Monday, January 13, 2020

Animals around us

This morning, I noticed a curve among the backyard trees.  It caught my eye and I looked more carefully. Yes! A deer, no, several!  All told, there were seven. It seemed that they were all young or female or both.  We often have deer footprints in our snow. They seem to like to travel along the eastern side of the property.  We don't have a dog or fences so I guess it is easy to get in and around us. The evidence sometimes supports the possibility that they shake the birdfeeder and eat the slips.  

We have many sorts of animals around.  We have seen foxes in our yard. We have squirrels and voles and chipmunks.  We have never seen bears or evidence of them, nor elk or wolves or cougars. We did have a bear up in a tree a couple of miles away several springs ago.

We don't have deep snow but there is rather complete coverage.  The band of deer rested curled up on the ground for about half an hour.  They faced in all different directions and one rather large doe stared at me all during breakfast.  I suspect that movement and sound from the house interests them. After a while, the youngsters seemed to get restless and started milling round, sometimes searching the snow for something to eat.  Near the end of their visit, one adult stood looking at the house and I went to get my iPad for a picture but they were all gone when I came back. 

Internet information said that does can be pregnant at the age of 6-8 months, which I find very surprising.  What a difference in the time required for humans! The deer gestation period is 201 days. So, as Lynn pointed out a doe can be a mother after a little more than one year of age.  

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