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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All creatures big and small -- at the feeders

My backyard is a veritable wildlife sanctuary, smack dab in the middle of suburbia. The woods that border my property offer a haven for all sorts of critters: songbirds, birds of prey, squirrels, raccoons, an occasional red fox and a growing number of deer.

One of life’s simple pleasures for me at this time of year is kicking back on a cold snowy morning with a steaming mug of coffee while watching the birds at my feeders. The squirrels come too (I quit trying to outsmart them a long time ago) and they provide endless entertainment as they climb, leap, stretch and contort themselves in a variety of ways for a seat at the bird seed banquet.

But within the last year, I discovered why I can go through a 40-pound bag of seed in no time at all. It’s the deer. And they are very resourceful.

Several days before Christmas, as temperatures hovered in the teens, the snow fell and traffic accidents were clogging the freeways, I was fortunate to be cozy at home, using up remaining vacation days. On that morning there were at least a half-dozen deer in my yard, one of them a buck, eating from every feeder within reach and only several feet from where I stood gazing out at them through my patio door with my cat, Smudge.

Once they consumed every last morsel of seed and were obviously still not satiated, they proceeded to the edge of the woods where my platform feeder stands about six feet from the ground.

Then to my amazement, one doe stood on its hind legs and, leaning against a large baffle for stability, she craned her neck to get to the seed. Too awkward. After several attempts, she gave up.

Like any good photographer, my camera was close at hand. I squeezed off a number of frames through the glass since opening the door would have scared them off. I’m sharing some photos, including the one that was published on December 26.

-- Maribeth Joeright


OpenID MB said...

Totally enjoyed these photos. Especially the bucks jet black nose!
I live in South Russell and we too have an abundance of deer. Unfortunately we are not able to see them up close and personal because our two dogs love to chase them away.
Thanks for posting your photos of these gorgeous creatures MbJ!
MBF in South Russell, OH

January 13, 2009 at 10:28 PM 

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