A deer wandered into our backyard. I’ve seen them in the front yard. One was even standing in the middle of the driveway one day when I came home. Before I could decide what to do–my options were waiting, honking the horn, or getting out and yelling at it, which I didn’t want to do because it had large antlers and those are scary when they’re on a deer and not mounted on a hunting lodge wall–it moved into the neighbor’s yard to feast on their tulips.
The deer in the backyard was an entirely different thing because our backyard is fenced and, with a few exceptions, like squirrels and chipmunks which can go through or over the fence, or the time I opened the backdoor and found a couple of raccoons on our patio which then slipped away over the fence into the night, or, more likely, into the neighbor’s garbage, the fence keeps out wildlife. I’ve seen deer in the wooded area behind the fence, and that seems the best place for them.
The weirdest thing about the deer in the backyard was how nonchalant it was. It didn’t have antlers–my wife reminded me it’s the wrong time of year for that, and it was probably young too. It must have jumped over the fence but by the time it came into my purview it was just casually strolling along. It stopped to munch on some dandelions then went over to the big tree that stood in the middle of the yard. To me there was still something really strange about it, about wildlife coming that close to the house. I know there are also possums, coyotes, and foxes in the neighborhood. There’s one house a few blocks away that has a really big yard, and in a corner by the road where there’s a culvert that’s overgrown with weeds we saw a family of foxes one day. The people who lived there put up a sign near the culvert that said “Slow–children at play” with a picture of a fox. A few blocks away in another direction there also used to be several acres of farmland that had been left to grow wild and it was a home for a lot of animals. Then it was all turned into a shopping center and the animals now move among our homes–the ones that survived, anyway.
There are still wild places, but suburban sprawl keeps on sprawling, pushing those places away, but the deer wandering across the backyard was a sign of nature pushing back.