When Angie was visiting in mid-July, she was awakened by the sound of something outside her bedroom window. Looking out, she saw a young buck nibbling on the figs and grape-vines that grow on the side of the house. (I thought we’d had more figs ripening and wondered if the birds had found them… Somehow the notion of that buck eating them is more, well, palatable but that’s fancy on my part, isn’t it?) He’s been in the orchard, close enough that we were able to see his antlers with their soft covering of velvet. He’s a Columbian black-tail and I think he’s about 2. (His antlers had a couple of tines.)
Coming home from a concert on Friday night (it was the weekend of the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival), we saw him standing by the garden. The headlights of the car startled him and he stood for a moment before disappearing into the darkness. He’s very beautiful.
On Saturday night I was returning home from the wonderful “Intimate Connections”, a concert exploring the music of Robert and Clara Schumann and their friend Johannes Brahms, the highway bright with moonlight, when I saw the buck by the side of the road, browsing on fireweed (I think). I stopped and rolled down the window. He gazed mildly in my direction and didn’t budge as I asked him to leave our garden alone.
The next morning I noticed that all the nasturtiums in the pots on the patio had been eaten back to the quick. And he’d feasted on some perennial geraniums growing in a barrel around the roots of a “Maiden’s Blush” rose. The buck is obviously fortifying himself for the rutting season ahead and I love the thought of him roaming in moonlight with those velvety antlers, nasturiums on his breath.
An update: His competition (a year younger?) just wandered by my study window.