I don’t think I will ever tire of watching wildlife.  I have always loved seeing animals in their natural element, just doing whatever animals do.  The other day, we looked out our window, and got a real treat. 

3 mule-deer does and 3 yearling fawns (2 does and a buck) were cleaning up the crabapple fruits that fell from our tree early this fall.  The deer saw us, and came within about 3 feet of our window at one point.  I think they know, though, that as long as we are inside, we can’t hurt them.  They were so fluffy with their winter coats!

This particular morning, we got to watch some really interesting herd dynamics that I have never seen before.  I can’t fully explain what I saw, but it appeared as though one doe was assigned as look-out or being punished.  She was chased away from the main grazing area by another doe, to the perimeter, and just stood there, stock still, for about 15 minutes, just looking around.  She never once leaned down to eat.  After about 15 minutes was up, she casually walked back into the herd, and began grazing with the rest of them.  Then, both the does and fawns interacted at different points, using their heads to butt the others and their front feet to strike the others.  It was so strange, and I couldn’t tell if they were playing, rough housing, playing dominance games, or teaching respect.  Fascinating to witness in any case.  Usually, you just see deer hanging out grazing gracefully, but these ladies (and boy) were all fired up.  They interacted and grazed for about 30 minutes all together, and then eventually mozied off to do whatever they do all day.

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