|The deer in winter in our front yard: they have come and gone at will but mostly stay near us.|
|Emmet on his throne chair on the porch.|
|Gertie, all puffy, in her winter coat. [No, she's not talking––she's chewing her cud.]|
Temple had tried to wrangle Gertie into the car but she wouldn't have it (and the deer seem to enjoy the car on those occasions where we've had to fetch them). Instead, as soon as he started to drive away, she followed, so they slowed up to keep an eye on her. John kept behind her down to our driveway but she kept going, on a complete tear into the neighbor's woods, after seeing the cattle in the field. Then John went after her. I'm sure he was with her all night as we didn't see him until the morning. I can't blame him because I say to him every day, "Johnny! Go find the babies!" He knows just what I mean and I know he misses them, too. They often cuddle up together on the hillside or play in the fields and woods by the house.
|Gertie and John having a visit on a recent winter's day.|
|John and Emmet, a few minutes after his visit with Gertie.|
We miss their presence around the house and it is totally voluntary. Gertie was even away for three months last summer, after jumping ship when the first cattle arrived. But she came back and stayed with us until three weeks ago. We know that they can survive in the wild, and have. Gertie was even seen with another buck last summer and several does (and females usually travel in families of related does).
|Gertie, with some of the chickens, cautiously eyeing the cattle last fall.|
We're not anti-hunting but we'd be hard pressed to eat venison again. We're also very much in love with these remarkable beings. I'll write more about them on occasion. I know this is an illegal practice but they are not tied, caged or kept here: they easily sail over the fences when they want to (and we have many acres around the house). At the time they were found, two fauns in the middle of our 50 acre knob pasture last May during the first hay cutting and another the year before, we simply could not stand to have them killed by haying equipment. It is our own act of civil disobedience: you can legally hunt a deer and kill it but you can not rescue it from harm's way? Our farm is large enough, as is the neighbors, that they are safe for now––that is, until the fall when the next hunting season begins. [They have bandanas on only so the neighbors know who they are and will not shoot them––also, they are thin enough to rip off in any tussle with a tree branch.]
Hopefully one or both of them will come back to us before then.
You come back when you're ready!