For all our complaining and tearing of hair about the deer in our gardens, the rabbits munching on the lettuce, and other assorted visitors to our gardens, one has to admit that without our wildlife, this would be an unexciting planet.
Photographing the blossoms of my 'Festiva Maxima' peony yesterday morning, I thought I saw something move in my peripheral vision. Slowly, I turned and the next few moments were one of the wonderful garden memories I'll always have.
This yearling buck stood not four feet away, watching me. His ears flicked back and forth and he lifted his nose to catch my scent. That's it, I thought. He'll be gone in a flash. But he stood stock still while I focused my camera.
I began talking softly and he came right up to me. Holding out my hand, I waited. He stepped forward, smelled it carefully, and even touched it lightly with his cold nose.
We had this moment together, then he stepped back and had a good look at the Double Knockout Rose in full bloom. Oh, boy, here we go.
Not a single nibble, thanks to the egg mixture I'd applied a few days ago.
I know this is unusual behavior for a wild animal, and I can only hope that his fearlessness was based on the trust of the very young.