Monday, December 12, 2016

Rudolph? Is that you?

Saturday, as I puttered in the kitchen putting groceries away, I suddenly had the feeling I was being watched.  Glancing at the living room windows, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a face disappearing from view.  I ran over to the window to try to grab a description, and saw a furry brown coat just below the sill.

Sneaking around the side of the house, camera in hand, I startled the Peeping Tom - or Tilly - whose head rose up for a clear mug shot:

Shucks - caught me! 

The little deer was likely an autumn baby - spots gone, yet still no taller than the bottom of the window, which is about two feet above ground. No sign of mama around, and yet he or she (the antler buds generally don't develop until about five or six months, according to my resources) seemed healthy enough - thick shiny coat, clear eyes, a bit thin perhaps for the start of winter but not alarmingly so.

Were those groceries for me?

We see many deer around here, all year around - they walk through town, across town, uptown, in front of cars, through the parks, down along the beach......they are the bane of many a gardener's life, yet I never tire of watching and photographing them.  And although I see them almost daily, they don't often show up on my lawn, let alone peering in my windows.

The snow that fell in the surrounding area this week no doubt hid some of their usual grazing lands and drove them along different streets in search of food.  Even a block or two makes a difference - this morning, for example, it was snowing on my street two block inland, while my snow was gone and the rain was washing away the last of the slush. A mile away, there were many inches of snow. Crofton is its own little micro-climate, sheltered on the south by Maple Mountain, on the west by Mt. Richards, and on the east by Salt Spring Island.  Only when arctic winds blow from the north do we feel the same cold as other nearby towns.  We have, I've been told, the most moderate climate in Canada.  Perhaps that is why deer, and even bear and cougar, can be seen all year round.  I may hibernate in winter, but the bears here do not. I have seen them wandering across the road on December 26th, perhaps looking for any cookie crumbs Santa may have left behind.

But back to the deer, who was cautiously but quite fearlessly keeping an eye on me while dining on the plants, none of which are of great interest to most deer when tastier morsels are plentiful.  Sort of like the odds of me choosing lettuce when there's a table of fancy desserts nearby.'d think she'd at least plant some tasty roses among this boring green stuff!

I took some more photos from about 10-15 feet away, then returned inside the house.  My little visitor soon continued down the road either seeking out a better buffet or looking to hitch a ride back to the North Pole with a man in red.

Don't forget to leave some carrots out for me on Christmas Eve! 


Janice Gillett said...

Beautiful!! Hey Jean talking to someone who lives on Ferndale they got about two ft of snow up there LOL

Marie said...

Love the pictures of your little visitor, he must be a relative of the many who wonder the streets of my village. Of course he saw the groceries going into the house and wanted some! Great post!

CarolineA said...


Jean said...

Janice, I was just thinking about that place last night - I think every year I lived there, we had at least 2-3 feet of snow at a time, often several times in one winter. One Christmas, my daughter came out and got stranded - eventually had her car towed down to the highway so she could get home.
Still, that property was my very favourite place I've ever lived - so beautiful and wondrous.