Thursday, July 23, 2009

The deer whisperer


Cynthia and I spent all last week at the Lake Medina Thousand Trails campground, near San Antonio communing with the deer. It wasn’t our intent, but the deer around the place were so plentiful, we couldn’t help ourselves. And I couldn’t resist feeding them.

As a member of Thousand Trails, we get a week in a getaway cabin, along with a bonus week in a standard cabin, among other benefits. Needless to say, we plan to stay at a Thousand Trails campground as often as we can next year when we head west to California . Most of the Thousand Trails campgrounds are on the west coast, so we can get to stay there for up to three weeks at a time.

There are several in Texas -- Lake Texoma, Lake Tawakani, where we are keeping our RV stored for the time being, Lake Conroe and Lake Whitney, to name a few. Back to Medina , though. It was our first time to stay there, and we loved it. Medina was advertised as a place with plenty of wildlife -- the deer were everywhere, even on the miniature golf course. We quipped early on, “Is that an obstacle? That the ball has to go though the deer’s legs?” Cynthia said, “They’re a novelty now. By the end of the week, we probably won’t even notice them anymore.” Guess what? They were still a novelty by week’s end, too. It seems you can never get enough of something so pretty. Seeing deer so close, with those big brown eyes never gets old.

Believe me, the Heavener deer pen in Heavener has nothing on this place. By the end of the week, I was feeding a little doe from my hand (see photo to right), giving her a small watermelon rind on Thursday and on Friday three quarters of an apple -- a quarter three different times. I felt I had made a breakthrough with the deer, that I could talk to them. We saw does (upper photo on right), bucks (bottom photo), fawns (photo on right). It was like being in the thick of nature’s wildlife. Of course there were squirrels, too, but we have plenty of them at home scampering around in the yard and up the trees.

4 Comments:

At July 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

A deer may be beautiful but when the rascal gets into my garden and eat all my sweet corn its beauty is somewhat tarnished. We have a plenitude of deer here in Tennessee--so many that they have overrun the availability of forest and open field food and are tending to smaller sizes. We average aout 25 deer strikes a year on the road that leads to the Arnold Engineering Development Center and have to trap and release many of them each year from inside our 4,000 acre securiy fenced area.

But, I understand the feelings that come with close proximity to one of them. Many, many years ago my family visited Palo Duro Canyon State Park in west Texas and had the same experience that you had. It was nice. I just wish some of the deer around my farm would move out there.

 
At July 25, 2009 at 6:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all, John, including the deer. Great pictures! - Jim Patterson

 
At July 28, 2009 at 5:45 AM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

For several years the Dunn family had an evening ritual of driving over by the old Glenwood Addition in Midwest City to count the deer. This is an area in the middle of Midwest City (right in the flight pattern for Tinker Field) that was bought out and closed up after several planes crashed in the neighborhood. Most days you would count 3-7 deer, but some days they would be everywhere. Our last big count was 52. I guess they became a nuisance because suddenly last year there were none. We still drive by occasionally and last week we saw three standing way back in the woods. I always liked the deer pen at Heavener, but it was even more fun to spot them in the Glenwood woods. I wonder how much government paperwork it took to eradicate a deer population? Was it done by soldiers or scientists?

 
At July 31, 2009 at 8:52 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

There was one lone little cotton-tailed deer tonight in the old Glenwood area. And apparently a training-maneuver-gone-bad if the torn parachute hanging from the tree means anything. I always wonder what kind of war games are going on back in those woods.

 

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