Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gates Wildlife Preserve

This little baby deer hung out at our house for a weekend. One Saturday morning the girls were jumping up and down and screaming by the back door. This tiny baby deer about the size of small-medium sized dog was strolling through our backyard with his mother. By the time I grabbed my camera they were headed up the trail behind our house.

Sunday morning we noticed the baby deer curled up under the fence that runs next to our house on our neighbor's property. It was about a foot from the curb of the street. As I walked closer, I thought he would jump up and run off but he didn't. He was breathing, but would not move from his curled up position. We were concerned that he was hurt and/or abandoned by his mother that I had seen him with the day before. The mother was no where in sight. We decided to head to church and would call animal services if he was still there when we returned.

He was in the same exact spot a few hours later, so we called Animal Control. They suggested we call the Wildlife Center of Virginia to see if there is anything we should do. While Chuck was on the phone, Leland and I went outside to take a picture. While we were out there we noticed 2 adult deer in our neighbors yard across the street from the baby deer. One was sitting down with her head and ears perked staring straight at us. The other was in the brush just next to her.

Turns out this was nature in progress. According to the Wildlife Center, and as described on their baby deer website, "[f]rom birth the fawns are left alone while their mothers go off to feed. The mothers will stay away from the fawns to avoid leading predators to their location. They will return at dusk and dawn to move and/or feed their young." Sure enough, the fawn was gone the next day.

We also have a family of ground hogs living in an old tree stump in our backyard, only about 15 yards from the house. The first year here, we only saw one really big and fat one, but the next year, we saw two regular sized groundhogs. This year there is at least one regular adult and two babies. It may be 2 adults and 2 babies. We never seem to be able to get any good pictures of them. Last week the 2 babies were wrestling and playing in the grass right outside our door.

The girls love watching all the other creatures in our backyard. We have a variety of squirrels, bunnies, and birds (red robins, blue jays, orioles, and others). You would think we live out in the country and not in the town like we do. I think because we have such a narrow backyard it forces the animals to be really close to our back door.


  1. That is so interesting! I'm glad the baby deer wasn't just abandoned.

    Florida looks like it was a blast!

  2. I thought this was the coolest story ever when you told me. Glad to see it on your blog. :)