Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Dear Deer Friends

 Deformed antlers. Just a way to much bone growth. It's like this on both sides of his head. This is the most radical version. I don't know what is causing the abnormal growth but it sure must weigh a lot. There's only a few deer like this and the others are all normal.

 My newest little friend who is so small. The little round head is an indicator on how young it is. All the deer like the baby and mom likes showing the baby off.
One of the twins which is a bit older then the new baby. Mom hides the babies until they can run with her. At the first sounds of anything different the babies are the first to run off. Today they were out testing their legs running around the yard as fast as they can. Up and down the hills and around the trees. They looked like they were having so much fun. They seen the new baby today for the first time. I think that why they tried to get the new baby out running with the twins. The baby is a bit to small for fun like that right now. It's a real joy watching the babies grow up because they are so full of life. They are always happy it seems. They want to check out everything they haven't seen before like any child. The twins have only seen me a few times but with moms help looking on the twins will come to me when I call to them.  Mom gets a rest while the kids play here. She on none stop watch for danger. Here it's safe for them to run and play. They get to learn what plants to eat and sample everything around. They walk up to flowers and smell them. After pulling a lot of the weeds it's given the deer a lot of places to lounge around. Been running the rain bird to green up areas and the natural grasses are all that are green and that's the plants they like to eat. None of the dead European grasses are green right now and only are in early spring. They die off as soon as it stops raining and turn brown with in about a month because of the hot weather. Sun light like they aren't design to get being so far north in origin. I've read about Pearl Grass which is a grass that is resistant to drought and has roots that go down a foot. Native grasses go down ever further up to twelve feet. Unfortunately 95% of the grasses in California are none native. Deer also like leaves of plants and look for ones that are sweet just like early humans found foods too. The nursery here is just fine with me, I get to know the deer through their lives. There are two family groups that sort of except each other at time. For the most part they are real good but I'll have to keep the peace at time.

Things I've found out about deer: They only have bottom front teeth and back teeth top and bottom. So when they eat an apple that's too big they will take a bite out and chew that until they get the size down where they can fit the whole thing in their mouth. Then they chew on it rotating it in their mouth until they can chew down on it. The deer need to be taught what to eat over the first two years of life.

Deer that have spent up to two years with mom with squat to go to the bathroom. Deer separated from mom early won't do that and stand up doing the business. One follows what they see mom does this and it's in males and females. The other deer I believe were separated from mom at an early age and are a bit more feisty. The ones that grew up longer with mom have better manners and work with each other in the herd. They show more affection towards each other, It's nice to see an older deer take a young one in and show him or her affection when they are scared.

One night when I first moved here it was raining and it was real dark, new moon time dark. A young deer came up where I was feeding the birds and started eating the bird seed. He was shaking and didn't look like he was along like this before. Big Biddy my first friend and best friend ever came up to the young deer. He pulled him in close with his neck and started like him. It was raining so I don't think he was trying to dry him off. That was the first demonstration of affection I saw. I don't know anything it else could be,

Big Buddy was so good with the young deer. It was late in fall so the velvet was off the antlers. A young meek deer came up to Big Buddy and was trying to challenge him. Big Buddy pulled him back and then let the your one push him and Buddy back up. Buddy pushed him back gently making it look hard like he was really trying. The little deer pushed back after Buddy let up and Buddy back up letting the little guy win the push off. The little deer with his head held high was so proud of himself. I gave him some self confidence something the young deer only get by picking on younger deer. It was a very health exchange by a caring leader.

During the year there are different plants the deer need to take advantage of being in season. Buddy would take out the boys and bring him to the edge of the forest pointing out the plants to eat. He paced back and forth watching them making sure they were eating off the right plants. He surely was leading them and showing them what he has learned. I can do only so much but miss the days we would go foraging together. He would point out apples he wanted and I'd get them for him Playing hide and seek aways was another thing we like playing. When I could find him he would pop his head up to let me know where he was. He could always find me no matter how much I tried to hide.Buddy was such a good friend and my biggest loss. He really held the herd together too. One time I said no more food for you guys until the girls get to eat. The guys waited in the field and even pushed the females forward. They waited there until the girls all ate then I told them it was okay to come up. They all looked to Buddy to find out if it was okay to go. Buddy would get me out side when I was having a hard time getting out of bed because I was so sick He would stand at the door looking in the front window until I got up and came out. Then he would go lay down under his favorite tree and watch me work around here. I'm so sorry he died trying to make it here while to coyotes were chasing him. He would have been safe here if he could have been able to cross the creek. He slowed down because of those big antlers to get under the trees. That's when they got him. If only I could have came when he cried out. At that time I was new here and my hearing wasn't as developed like it is now. Now I respond to the sounds of the babies. I'll be inside listening to the radio and hear the little sounds of the babies and come running out.

No comments: