Maryelizabeth saw her first lizard of 2010 yesterday. Coincidentally, I was out earlier in the morning, wondering when I’d see one. Then today I moved the dogs’ old wading pool and my first lizard of the year skittered out. Lizards are (most people would be happy to know) far more common around here than snakes. Mine scampered off so fast I didn’t have any hope of identifying it.
I can, however, identify our mule deer. They returned last night around 9:30, earlier than ever. Apparently they find the Flying M quite a deer paradise. At one point, in the portion of the front yard I can see from our bedroom window, I counted eleven. There were certainly more than that around, as they were also in the back and around on the side. Fifteen is still the operative estimate.
When there were fewer than eleven in the front yard, I watched one, who was standing a couple of feet from the barbed wife fence. It apparently decided it wanted to be on the other side, so it sprang--no running jump, but from a dead stand--up in the air and over the fence.
Given the time of year, it’s possible that these deer are on their way from lower elevations to higher, and we’re just a convenient stopover along the way. They’ll bear their young during the summer rainy season, which typically begins in early July, and they prefer to do it at higher elevations, where the fawns are at less risk from coyotes.
They’re called mule deer because their ears can be gigantic, 9 inches long, like a mule’s. For all I know they might be stubborn, as well--all I can say is that this morning at 5:00 they were still in the front yard, or had come back once more. Either way, I doubt we’re rid of them yet, which would be fine with me. I like watching them. I don’t like the fact that the dogs will happily keep us up all night barking at them, but I do enjoy them.