deal with my yard.
One late afternoon that had turned into evening I had pulled all the towering marigolds out from around my raised garden and weeded and moved stuff around and cleaned and...there she was, eating off the stack of dead plants and weeds that I had piled up. 
There was a random apple from my tree on the ground and she was munching on that.

So I walked down my front drive and gathered up some more and returned to gently toss them to her.
She looked at me and picked one up and ate that. 
I turned and walked a few feet away and sat down on my stool and continued my work.
It felt kinda cool, sitting there in that quiet time just before dark, working in my yard with my dogs sleeping on the patio and a deer a few feet from me eating. I went and got my camera and took a photo of her and she didn't run, just looked at me, munching away.

So then she returned the next morning and then the next evening and then she started coming after work.
She was coming at least 2 or 3 times a day.
This was all going on during that time that I wrote about a couple of posts back
and I gotta tell you. It made me happy to see her.
I mean, really happy.
My niece Lily apparently is "friends" on Facebook with one of the neighbor girls next door and she thought we were both so funny.
Both of us posting about this deer and taking photos of her.
Lily lives very close to a State Park, so they have deer over there all the time.
It's not that big of a deal.
Sometimes in the early morning the dogs would be at the living room window barking at something outside.

I'd look out and there would be a walker or jogger, who had stopped and was looking up the driveway.
I'd look through the kitchen window to see what they were looking at, but I knew.
It was the doe.

Actually the dogs seemed oblivious to her most of the time except for one evening when Blue noticed her  over the fence and they just stared at each other.
I stood on the back step, with the back door open, watching and Louie walked out, trembling and not sure if he needed to be afraid or not.
Then Jimmy came out and stood next to me and looked at her and at Blue and then at me as if to ask "Should I bark?"
I just shook my head at him and we all stared.
Suddenly Nora shot past me and ran to the fence and braced her front paws on top of the gate and barking her away.
I scolded Nora and told her to stop it, that it was OK
but the doe left.
She came back later that night and again the next day and then...nothing.
Several days went by and I would come home and let the dogs out and water the front yard and the side yard and finally the back yard and just stare down at the bottom of the hill, trying to will her back.
Then I noticed that I wasn't the only one wishing for her return. On the neighbors picnic table next to the bird feeder, sat a couple of big apples
and then I saw that someone had also stuck several ears of corn into the fence.
But she didn't return and for some stupid reason, I felt overwhelmed with sadness.
I went to work and told my co-workers that I feared the worst.
They were actually very kind and told me that she probably just found a different food source.
I just nodded and thought about how she had to cross the busy street each time. 
and....about people. People that would want to do her harm.

I felt pretty sad, and foolish too.
but... she had brightened my days.
Then one morning, she was there again. Standing at the bottom of the yard and looking at me.
Now comes the silly part, but I felt like she had stopped by to say, Hey I'm OK.
and then she left and hasn't returned.

But this time I feel better about it.

I think that she's just moved on.

9 comments:

Nita Stacy said...

Oh...I loved loved loved this. It must have felt so special to have her there. I would be so thrilled too. I can just imagine you felt like Snow White or Cinderella with your animal menagerie. I can totally see why you'd be sad when she was gone. She was sooo pretty. I loved the photo of Blue looking over the fence at her. You were living in a fairy tale for a moment. What a beautiful experience.

sassypackrat said...

We used to live just down the street from the forest preserves and in the summer and fall early in mornings a head of about 5 deer would appear in the grassy area in front of my townhouse. They were lovely. Where we live now is more densely populated so we never see deer but we do see coyotes. I miss the deer. Your experience with your deer is something to treasure.

An Urban Cottage said...

Very sweet story. I really enjoyed reading it and I love the photo of Blue looking over the fence at Doey.

We don't have any deer around but I just joined a Yahoo group for my neighborhood and people are talking about a gray fox in the neighborhood. I know we had a few racoons and some bunnies (and rats!) but knowing there are fox around, it really weird.

I hope your dear Doe stops by to say hi every once in a while.

sarah @ homeologymodernvintage said...

my mother chose to live a very rural life and despised the deer because they would destroy the vegetables in her garden. but there was one deer she became particularly attached to. it followed her everywhere as she worked in the yard and would even try to follow her inside the house! they are so sweet + pretty, but watch out for your gardens! (love your pictures and your story!)

thecottagebythecranelaketwo said...

So now You know how I have it here :-) She is probaly around Your garden more than You think, my dogs stop caring about the deers walking around here now :-) You can place an apple or two low enough for her to take it but high enough so no smaller rodents can take it too easy.

I know Your feeling, deer hunting has just started here and I can only hope that One eyed Rune and Doris the doe manages to survive.

Have a great day!
Christer.

Nita Stacy said...

I followed some instructions I found on the internet for making my email show up correctly. Let me know if it does this time....thanks!

leslie said...

this was beautiful. i especially love the photo of her return. very sweet.

Jan said...

I loved this story and the accompanying photos. So happy your doe came back to reassure you. They are so special. Wouldn't it be cool if next spring she returned with a fawn?

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

We have lived in our cabin for 28 years....and the deer are part of our family. Some put out the salt block...some put out apples....some put out carrots ...and they seem to know we are not going to do them any harm... they are my sweet guardians of my hill. Yes we do have too many of them ...so when the Fall arrives we seem to witness many accidents and I pray they are not some of my family. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart