Monday, July 15, 2013

Doe and Very Late Fawn

It is that time of year when the little animals of the neighborhood show their faces around my backyard. I few weeks ago, I saw the kit fox that I had been pontificating about for awhile now on this blog. But by the time I got my camera, it was long gone and I haven't seen it since. I also saw a fawn with the doe that lives nearby after the first of July. I'm not sure what the normal time frame for deer giving birth but this has got to be towards the very end of it. I normally see fawns running around in early May to early June. Here we are a month after that and this one could barely walk so I'm assuming he was only about a day old when I captured this photo.

After I took this photo through the living room window which is why it is a bit fuzzy, the fawn hobbled over to a tree and nested down at its base why mama was eating and then moved further down into the ravine that bisects our lawn where there was some taller grass. Mama left him/her there and crossed the road because I suppose the grass was greener over there. I thought about walking down and getting a better picture of the fawn but decided to let it hide in peace.

Right after this picture, I saw my daughter playing on our deck out back and then standing up and staring at something. I looked and saw a very large cat off at the edge of our lawn and raced inside to grab the camera and telephoto lens. It was still too far off to positively identify it but because it was so large, I was fairly certain it was a bobcat. They are very rare around here but my neighbor swears he has some photos of one from his backyard. I snapped a bunch of pictures of the beast and downloaded them onto the computer where I could zoom in even closer. I thought at first that I had taken the picture of a juvenile bobcat since the coloring and facial characteristics were different than a full sized bobcat but two things eventually convinced me that it was only the largest house cat I have ever seen and not a bobcat. Those were my wildlife biologist brother and the man who knows most things outdoors related, my father. After their advice, I could see that the paws weren't big enough, even for a juvenile bobcat and the tail way too long. Bobcats have a bobbed tail compared to house cats. So in the end, I had a series of pictures of the largest wild house cat I have ever seen outdoors. The sucker probably stood 18 inches high at the shoulder. Perhaps it will be fox food later.


Bone said...

Wow, it's almost like Ed Abbey's Wild Kingdom out there.

Deer are beautiful creatures. I do not, however, enjoy driving at night and seeing them crossing the road, which happened to me a couple of times last week.

Ed said...

Bone - It is almost like living in a wild kingdom yet still inside city limits... just barely. We certainly had hoped for a better house but all the better houses for sale don't hold a candle to this location. In the end, we figured we could fix the house but not the location.

warren said...

I have seen so many fawns this never before I think. It's weird but I guess htat must mean food is plentiful (or else really bad driving them into public) Anyhow, they are a delight to see whenever I get a chance I think!

sage said...

Nice shot--behind my house is a small strip of woods and a then a field that is surrounded by a falling down fence. Last summer, I notice a fawn (with spots) not moving as I was out back. After a while, I decided to check it out--I wish I'd taken a photo--but its leg was caught in the fence. While the mother watched from a safe distance, I was able to work it out only to realize that it was broken, but as soon as it was free, the fawn took off. I never saw it again and expect the coyotes probably got it.

Ed said...

Warren - I'm surprised that I've seen so many around here since we had such a dry year last year followed by a hard winter. Last fall I saw a group of six month old fawns numbering around 16 traipsing through my lawn. A garden without a fence here doesn't stand a chance!

Sage - Since wildlife abounds around this house, I keep the telephoto lens on my camera body most of the time... just in case.

Anonymous said...

I think it's REALLY good for kids to see real wildlife. To exist in it, as it were. Not just visit zoos and tourist farms.
Brilliant isn't it to see them.