Yesterday, I was looking into the woods in our backyard and a solitary deer was lying down on a hill on the other side of the little drainage creek that runs through the woods. I’ve mentioned the three legged deer that periodically shows up and that’s who it turned out to be. I went out on the deck and he immediately got up and started making tracks towards the house. Yes, I tossed a few ears of corn into the woods which is what he was really looking for.
This morning, he is still around the house and so more corn was tossed out into the woods. A family of deer was also out this morning but they didn’t seem to care for the corn (or me) as they ran through the woods and into the fields across the street from our house. So is the deer with three legs actually better able to survive because it has recognized an easy mark and a source of easy food?
We had some snowfall yesterday which kind of piled up on him as he was lying in the woods. Also saw the owl that lives nearby who was out and perched on a tree getting slightly covered in snow as well. I hate thinking about getting wet but I guess they have no other choice.
It is good that we don’t have any real predators around here because three working legs would certainly put that deer at a disadvantage. If he lived in a less populated area, then I suspect his chances for survival would go way down. And we know this is normal for nature. Animals have large litters knowing that many of the young won’t survive to adulthood.
It is like the raccoons that live near the house. The last litter was born too close to winter and likely would have struggled to survive if they weren’t living near people like us who toss food down to them from time to time. Certainly, the littlest, scrawniest one would likely have been the first to go without a predictable food source nearby.
Which does make me wonder if we really should be interfering. Would it be better to just let nature do what nature does and thin out the less fit? Of course, that is never going to happen around here. I see the little raccoons huddled together sitting under the bird feeder waiting for scraps or I see the deer doing what he can with three legs and I can’t ignore them. I do know both are capable of finding natural food sources but if they need an easy meal when the weather gets nasty, it is the least I can do.
Speaking of weather, these last couple of days are a part of winter that is hard for me to take. Days are mostly cloudy and we keep getting these little bursts of snow. I do pay people to clear the driveway but only when the snow reaches a certain depth. These bursts never rise to that level but they always put just enough snow on the driveway that I have to do something. Kind of want to tell whoever is in charge to either snow or don’t but this in between stuff has got to go.
I might get my wish tomorrow because we are supposed to get a bigger storm that might dump 3-6 inches of snow. Not yet sure it will happen because we aren’t under any type of watch/warning for winter weather. Probably issue one tonight so I’ll have to remember to turn off my phone volume so it doesn’t wake me up.
But every day does move us closer to spring. You take winter one day at a time.