Thursday, October 16, 2008


I was sitting at my sewing machine and my cell phone rang. It was Ray, which was odd because he had just walked by my door and said he would be working in the yard. "Quick, go look out the window" he said, very quietly. I hurried to the hall window and saw three deer standing out at the edge of the lawn. Ray was a few yards away, standing very still with his cell phone at his ear.

Two trotted up onto the lawn and I moved to the livingroom window for a better view.

They stood at alert for several minutes, then turned and scampered down and across the creek and disappeared into the woods.

We have seen them here several times. This was the first time my camera was handy. I've mentioned seeing deer in the yard to several people, who invariably roll their eyes and say something along the lines of, "oh, no—they'll ruin your garden" or "eat your roses." We had deer in our yard years ago when we lived in Ashland and I never minded them. In fact I loved them. One Christmas Eve we had been at our neighbors' and were leaving to walk home. As we came out the door there was a beautiful buck with a large set of antlers standing under a street light in the middle of the street, very still. Snow was softly falling all around. It was magical.

The area where we live was very rural until a few years ago and now there are wooded areas, but mostly subdivisions with fanciful names (Summercrest and Stonemist Estates and Hyland Hills—blehh). There were probably once a lot of deer living around here. If I were a deer I would feel entitled to be here. For me, it seems like a privilege to be able to see something so beautiful here in my own yard. For the record, the roses in the picture above are unscathed, but I wouldn't mind sacrificing a few to keep the deer coming back.


  1. Love the deer. We have deer come through our back yard all through the year. The one thing they do that really gets to me is that they LOVE tulips and when we were in Spokane they managed to destroy my lovely tulip gardens two years running. But, I still love seeing the deer. I will remember to only plant yellow tulips.

  2. Anonymous5:14 PM

    I usually know when the deer are in the yard when the cat starts leaping around the house, making his hunting, "et, et, et" sound. I feel very much the same as you about having them there. Earlier this summer when our lawnmower up and died, we had deer every evening munching on our tall grass. They also LOVE blackberry leaves so they are doubly welcome in our yard.

  3. Oh yeah! When we lived at Sea Ranch I totally gave up on landscaping because we so enjoyed seeing the deer.

  4. I just saw six deer in the road driving home yesterday. They are around our neighborhood in the winter and I love seeing them. One year they nibbled on one of our honeysuckle plants. That plant is doing very well. The one they didn't nibble on is struggling. They haven't bothered our roses and it's the marmots who eat our tulips. I'm planning on planting daffodils.

  5. I live across the street from a forest preserve and see deer all the time and I still stop and stare at them. We have some huge bucks too. The only negative to deer is they eat all of your flowers. They some times get so hungry in the winter that they've even eaten some of our evergreens.