Monday, August 9, 2010

Deer Nursery

Each spring we enjoy the birth of several new fawns. This year we have 2 sets of twins and one more with three mothers. We see them in all sorts of configurations, sometimes one mother with all the babies - babysitting in a sense. It is fun to see how they scamper about, chasing each other with their ears back or resting in the shade during a hot day or hiding under the magnolia tree peeking out as I walk by with the dog. Other times they are all together eating, usually 2 - 3 times per day from the crabapple tree or grazing on clover or grasses or the most recently planted tree. One fawn seems to be a bit unruly at times or curious going off by itself for hours at a time.

The caterpillars are back!

Last year I grew butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), a yellow flower variety. I just found a wild one growing in the side meadow - a pink variety though - with yet again a couple of dozen monarch caterpillars on it as last year. I was having difficulty taking a decent picture though because of how the caterpillars place themselves under the leaves, eating the leaves from below. They are always in a shadow. Perhaps they do this to hide themselves from predators lurking above.