Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wild and Free

All good things are wild and free.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Hello, Deerie. Don't be shy.

shy buck
Come on out into the open. Hunting season ended over a month ago.





shy buck venturing out
Atta boy!





shy buck thanks
Come get a treat, my beauty.

 



shy buck likes carrots
Would you care at all for a carrot? Of course you would.






shy buck nom nom
You're most welcome.


We fed them deer feed throughout last winter. It was bitter cold and there was lots of snow. So far, the winter's cold has set in later than last year and there have been more natural resources available for these lovely, elegant creatures.

We have also done a bit of research, reading and listening and have learned that for several reasons, it's not such a wise idea to feed the deer. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources advises against it under most circumstances, as do most animal advocates. And though we'd like these beauties to come around for a visit, we sure don't want to do them harm in any way, so we decided against buying commercial deer feed and scooping it out for them each day. Besides, a few of our neighbours are feeding them regularly so adding to that during a normal winter would be overkill.

That doesn't mean that they don't get the occasional carrot treat - though only a couple of them seem to like them. Neither does it mean that we have stopped feeding the birds. And where there is spilled bird seed, there are deer who come to clean up. We still have several come by each day. They seem to forgive us for the lack of last year's gourmet offerings.

clever deer3
This guy is a clever one.





clever deer5
We sprinkle bird seed along the top of the railing for birds and squirrels alike. Of course some of them are messy eaters and so it falls to the deck below. It just so happens that the deck is at a perfect height to allow the deer access by poking his nose in between the bars.






clever deer6
Opening wide...





clever deer11
And licking up all the seed.

He's here doing that every day.

young buck
Such beautiful creatures.

They're the best part of winter up here in the country.

51 comments:

Glo said...

Oh my, what delightful photos of this beautiful visitor. The lighting on the first photo is wonderful. Must be a treat for the deer and you to share your winter wonderland.

Frank Baron said...

Too bad they turn whatever they eat into piles of chocolate M&Ms.

joeh said...

Handsome boys!

Out on the prairie said...

Too cool to get them coming in so close.They can do a lot of damage , as they have on my feeders.

Crafty Gardener said...

Such a delight to see on a daily basis. Wonderful photos.

Shammickite said...

hehehe love what Frank said!
No matter how beautiful the wild world is, and how much we like to look after the wild creatures, they are usually better off on their own. But having said that, I am guilty of feeding the birds and putting stale bread out for the tree rats AKA the cute little squirrels. Love those pictures. You are lucky to see such timid creatures so close up.

Linda Wildenstein said...

oh glory these are fantastic shots of the deer.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

They are such beautiful creatures, but you mentioned up top, why you don't want them acclimated to humans. I feed the birds...but no one is hunting them down the block. Sigh.

I wish all hunters only carried cameras.

DJan said...

Those are really great shots of a magnificent animal. Looks to me like a young buck who hopefully will get a chance to live a long life. Thanks for introducing us. Hope Benny is doing well and has lost the Cone of Shame by now. :-)

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful deer photo story. I didn't know there was such a thing as commercial deer feed.
Not that I'd buy it.

Hilary said...

They are beautiful....but yes, sometimes thinking we are doing the right thing, we do what's not necessarily best for wild animals.

Tabor said...

So glad you are wise enough not to feed them...I was going to scold you. I can just see that one getting his nose caught in the railing. Feeding any and all animals has to be done thoughtfully as much as we love them.

TexWisGirl said...

they're just beautiful! so sweet! glad they've got plenty of forage this year! and treats, too. :)

Betty Manousos said...

aww!!so sweet!


they're absolutely beautiful! and adorable.
love these creatures! thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous photos my friend!:))

Lisa said...

What stunning images of a beautiful creature!

ellen abbott said...

They'll be eating out of your hand soon.

William Kendall said...

Quite handsome! My parents saw the same all winter when they lived in cottage country- the deer would tend to come towards the end of the day and lick up all that fallen bird seed below the feeders, some of it on the ground, some of it in the empty flowerboxes conveniently at their level. Every once in awhile my mother would toss a slice of bread out onto the snow when they were around, and they'd come and eat it up.

Stephen Hayes said...

So cute. i remember years ago in Yosemite, that it was encouraged to feed the bears. Times have changed. Now signs are posted saying: A fed bear is a dead bear. These animals need to know how to fend for themselves, as they've done for centuries before tender-hearted people were around to feed them. Still, I'd be tempted to give them a carrot or two.

Red said...

Nice shots of your friends. yes, there is controversy on whether they should be fed or not.

messymimi said...

Lovely creatures, and smart. They will take advantage of every opportunity!

ditchingthedog said...

We used to have three deer that visited our backyard but since our neighbours got a dog they haven't been around. I miss them.

Rita said...

Handsome! I have heard that, too, about not feeding the deer. I couldn't not feed the birds if I lived where you do, though. ;)

Hope Benny is going nuts with the cone on. Had to wear it for weeks, right? Or is it gone by now?

yaya said...

They are so beautiful but I do understand the reason for hunting. Many folks around here depend on deer meat for their families and it keeps the population down and also the damage to farms and home gardens...not to mention cars. But you have captured some cuties...the one shot looks like she's giving you a big kiss for the carrot! ha! When Eddy the boxer comes to visit he must think those round little turds are M&M's...he loves to munch on them! Yuck! Have a good week!

Theresa said...

Oh such HAPPY news about Benny! Hooray!! Maybe he should get his on burger to celebrate. :)

Crafty Gardener said...

Yeah, good news about Benny :)

ditchingthedog said...

I read this post this morning but didn't want to ask about Benny in case it was bad news. But it is good news and time for a Benny happy Dance!

Ruth Hiebert said...

That little buck looks to be in great shape.

Betsy Brock said...

How fun! I would love to have them come that close! He's a handsome fella!

Country Girl said...

They really are beautiful. Chocolate m&m's and all.

And so glad to hear about the path results on Benny!!

Jackie said...

Don't you just love these beautiful creatures! I do.
Your photographs of them are splendid.
And.....the best news of all this evening: your fur baby's (aka Benny ) tumor is benign! Yes!!! I'm so happy for him...and for you.
Love,
Jackie

Brian Miller said...

as much as i love seeing your deer...the news on benny made me smile really big...yay! i am so happy for you...and him....

ds said...

Love love the deer, but am so happy about Benny's news. Wonderful!!!

Bob Bushell said...

Excellent news for Benny, keep it up. The Deer is superb, well photographed Hilary.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

So beautiful. I don't know how anybody could shoot one, except with a camera.

ADRIAN said...

They are beautiful animals and I enjoy watching them. They can be very destructive which is the down side.

EG CameraGirl said...

Very good news about Benny's tumour being benign! These are great shots of the deer, Hillary!

Shammickite said...

Yay! Benny rules! Now the next move is to get rid of the cone.... good for you, Benny!

Mage said...

Simply wonderful news about Benny. Hurrah.

Daryl said...

i wish our NYC winters had such delightful visitors .. we did last week have a coyote captured in riverside park just a few streets away from where we live .. honest

Andy said...

I like all of your photos here. I particularly like the very first one the best. It is a great mixture of shadow and light.
PS: I am glad that Benny does not have "C". No living creature should have to go through the pain an suffering of that ugly disease.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Good news on your puppy.

ladyfi said...

Fabulous shots of the deer! And wonderful news about Benny.

Kat said...

Oh, he's a beauty! Fantastic pics!

Terri B said...

Super news! And these are great shots of the deer- he seems very curious!

Gayle said...

Oh whew!! Such good news regarding our Bennsterboy. {{{}}}

Linda said...

The deer are beautiful. They add a lot to the white winter scenery. I know it's hard to resist feeding them. There are signs at the lakes and parks about not feeding the ducks.

Indrani said...

Beautiful creatures and the best part is they came and get photographed. :)
Great news about Benny!

Barbara Shallue said...

I'm so happy for the good report on Benny!! Your deer are are so beautiful. We used to feed ours and enjoyed watching them in our front yard, but we stopped for the same reasons you did. These are gorgeous shots! They must be getting plenty - he looks very healthy!

Barb said...

Hi Hikary, You have your own willife refuge. The deer have such liquid eyes.

Ruby said...

Very beautiful deers!!! and very brave ones to be so close to humans :))

Anvilcloud said...

Someone up thataway once mentioned that what you feed is important and that if you do feed, you should keep it up all winter.

A nearby lady feeds them and deliberately places her feed so that the bucks will tend to shed and leave their antlers behind.