I don’t know if this mule deer was still hurting after losing one of his antlers in a fight, but he sure helped himself to the medicine cabinet in our front yard this morning. It is said that the inner bark of the aspen tree has analgesic properties, and may even be the source of the name Aspirin. Whatever the reason, this young buck trashed our aspen tree pretty good while I watched, and he then proceeded to lick the inner bark and eat a few of the shavings. I hope it did him some good. The tree will probably die now, but they never live too long, anyway, so it’s not too big a deal. Meanwhile, my dog slept through the whole thing. Lazy mutt. *sigh*
For total bird-versity, the jungle beats all. But in temperate zones, the wide variety of foods and nesting opportunities offered by suburban gardeners and landscapers attracts more birds than either densely populated cities or wild natural settings. This certainly seems to hold true at my house. Our lot is 1/3 acre; the house is in the middle. I did a count one dawn feeding time and identified ten different bird species just in my back yard just in a space of ten minutes.
We have lots of white-tailed deer around here. I got wondering once why they had these bright white tail/bum patches, seeing as they are prey and prey need to blend. So I asked a naturalist who told me it was a danger signal to the other deer in the herd.
Funny thing is … I’ve lived in the area my entire life and I NEVER connected the expression “high-tail it out of here” with white-tailed deer. But that’s where it comes from.
When researching this, I read that deer herds move around spread out in the day when they can see each other, but at night, they move around in single file, each following the bright white tail ahead.
Anybody know if this is true? I see them moving around in loose clumps in the day and I think I’ve seen them moving in single file at dawn, when the light is very low. But I’ve never seen deer at night.
We never water or put any chemicals or food on our lawn and Dearest mows it at the highest setting without a bag. Consequently, we have a healthy, diverse micro-environment out there that maintains itself without any chemicals or effort and attracts interesting visitors like this Mama Turkey and her brood.
Every August, Dearest crows about how the neighbors’ high maintenance “golf course” lawns are all brown while our “whatever volunteers and survives mowing is welcome” stays green even when it is hot and dry.
We’ve been here 29 years this month. Oh my … this week-end in fact. I just noticed. Anyway, I’ve only once had someone make a remark about our weeds, along the lines of, “Maybe you could do something about the dandelions?”
And I said, sincerely puzzled, “Why would I want to do anything about the dandelions? They’re loaded with Vitamin C for the bunnies and the groundhog who lives under the shed, they stay green all through August. They’re so pretty when they’re in bloom and when they’ve gone to seed and look ugly, they attract goldfinches, which are my favorite bird.”
I never heard any more after that.