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Deer in neighborhood provide a first-hand view of nature

POSTED: October 12, 2011 12:30 a.m.

Ah, yes, those deer inhabiting the Enota-Riverside area of Gainesville. Since my property joins these neighborhoods via the lake, I also have a deer problem and have read with interest, and much dismay, the recent letters to The Times.

If you don’t live in the vicinity and your yard is not overrun with these pretty animals, you really don’t have a deer in this fight. And if you are still enjoying the sight of these deer traipsing through your garden, please let me know what you planted that survived the onslaught.

Four years ago, I swore to myself that I would not buy another plant in expectation that it would bloom and bring me some delight. I did not heed my own advice and this year expeienced the ultimate insult. A deer walked right up to a windowbox and nibbled the impatiens, my traditional plant for these boxes, down to the soil.

Recently, two little fawns scrambled up some steps to munch around in a flower bed. My yard is a virtual buffet for these animals. And, seeing them walk on my concrete drive does not make me feel that all is right in God’s universe.

Driving back from Blairsville one night recently, I saw a single rabbit scamper across a mountain highway. No bear, no deer, just a rabbit. However, when I turned in my subdivision and drove down my street, a deer in a neighbor’s yard retreated to the darkness of some trees.

Then about a week ago I witnessed two astonishing events. While gazing out of my kitchen window, I noticed limbs and leaves bobbing up and down about 50 yards away. Then I could see that a buck was rubbing the tree! I’ve seen the rubs, but never the acts that put them there.

The piece de resistance occurred several days later when I walked to the swing on my back porch and picked up on some unusual sounds. Two bucks were fighting it out while a doe grazed nearer the house. She finally walked away from her suitors and off into the woods. I’ll never forget the sounds of antlers clanging and smashing, of these two deer edging into the trees and emerging again and again to fight some more.

In the following hours and days I weighed the paradox of despising and loving these creatures. I truly have a window on the world. 

In a perfect world, I could have my cake and eat it, too.

Diann Rountree
Gainesville



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