I promised you another cool critter encounter at the beginning of the week, so here we go!
We were seeing quite a few deer in our yard on a daily basis since they left their winter yard in Eagle River this spring. They seemed to feel very comfortable living with us - not easily spooked. After the leaves popped out on the trees and things started growing in the woods again, the deer suddenly stopped visiting us. Steve reminded me that many of them were also giving birth about that time. One afternoon - about a week ago - this gal suddenly showed up.
She came out of the woods hesitantly and made her way over to one of the bird feeders.
She seemed quite cautious and only stayed 5 or 6 minutes before going back into the woods.
She returned 2 days later - about 9:00 a.m. - for a 15-minute visit - and went straight back to that bird feeder.
By the way, do you see how she's shedding her winter gray hair? Her coat will soon be a beautiful reddish tan.
After working on that feeder for a while, she went across the yard to another feeder - stopping for a quick sip at the bird bath.
The second feeder was too high for her, so she made do with what she could find on the ground nearby.
Then, it was back across the yard again for another go at the first feeder. She was definitely not at ease - on high alert and soon headed into the woods. . .
pausing only for a quick snack along the way.
I mentioned to Steve (the deer whisperer) that she seemed very skittish. He said she probably had a fawn nearby.
Sure enough! Steve was in the house for a bit that afternoon. When he headed outside through the garage door, he saw her again on our driveway - with her fawn! They hightailed it into the woods when they saw him.
We didn't spot her again until that evening when we were eating dinner about 6:00 p.m. I looked up from my plate and noticed her back at the bird feeder - without the fawn this time. Since I often try to have the camera nearby when we're eating, I snatched it and snapped a quick photo. Sorry about the sun glare on the window.
Neither of us saw her on Wednesday, but we knew she had been around in the evening when we were in Calumet. When we got home, the shepherd's hook was bent over again - and we knew it had been straight when we were eating dinner earlier.
Well, the best sighting happened on Friday. Steve was in the barn when Mrs. Deer walked by the barn window and the barn door - with her fawn tagging along behind her! He grabbed his cell phone when they got out of sight, called me and told me to be on the lookout for them. I snatched my camera again, headed to the windows in the dining area, turned around to glance back through the sliding doors in the great room - and look who I saw heading across the yard!
Mama's legs are a lot longer and more steady, so the fawn had to occasionally scramble to catch up. So. Stinkin'. Cute!
I said to myself, "Why not take a video?" Of course, that's when Mama started heading up the hill on our 2-track back into the woods, but I got a little of them anyway. Click on the link below:
Mama licking him! Wasn't that precious? I was torn between whether I should continue to video or move back to photographs. Photos won out, as they use less of my monthly data allowance to upload to the blog. I was able to document what happened next. The fawn tried for a little refreshment. . .
before looking around a bit.
Then, he headed into the undergrowth. . .
and Mama seemed to tuck him in for a nap. . .
before coming back down the 2-track alone.
She cut across the hillside and walked across our driveway right in front of our garage.
That's when I lost sight of her from the house. I called Steve back (still in the barn) and alerted him to her whereabouts. He looked out the side barn door - but couldn't spot her. She must have moved quickly out of sight.
We haven't see her since. But, we did see a wolf! Yikes! Wolves eat fawns!
Steve retrieved his cell phone from his nightstand to make a phone call on Saturday before heading outside. As he came out of the bedroom with the phone, he glanced out the sliding doors. There was a wolf - a BIG one - just inside the tree line of the woods at the back of our yard - and it was skulking toward our 2-track. Yes, the same area where the fawn had been hiding/napping the day before!
Has the wolf come across Mama and her fawn? I wish we knew. Needless to say, we're hoping to see that precious fawn again very soon. Maybe today? I'll keep you posted.
All is well in the Keweenaw.