I stepped out the front door into our sheltered entryway a little after midnight as I sometimes do to check the night-time weather. It was a quiet balmy evening. I surprised a young 2-prong buck that was grazing in our front yard. He looked up toward me for a minute, and then, to my surprise, continued grazing. It’s not the first time I’ve surprised deer in our front yard, but it’s the first time one went back to grazing. Usually, they either bound or saunter away after staring at me for a minute. Touched by its trust, I simply stood and watched this young buck for about ten minutes. Every once in a while he would glance up toward me, and then continue grazing. I was surprised again when a second larger buck came out from our side yard directly to an ornamental plum sapling in our front yard, only about 15 feet away from me. He stopped there, stretched his neck up to strip a few plum leaves from one of the branches, and then sauntered off to a neighbor’s yard across the street. I don’t think the second buck ever saw me because I was standing motionless in the shadows in our entryway, and he never glanced my way. Meantime the first young buck continued to slowly graze its way across our front yard, occasionally glancing back toward me. At that point I was surprised yet again when a dark gray cat crossed our driveway and started up the short walk to our entryway before it saw me. Startled, it shrank back and then scurried across the lawn to disappear in the darkness of the side yard. The scurrying cat caught the young buck’s interest and it began sauntering toward the side yard where the cat disappeared. I didn’t see it anymore, but I’m sure it found some more good grazing in the side yard.
What an interesting ten minutes, and what an active night life obviously goes on to which we’re usually oblivious. I didn’t get any pictures tonight, but here’s a picture of a doe and her fawn in our side yard a couple years ago. The deer clearly like our neighborhood.