The previous owners of this house dumped a pile of parsnips about 20 feet from the back of the house to feed the local deer through the winter. This parsnip pile was actually one of the things we were most excited about when we moved in. Imagine, sitting at your dining room table and watching deer feed just a few feet away.
Sadly, our dog arrived and scattered collections of poop and pee all over the back yard. No deer showed up and we decided the dog scents probably scared them away.
Last night we were eating supper at the table and what should poke her nose out of the forest but a White Tail Doe. She picked her way through the snow to our parsnip pile and fed for a marvelous 30 minutes. The kids were over the moon. Harry couldn't get over how beautiful she was and Catherine thought it was the neatest thing that we were so close we could watch the food travel down her throat every time she swallowed. We've seen deer up close before and even fed them but that was at our local wildlife park and there's no comparison between observing lazy, tame deer and alert, wild deer.
This morning, as we ate breakfast, she returned and ate her breakfast. By this time she was old news for Harry but Catherine was still amazed and after the doe left Catherine decided that maintenance of the parsnip pile was her job. She braved the rain and went out to free up some parsnips by chipping away at the frozen pile.
We've decided that between the owl and the doe and considering all the birds that visit our backyard bird feeder (that Catherine also cleans off and refills with joy) it would be a good time to start some sort of nature journal. Imagine that. We can fill up a nature journal with stuff we can observe from our living room.