By John Adamski
A fortuitous glance out the window to check the temperature yesterday morning revealed a sight that I have never witnessed before. My resident doe was nursing one of her babies at the top of my driveway.
Momma was unaware that she was being photographed and unconcerned with being out in the open. I feel privileged that these deer feel secure here, which is precisely why I was able to witness this event.
As the fawn nursed, Momma scanned the yard to make sure that all was safe. I was – and still am – thrilled by this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
When Momma decided that her baby had nursed enough, she pulled away and started walking down my driveway toward the road with her youngster in tow. Even though the fawn is two weeks old, the doe still leaves it alone in the woods for a good part of the day, changing its location from time to time and only returning to nurse and move it again.
As the two deer got closer to the road, something caught the doe’s attention and she stopped to watch and listen. It could have been activity at the cabin in the woods on the hill across from my place. The fawn was more curious about the colored banner flying from the gable of my garage and turned to watch it flap in the breeze.
But then it realized that another opportunity to nurse had presented itself and it made a beeline for the source of its sustenance. Momma patiently accepted her baby’s reconnection and showed her affection while it suckled. She is still in the process of shedding some of her remnant winter coat.
Another intimate moment – and another treasured photo experience for me. This doe is six years old and was born here as well. I do not feed her or do anything else to keep her here. She just feels safe. She has had her babies here for the last five years and has another baby lying elsewhere in the woods patiently waiting for its breakfast.