Oh, My Deer

Saturday, July 17, 2021 — (In 6 days, July’s fullest moon [“Thunder”] will rise.)

Wildfires are blazing, the air is smoky, sunsets are gorgeous. All this recurs most summers, but this season’s unusually intense heat from global warming adds burden to wildfire fighting.

There are many ways fires can start in hot dry weather. Anything, from a lawn mower spark to parking a car with hot exhaust over dry brush, could initiate a blaze. We’re all aware, worried, and watering our surroundings to maintain damp environments.

Heat and burning are causing wild animals to migrate toward moisture. I’m seeing an unusual assortment of critters in my dampened slopes and garden areas. I’m not complaining, and in fact, keeping Maxwell, my killing-machine-cat, inside. The critters I don’t mind Max killing are mouse-types, which he ignores.

This year, I’ll let the visiting rock-chucks, bunnies, and others survive. It’s okay if my plants pay a price.

Yesterday, I was re-visited by a mule deer doe, Ear-tag #55. She’s young, in great condition, and beautiful. I saw her on my property a day earlier, but she quickly disappeared. Yesterday morning she appeared, grazing on my neighbor’s green pasture. By the afternoon, she was resting beside one of my outbuildings.

And later, she began moving through my slope and taking long pauses to munch on healthy sage plants. I watched from inside through a window, letting it happen and knowing she’d work on up to my planted garden. She did, and later I groaned on seeing the results. My most beautiful leafing plants and gorgeous flowers, cut off or disappeared.

This year, evidence of a deer’s visit doesn’t make me particularly angry. Now, I just shrug, as most plants quickly grow again, or simply can be replanted.

I’m fascinated by Tag #55. For one thing, it’s unusual to see a lone doe. This one especially is beautiful, her coat the color of wet sand. She appears confident, making me I wonder who tagged her and when. Is she completely wild or maybe a little tame?

Just random thoughts, as I’m inside trying to stay cool and hoping for firefighting success. Or as I’m outside watering the area to assist my safety and help the wild critters.

Dear Friends: It’ll be cooler today, in the high 80s, and fine for touring in a forest on horseback. Diana

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