If it ain’t rodents, it’s ruminants.
Recently, perfectly elliptical patterns of trampled vegetation began appearing in our lawn. It was like a midget UFO was using our yard as its personal landing spot. But, the true culprit was revealed when I pulled into the driveway one evening and a startled deer fawn leaped from the underbrush and sprinted for cover. Unable to jump any of our fences, the fawn paced the perimeter of the yard until its mother appeared at dusk, taking cautious glances at her offspring from the shelter of the neighbors’ trees. I propped a gate open, and a few hours later the family was gone.
I figured that the incident would cause the animals to steer clear of our yard for awhile. But this weekend, I was outside one afternoon and saw the same fawn quietly lounging by the fence in the front yard.
Mom was nowhere to be found. I was a bit perplexed by this behavior until a little Google-ing taught me that deer daycare consists of parking your kid somewhere (anywhere will work, apparently, which explains the flat spots in the lawn), giving them the “stay put” signal, and literally high-tailing it to the nearest patch of woods.
Perhaps deer like the adrenaline rush of being discovered because the fawn and its posse have visited our yard several more times over the past week. And they made it clear why deer fencing is so tall. In the picture below, I caught one of the animals mid-flight, effortlessly leaping a retaining wall from several yards away.
Capable critters, yes. Smart? Certainly not.
At least they don’t try to live in your attic.