Deer in New York State, USA sent in by Martha L. Deed
 
fawnAbout 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

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