Can you spy the deer in this photo?
Not so easy? Then how about this one?
And again? Yes, now there are two!
Tim and I have seen these two young whitetail deer intermittently on the woodland terraces near the river since early summer, when they first appeared with their mother, who had a single fawn in 2015. Born in late May, give or take a few weeks, they probably weigh about 70 or so pounds and have been recently abandoned by their mother for another cycle of reproduction. Tim says they are little bucks. I have to admit, they look so lost and timid just now, I can’t help but feel sorry for them.
But deer, as we all know, can do a lot of damage in a garden. Currently, they are grazing on acorns, but in spring they eat my beloved wild Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum) down to a nub.
Even worse, the overpopulation of whitetail deer throughout the Eastern Seaboard is accountable for significant crop losses, forest damage, car collisions (more than 2,000 annually in South Carolina alone), and spread of Lyme disease. Just 2 deer, without predation, can produce a herd of 35 in just 7 years. It’s a huge problem.
Even so, who could blame these little ones for simply doing the best they can? They might be trouble makers, but I get excited every time I see them.