Lots of White-tailed does visit the yard but few males show up. This lone buck lingered in the yard, giving me plenty of time to appreciate his magnificence. Awesome antlers, but he looks like a shrub-eating machine, doesn't he?
The White-tailed deer seemed to be absent for a while but last week a mother deer brought the first fawn to graze in the backyard. Isn't the baby adorable?
Until her fawn is strong enough to walk with her, the mother deer hides it when she leaves to keep it safe from predators. The spots provide excellent camouflage in the forest or tall grasses.
Here's another pleasant surprise. I don't often see male deer, but this youngster struck a stately pose at the edge of the lake yesterday. You can see his antlers aren't too big, but he's already a handsome devil.
The deer now visit every day--trolling the peach tree, nibbling my shrubs, and eating all my Coneflowers. That's okay. It's worth a little foliage to see such sweet, graceful creatures enjoying their freedom in the marsh.
Isn't this a traquil scene? I wonder if this pretty doe has a fawn stashed in the nearby woods. This is the time of year deer give birth, so I hope so. Even though deer can be a nuisance, I still enjoy seeing them, and deer babies are too cute.
How do squirrels know the exact moment to plunder? The serviceberries have ripened and this little pest is the first to gorge. Although I'd prefer that birds get the succulent berries, there's no stopping a squirrel.
Since Georgia is the Peach state and Atlanta seems to have overused Peachtree in naming streets, you’d think that every yard in Georgia would have a Peach tree. Not so! Flowering Cherry, Crabapple, and Pear trees are much more plentiful. That’s a shame because Peach trees have pretty pink blossoms in Spring and actually produce fruit.
My tree is loaded with delicate flowers and each one will become a luscious peach. Unfortunately, I won’t get a single one. As soon as they ripen, the deer pilfer every peach--one day they’re green, the next day they’re gone. Deer even know how to shake the tree so the ones on top fall to the ground. Here’s a picture of a peach thief caught in the act.
It’s a good thing that I planted my Peach tree because it seemed fitting for a Georgia backyard. If feasting on peaches from my own tree was the reason, I’d be a very disappointed gardener.
Although this blog is usually about my back yard, after seeing the touching Budweiser Super Bowl commercial about the Clydesdale recognizing his trainer, I couldn’t resist writing about my most favorite Mardi Gras memory--visiting those amazing horses.
It's Carnival season in New Orleans, a festive time with weeks of parades, balls, and parties, culminating on Mardi Gras day (February 12 in 2013). The Budweiser Clydesdales appear in several parades every year. When I lived in New Orleans, they were always stabled in the old Budweiser warehouse on Tchoupitoulas Street during their visits. It may have been a beer warehouse, but the standard of horse comfort and care couldn’t have been higher. The public was allowed to visit the Clydesdales, too, and I never passed up the opportunity to see them up close.
Instead of being skittish and cranky with their fans, I remember the Clydesdales as gracious STARS of the old school who seemed to enjoy the affection of their adoring public. With names like Sailor and Bud, they placidly stood fetlock-deep in golden hay while we oohed and aahed over their magnificence. Being so close, I was awed by the strength and intelligence of these bay behemoths.
They were beautiful au naturel in their stable but when they appeared in the parades pulling the big red beer truck in full leather and brass harness, black manes and tails braided with colorful ribbons, and white feathered legs stepping high, the crowd went wild. Cheers for the Clydesdales were louder than for even the most over-the-top float.
In an age where corporate cost cutting is the norm, I give Budweiser kudos for their commitment to these “Gentle Giants.” The Clydesdales get the best care money can buy, and they deserve it. The happiness and fond memories they give to generations of fans are priceless. So if you decide to go to Mardi Gras, see the parades but visit the Clydesdales, too. Details about the parades may fade over time, but you’ll never forget seeing these amazing horses.
Since so many creatures forage in the backyard, I've been experimenting with tossing overripe fruit and soggy veggies into the yard so the birds and animals can enjoy them. Some are hits, like cantaloupe rinds, strawberries, carrots, and apples. Others, notably broccoli and celery, are never touched. I thought the deer got the cantaloupe rinds I threw out last week, but seeing this little squirrel pounce on one about a minute after it hit the ground made me wonder. He looked around, then scurried into the shurbs with his treat. He's probably wondering by what miracle a summer melon dropped from the sky into his territory.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Eagle Cam 2013 This camera streams the activities of the eagle nest located 110 feet up, in a tree on the grounds of the US FWS National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.