Hey Big Fella


My son’s been telling me about this guy for awhile now, and I finally got a few shots of him wandering around the backyard a few minutes ago.

backyardvisitor1 backyard visitor2

He’s got small antlers, a little hard to see in this picture. He stopped and looked at me for a minute when he heard me up on the back deck (second story of the house, so I was perfectly safe) and then slowly wandered off down the little path you can see behind him. We’re theorizing he’s living down in what used to be our garden area, but since the backyard has been let go it looks like Mother Nature is reclaiming it (no doubt the neighbors are furious). He’s bigger than you can tell from the photos, I was roughly 50-60 feet away when I took these.

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27 thoughts on “Hey Big Fella

  1. Wow, you have a great vibe, that he’d look straight at you and let you take a photo, without getting spooked. I tried to get a picture of a stray cat on campus the other day (I wanted to show Fang b/c it looked almost exactly like our kitty) and as soon as I got close enough to focus my camera phone she literally turned tail and ran – all I got was a rear view shot!

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  2. Awww, poor kitty 😦 Do you ever put food out for her, or do you not want to start down that slippery slope?

    Yeah, I was rather amazed that he seems as relaxed as he does here. I’m guessing he’s one of the ones I caught eating my roses in the front yard one morning. That day there were two, and I opened the door and scolded them like they were small children, so they ambled across the road, stopped, turned around and looked at me like ‘What? Mom said we could!’

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    1. There’s a softhearted American Studies professor who not only puts out food for ’em, he catches them in humane traps – the gentle ones go to a woman who fosters/finds home for them, and the feral ones get altered and released so at least there aren’t so many mouths to feed. In the time since I’ve been parking back here, he’s reduced the colony amazingly, from a huge scraggly crew to a couple of relatively well-fed, well-taken-care of wild things who just won’t be domesticated.

      Did you ever try the hot pepper spray for your roses, or did they just become part of the buffet? Even so, it’s sort of like trading one pretty thing for another.

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    2. I never bothered with the spray. I never saw them again in the yard, and the roses didn’t seem to suffer from any further munching. Next year may be a different story now, we’ll see 😉

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  3. He is amazing. it amazes me here in the ‘burbs when i see deer wandering the neighborhood. they really do look at you like, “hey, whaddayoulookinat?” clearly they are used to seeing humans and aren’t afraid of us anymore. i guess there is just nowhere else for them to go so we have to just get along.

    and i love all the nature you’ve been posting lately. thanks for the breath of fresh air! 🙂

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    1. You’re so welcome Rosie, glad you’re enjoying it. Yes, I’m very happy to leave the backyard in a wild state if they like it better that way. We’ve crowded them out of just about everywhere else, I don’t mind sharing my little patch of earth with them. Now I just wish they’d develop a taste for blackberry brambles, like goats. 😉 It’d be a win-win.

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      1. Hey Rosie, is it just me, or does Young Buck appear to be a slightly different color than our deer here in the East? In NJ and the Catskills, they’re sort of paler and a bit more auburn, no?

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      2. This one appears to be your basic, run-0f-the-mill blacktail. I think whitetail are what you have back there. The fur probably is different between the two breeds.

        BTW, I was thinking I should give him a name. I’m thinking Norman. Then when we see him we can say “NOOOOOORRRMMMM!!” 😉

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  4. I’ve always found that when I see deer, the rest of the day turns out to be simply divine. What a couple of gorgeous shots! Where on EARTH do you live, by the way? It looks like he was posed in the Garden of Eden!

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  5. I’m in Oregon, on the west side of Portland, out in suburbia. The backyard is a tangled mess, I don’t do much with it since I ran the lawnmower over a metal rod my ex had driven into the ground many years ago, and it essentially wrecked the big mower. Haven’t had the money to replace it, so it hasn’t been mowed back there in about six years. I’m not kidding. I do need to get a handle on the blackberries, though, they’re going to be knocking on the back door pretty soon.

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  6. Yes, Dr. Blog… i do agree that Norm here is a bit “blacker” than our local deer. but maybe one day i will get to see a moose…. whenever we go up to maine i am always hopeful but i hear that despite their size they are very shy.

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    1. As a lifelong resident of the Northeast, I didn’t realize there was such a thing as a blacktail. I myself am dying to get a good look at a bear, but it seems they stop by to eat out of everyone’s trash can except mine.

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    2. Most wild critters are very shy of humans, which is a good thing. I’m delighted that Norm seems happy in my backyard, but I also intend to keep my distance when I see him. A co-worker who is a hunter and knows a great deal about deer said he looks like a yearling, and that when he gets new antlers next year, they will be two-three prongs. Be cool if I was able to find them when he sheds them! I wonder how long he’ll be around.

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  7. p.s. since wordpress installed that snowy device on everybody’s blog, it looks as though Norman is peering out at us thru a softly falling snow. With WQXR’s Christmas tunes streaming in the background and your holly berries in the margins, it’s a lovely little yuletide scene here on my laptop. (I’ve gotta see if there’s a free “yule log” screen saver floating around out there.)

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    1. If only I could pull up WQXR here at work! Evil draconian employer blocks music streams. GRRRRR.

      There must be a yule log ss out there somewhere… If I find one I’ll let you know.

      No further Norman sightings, it’d be a dream to actually photograph him if we get more snow here!

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