Wednesday, June 20, 2007

spotted little goat

today was C's last day of school, and he had a half day. A was up at nana's house, so after lunch (and a game of Stratego of course) we decided to go for a bike ride to the local market to get some mozzarella for the pizza last day of school dinner...

while getting my bike out of the shed, I noticed a doe (a deer, a female deer) behind our back fence, only about 10 yards away. I was surprised that she didn't run away, and appeared to be really curious about what I was doing.

After I remembered that we didn't like deer currently (see previous posts about how they're eating the strawberries and lots of other plants at night), I clapped my hands a couple of times loudly and told it to "git!" That universal signal of unwantedness should have gotten it to leave, but it had more important things to worry about.

Luckily I called C over to see the deer up close, and it was then that we noticed the strange sound coming from the direction of RTTR's yard. Sounded like a creaking swing to me, just Rowan on the swing probably... but it wasn't that. Cadao said it sounded more like a cat. I can't really spell it, but it kept repeating, a descending "mainnnnnnngg"over and over. Luckily C still has his little kid powers of observation, and is somewhat patient with me, because he kept pointing, "don't you see the fawn--right there!" "Where?" "right there!" "where?" "Right there!!" (In my defense, I was looking for a standing fawn, and I thought it would be in the neighbor's yard).

But it was a little spotted fawn, in the corner of our yard right by the back and side fences, behind the big oak and the lily hill and under the ferns. The fences are about 4 feet tall, and this little guy (I swear it had tiny antler nubs, and was also the size of a baby goat--a little longer and taller but not as heavy as the groundhog that lives under our shed--hence the goat reference) couln't make it over that fence without a boost in my estimation. How did it get in? probably under or next to the very rickety gate next to the shed, since as soon as we got up close--first time we've been within 2 feet of a fawn!--it bolted straight for that gate.

This is where it almost turned tragic; it head-butted the gate (I'm telling you, this was half deer, half goat animal from a fairy tale; maybe it didn't come IN our yard at all on it's own, but was birthed right there in our yard a couple days before, and the mother just left it there in hiding to go and find food...which she did in our pea patch, strawberry patch, scarlet runner beans... The lily hill is so tall we would never have noticed the fawn, I didn't even when looking right past it, and Paco is even less observant than I am).

So anyway, it head-butted the gate, which, unfortunately, fell over right on the little deer. I ran over to remove the gate from it's poor crushed little body, but luckily, it was magical goat-deer hybrid , because as soon as I lifted the gate up, it kicked it's heels and bounded right towards its mother and both of them ran off through the back to the woods on North street, no doubt. It didn't even seemed phased or stunned for a second, let alone injured... wow! thank heavens (and I definitely have to fix that gate now).

So far that means just this spring in our yard we've had a newborn fawn, adult deer (based on the browse evidence listed above), a woodchuck the size of a riding mower, a large garter snake that doesn't slither away from people but goes toward them, squirrels, chipmunks, lots of insects, slug infestation, and plenty o'songbirds including our beloved Phoebes. The other year we had a black bear right behind our fence (the wall of green grows TALL in the spring/summer in our yard!), and supposedly there was a Fisher running through that general area this winter...

Not too shabby for the edge of town.

What's happening in your backyard?

Happy Summer Solstice tomorrow!


No comments: