Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A buck in our garden

I was out in the yard in the evening taking pictures of the garden today.

Rugosa roses
 It's mostly too late in the year and too hot for roses, but I took some photos of the last few rugosa roses in the village.  They smell so sweet.
 I forgot to water my herbs and the thyme died, but the mint is still going strong and the fennel is doing pretty well too.
 The first tiny zucchini!  There are six or seven zucchini plants in a bed.  We are going to have so much zucchini.
Cucumber flowers
 Most of the cucumber plants are planted outside now, but this one seems to have been left behind.

That side of the yard used to be an orchard, but a lot of the trees are gone now (they don't live forever) so it's just mown meadow.

I took some pictures of the buddleia, but didn't manage to capture any of the butterflies on it. They always move by the time the shutter goes off. I took and deleted a lot of pictures of butterflies where the butterflies were not actually present in the frame. Attempting wildlife photography with a phone camera is frustrating.

 There are some old fruit trees left, apples and pears and a crabapple. The pears are pretty but they don't actually taste very good so I don't know if we'll bother to get the ladder out and pick them.

 The gardens have been neglected since my grandma died nearly ten years ago, so they've been mostly taken over by blackberry brambles. My brother cut them back to the ground two years ago, but the garden looks like the hedge around Sleeping Beauty's castle. Himalayan blackberries are invasive here.

 There are a lot more blackberries ripe, and they're no longer incredibly sour.

I turned around, and there was a buck looking at me.
He was about twelve feet away but he wasn't bothered by my presence.  He looked up when I took photos and then he went back to eating grass.

Those pictures aren't great, but they're the best I could get. Deer just won't hold still. I deleted a whole bunch of blurry pictures of the buck with a derpy expression on its face and legs at awkward angles. Deer look really weird when you photograph them mid-walk.

It's really common to look out the window and see deer, but usually they're does. Sometimes I look up from the computer and there's a deer staring in the living room window at me. I haven't been around deer in the better part of a decade, so it's kind of surreal to have all these wild animals that aren't scared of humans wandering around. It's like being in a fairy tale. I expect one of them to open its mouth and tell me my future.

The tree behind the buck in the second picture we call the bear tree. It was planted about fifteen years ago when one of the old apple trees died, but trees take a long time to grow so it's not that big yet. It has the best apples out of all our trees, but a few years ago a black bear climbed it to try to get at the fruit. So now it's at a forty-five degree angle to the ground and propped up by a piece of 2x4, but it's still alive and still covered in apples.

The bear tree

Apples on the underside of the bear tree.  We are going to have so many apples too.  I don't like sweets so I probably won't eat many, but the guys upstairs will probably make blackberry-apple pie.

The sun set and I went back inside and made a cup of coffee, and saw a flash of movement through the living room window. I looked out, and there were two bucks with velvet-covered antlers about six feet from the house, standing up on their hind legs to pick apples off the underside of the bear tree and then putting them on the ground to take bites off them. I took a photo through the window of a startled buck looking at me with an apple in its mouth. It was too dark and the flash reflecting off the glass ruined the photo, but the buck had the funniest expression on his face.

I texted my brother upstairs about it, and he was annoyed. That's the best tree and we're waiting for those apples and they're not even ripe yet. Nothing is safe from the deer. He wanted to see a picture of the deer at least, but I didn't have one, so he had to settle for me describing the scene over text message.

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