I have seen deer do amazing things, from jumping over fences that you didn’t think was possible, to watching them get down on their knees and crawl under a fence. Today, I got to watch “bath time” for what I think is the one deer we have made a pact to allow to live; however long she wants on this earth. It is the deer last year that I watched somehow miraculously survive the winter, heal the leg, and by last fall appeared to be doing well. This is the deer I mentioned, “if you see a doe with a gimp, just smile at her and let her live.
Today I walked out the back door and was talking to the squirrels who are giving me rave compliments for making a different bird seed mix. I guess my dad just buys tiny bags that are overpriced. So, I am making up some buckets for him that he can handle and keep all the squirrelito’s, chipmunkito’s, bunnito’s, deerito’s, (all nicknames from a Spanish friend from years ago) and we have a “woodchuck to” now as well. Who knew gophers could be so entertaining?
So I noticed a deer just standing up at the rear pond taking a drink of water. I have to confess that watching nature and the animals in it behave, has me wonder why humans can’t seem to live more in balance? The scene with the brown of her coat seemed illuminated against the dark green foliage of all the plants and trees – a contrast made, even more, pronounces with gray skies and bad weather that keep the town I grew up in within the top 3 most depressing cities in the USA.
You think I am making it up? People in Scandinavia probably get more light in winter than my folks get in summer.
“it is just the way it is.”
“sorry folks, humans tend to be nomadic and move around…who made you two the oak tree of life?”
“Oh, our roots are too deep here, we aren’t moving.”
I get that this is their home, I also am watching aging in action, and if this is the reality for most, I get sad that society places so little value on the elderly. I was taken back in India and the other caste countries that we worked in at how you really had no chance to move around inside the social culture, simply based on who you were born with. What blew me away was how the widows were seemingly dumped much like the orphans. In the USA, we are switching one of our ideas directly to the elderly market as a way to hopefully help them eat more notorious food and feel better.
Sorry about all this. My mind is replaying watching that deer for 15 minutes while my brain types away.
So, the deer, she saunters around for a bit and then she takes a few steps and disappears. I have seen deer swimming in lakes and rivers, but I have never seen one simply go into a pond to take a dip and clean up before. It was one of those moments where you go, ‘is she taking a bath?”
Turns out she was. “dad, do deer just take baths sometimes?”
“yeah, they can. Why?”
“well, the one deer is in the pond taking a dip?”
“Oh, they are always at the little pond.”
“no dad, she is in the big pond taking a bath.”
“you’re shitting me!” he said. And then like a two-year-old, he runs to the back door, and we see her head watching from between the weeds around the pond.
I was mesmerized and simply watched and took out the camera to get some photos of her hiding in the weeds. Eventually, she must have felt better and got out and ate some white flowers from around a plant. At least she didn’t’ come down and eat all mom’s flowers. The bunnies seem to be doing a great job at eating them this year.
So, if you get some time. Imagine a deer coming into a bathtub to take a bath. With this deer and the crappy weather, I forgot about growing up in, perhaps she has an arthritic hip, and the water helps ease her pain.
All I know is over the course of two years of visits, she seems to always show up, and we have an interesting rapport, even in the wild. She must sense I will never harm her. Last year on the opening day of hunting, I was about 5 feet from her as she was lying down in the bushes. It was snowy, so I could see the outline of her head.
“don’t’ worry little deer, no one is going to hurt you around here. After what you went through and recovered with your broken leg and raising two little ones. You get a pass in these parts. Everyone knows to leave you alone.”
I think she understands it all. Today she might have even smiled as I commented on her poor dining habits. She had an entire giant flower in her mouth and was chewing away, happy as a deer that cleaned up for her morning breakfast.