An Unexpected Visitor

deer in wildflowers
An Unexpected Visitor

Some people may be laughing very hard right now that I was surprised to find a deer in my back yard, considering they seem to be everywhere as we’ve taken over their habitat and they find our landscaping more than edible. But in the 25 years I’ve been here I’ve never even seen a deer in my neighborhood let alone in my yard. I’ve been kind of glad for my garden, though the groundhog does as much damage as a herd of deer. But I couldn’t even figure out how the deer got in my yard. It’s not entirely fenced, only on two sides, but there are brush piles and dense shrubs on the other sides so the back yard is pretty protected, and not easy for a deer to break into…unless he walked through the spot Mimi and I had walked through the other day.

I returned from errands today and prepared to step out to the back yard for a bit with Mimi—she had been waiting all day and was letting me know about that. I had my container of things for the compost and my cameras and just went to the sink to fill the watering can when I looked out the window and saw…

A buck sleeping in my back yard.
A buck sleeping in my back yard.

Of course I raced around with my cameras photographing out the windows and into the back yard with my zoom lens. I wasn’t interested in getting caught in my yard with a deer who might feel he was trapped. He didn’t pay me much attention, though, just layed around here and there, got up and had a snack on wild grape leaves and goldenrod stems, which is fine with me.

A buck sleeping in my back yard.
Standing up–he looks a little shaggy still.

It looks like he’s still shedding out his winter coat, and the velvet is still on his antlers, so he’s looking far and wide for food. At this point there is nothing actively growing in my garden. The early things are done and the weather was too wet and cold to work the soil so I decided to wait before planting again.

A buck sleeping in my back yard.
“I hear a human.”

Interestingly, while I was photographing at my garden gate, from where I got most of these photos, I heard a familiar avian voice and heard a humming, and turned to see a humming bird hovering near me. It left, then came back and perched on a branch in the lilac, but didn’t seem to be upset with me being there, if there was a nest near, for instance. They can be quite aggressive but this female just seemed to be spending time with me. I see them at the feeder in front, and soon the geraniums and scarlet runner beans will be blooming to their great delight.

The buck left the yard while I was inside for just a moment and I didn’t see how he’d gone. I went up the street to look into other backyards and talk to my neighbor who has cats and a dog and kids to see if they’d ever seen a deer in the yard or the neighborhood and they had not. We all went down to my yard so I could show the kids some cardinal nests in my spruce and give them some doggy goodies from Saturday, when another neighbor came up the street from a block away to show me a photo he’d taken of the deer in my back yard. Apparently it was the talk of some of the neighborhood this afternoon! He told me he’d seen them come down the alley from the top of the hill a few times, but today his father had told him, “That girl has a buck in her yard,” so he came up to photograph the buck. He’ll be sending it to me, and when I get it I’ll add it—it was a very nice photo, and I’m so glad he told me he’d seen the buck before.

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All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


  1. Wonderful visitor! Such a beautiful eyes… kind of magic place you have there.

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