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Deer

2014-03-17

Deer

Last spring, I was thrilled to find two baby deer nibbling my yard. They were white with brown spots and looked fragile and elegant.

How amazing to see these forest creatures in my neighborhood, This would never have happened when I lived in the city.

After a recent snowfall, I found a parade of hoof prints in the snow. There were all different sizes. I imagined the herd with a huge stag as the leader, followed by gentle does with little Bambis tagging along. How magical - these beautiful animals with their little white tails, pointy ears, big brown eyes, and silvery antlers gleaming in the moonlight.

Well, the snow melted. As I walked outside, I noticed something puzzling. The ground was covered with little brown pellets.

What could they be?

Chocolate covered peanuts spilled by a passing child? Nuts from a tree? Oddly shaped seed pods?

No - deer droppings.

And not just a few. There were mounds, clumps and swaths of droppings, as if a giant hand had strewn them across the yard like sprinkles on a cupcake.

But why did the deer use my yard as a rest stop? I leaned that the culprit was the ground cover: “purple wintercreeper”. It's everywhere and according to the experts, it's deer Doritos.

My yard is an all-night free deer buffet, with a nice bathroom.

I’ve had to rethink my romantic image. I’m still thrilled to have deer wandering about my neighborhood, but the magical picture is tarnished. Maybe deer aren’t as dainty as I like to imagine. All night, bushels of purple wintercreeper going in one end, and digested purple wintercreeper coming out the other. In the moonlight.

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