Deer in New York State, USA sent in by Martha L. Deed |
About two weeks ago, a doe gave birth in our rear garden, right against
the back wall of our house. I photographed the fawn in place, then took
no further photographs, not wishing to intrude, or to disturb a delicate
balance of nature. I also did not wish to be charged by the doe who was
part of a group of seven deer grazing further back in the yard. The doe
was distinguishable by her greater alertness to my activities.
I went inside. Soon the group approached. The doe came to within eight
feet of the fawn, and she appeared to urge it off the ground. Soon it
staggered out of the garden and began to nurse. The other deer
surrounded the nursing couple, facing outward. Then the doe urged the
fawn to walk by nipping at its hind legs alternately. The fawn practised
for a bit, then the entire group ran off into the woods three houses
away. A large dog lives in that last yard, and I feared for the fawn who
was smaller than our cat and at that point less lithe. But, the dog was
not out, and everyone made it into the woods.
This observation took an hour or more, and I was struck by the utter
vulnerability of the fawn and doe as they prepared for the fawn's first
journey, the clear guidance from the doe, and the supportive community of
a mixed group of does and bucks. The latter became quite fractious and
kicked each other a few times while fighting over a particularly luscious
blossom in my terrace garden.
A poem I wrote inspired by this incident Muse Interruptus