Posts Tagged ‘mule deer’

Wild kingdom

August 6, 2018

Say hello to my pal Sluggo, who took the scenic route (down the stucco wall) to the yard the other day.

We’ve had a pleasant few days around the ol’ rancheroo, lounging on the back patio with a beverage of an evening, airing the cats, and watching the wildlife (which, unlike cable or even streaming video, is free).

The deer have been sniffing around again, drawn by the neighbors’ apples (they’ve already wiped out our crop). And our hummingbird feeder is attracting quite the crowd —  rufous, broad-tailed, black-chinned and maybe even a calliope. The aerial combat over the sugar water looks like the Battle of Britain. Even the bees are getting involved.

Bigger birds have been on display, too. One great big hawk, either a redtail or ferruginous, sat perched atop a neighbor’s tree for the better part of quite some time the other evening, putting a damper on all the other avian activity. A hawk thinks a bird feeder is a hawk feeder.

Later, what looked like a prairie falcon came out of nowhere and swooped low overhead, perhaps mistaking the Turk for a great big bunny. Nope. “That’s no ordinary rabbit,” as Tim the Enchanter has taught us.

Perhaps the most striking creature we’ve seen all summer was a two-tailed swallowtail butterfly, which found one of our shrubs mesmerizing. I should’ve taken a pic, but I didn’t want to interrupt its snacking.

And then there was Sluggo. Less attractive, perhaps, but he gave me an excuse to try the macro function on the Sony RX100 III.

Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, que no? I ain’t exactly George Clooney myself, as Herself periodically reminds me.

The deer hunter

June 30, 2018

Our new lawn-mowing service.

This little guy materialized in the back yard last evening as Herself and I were enjoying a refreshing beverage on the patio and giving the cats a good airing. Never even saw him hop The Wall.

But Bambi appeared instantly on the radar of Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Force).

His aide-de-camp, Miss Mia Sopaipilla, has always worn a harness when she goes outdoors, and as the interloper arrived she was quartered on the southeast side of the compound, tucked away in the shady remains of the irises, near a favorite scratching stump.

But El Turko was free-ranging it to the northeast, inspecting the perimeter, and he froze, watching the interloper nosh on his lawn, as he had been doing himself just a few moments earlier.

It was something of a moment. We didn’t want to extract His Excellency and risk disturbing the deer at his dinner, the pickings being slim in the foothills. But we didn’t want El Turko to choose the better part of valor, leap The Wall, and beat a strategic retreat to Placitas, either. Until this evening he had only monitored trespassing deer through the stout double-pane windows of the ultra-secure Turkenbunker.

Then abruptly the dilemma resolved itself. The deer turned his back on the Turk — which is almost always a bad idea, as we have learned through bitter and painful experience — and the old soldier charged into battle.

“Santiago!” he may have screamed, but probably not.

Bambi bolted for The Wall, but a heartbeat too late. El Turko gave him a good swat before he cleared it.

Afterward I saw to it that the field marshal had an extra helping of Feline Greenies with the usual spartan rations he permits himself in order to stay in fighting trim. The best defense is a strong offense.

Oh, deer

June 9, 2018

Miss Mia Sopaipilla thinks a little fresh venison would enhance the daily bowl of dry cat food. | Photo: Herself

Eight o’clock, 70 degrees. Summer may not officially start until June 21, but it feels pretty damn’ summery right now.

The drought is driving famished mule deer down from the foothills and into people’s yards, including ours. The rose bushes provide tasty morsels, as do the lilacs. Looks like they’ve been after the pears as well. And the cinderblock wall is taking something of a beating from the JV hurdlers.

This one was scrawny but a good leaper. Cleared the wall in a single bound.

Oh deer

November 28, 2017

Trail 366, if memory serves. You can ride this sucker on a road bike, and I have.

After another morning spent cranking away on the Fuji Touring for review purposes I devoted the afternoon to tooling around the Elena Gallegos trails on my trusty, dusty old Voodoo Nakisi MonsterCrosser®.

There were a half-dozen deer to the left of me and about the same to the right. Don’t want to hit one of these dudes at speed on the old MonsterCrosser®. It will end badly.

As I was motoring along, enjoying the ridiculously warm weather (68, a degree shy of the record), I caught a glimpse of a big gray booty ambling through the scrub and hit the binders.

Sure enough, a sizable herd of mule deer was cruising the ’hood. So I stopped and snapped a couple pix with the battered Canon 300 HS, which has decided to start working again, kinda, sorta.

Mule deer are not nature’s geniuses. Back in Weirdcliffe we used to joke that you could hunt them with a Twinkie and a ball-peen hammer.

But they look serene, majestic and brilliant when compared to the ruminants grazing the nation down to the bedrock in DeeCee. There is nary a problem in the world that a Republican legislature cannot make worse.