Saturday, September 22, 2012

They shun zinnias.


They are on all sides, the deer. If I go on the front lawn to throw the frisbee with Scout, a doe named Splotchy is waiting under the crabapple tree wondering if I am a kind human like my son-in-law and might shake down a few fruits the way he does. Her doe looks on from a greater distance.

If I exit the back door and head off near the woodpile to shake the dirt out of a rug, two deer are startled and bound away into the forest, showing not much more than their flying hooves behind them.

Standing at the kitchen sink after breakfast or before dinner, we are likely to see out the window one to several does and fawns grazing on the lawn or standing by the garden fence, nibbling...what?

Evidently they are not nibbling at the zinnias, and I think it truly amazing. Pippin with unbelievable optimism grew these tall and lovely flowers from seed and they are still growing and blooming and decorating the yard, outside the deer fence, and not taking up space that the vegetables need.

The Four Fawns

It's the butternut squash and the cosmos that the creatures want, so they keep checking in case a leaf grew through the fence during the previous night. If it didn't, they can always chew some more on the lantana that they have eaten nearly to a stub.

Since I've been here at Pippin's, more than once we have been surprised to see a group of four fawns, without their mothers, come out of the forest and walk straight over to the fence to snoop and sniff and nibble around. This is very unusual and makes us speculate as to what is going on at home. Do the does say, "Run along, kids, you'll be safe at that place where the people are nice."

Or do the mothers not know where their children are? Has there been a breakdown in deer society, so that adolescents are now roaming around in gangs? Shortly after I arrived ten days ago, The Professor came in the house to announce that he had found a different doe with her fawn on three sides of the house. But a couple of days later, this change.

What can the mothers be doing when the fawns are away in their group? Having a coffee klatch? I don't suppose we will ever know. And as long as the fawns keep up the tradition of not eating zinnias, I won't fret about it.


6 comments:

Lorrie Orr said...

Maybe the mothers are training their fawns to become independent and know that your yard is safe ground for first adventures.
At least they don't eat the zinnias! We had deer in our former home that ate many things they were supposedly (according to the nursery) not interested in. I guess the deer don't read those lists.

Jo said...

They are probably clustered around some other neighbour's windows watching daytime television..

Jeannette said...


What a pleasant little visit to have with you...and the deer.

wildwestfam said...

Awesome. Got any ideas for gophers?!?!? I have a friend that lives up in the tehachapis and she is PLAGUED by gophers!!!! Her garden has been devastated by them. . . LOVE the zinnias!!!!

M.K. said...

Delightful!! I think that the mama deer, after watching YOU for a few days during your visit, told their babies, "Okay, you may go up to the garden fence in a group, since that lady is there now. She is very safe." :)

wayside wanderer said...

No wonder they like to visit. What a beautiful, peaceful yard you have and such beautiful colors.