Nature

Deer Blogging

Deer run rampant in our neighborhood. Anyone who drives above the speed limit or isn’t watchful runs the risk of killing Bambi and making an expensive visit to the body shop. Below are some photos of the many deer who have fed and rested on our property — which they think is theirs. The first four pictures capture various portions of a herd of about 18 deer that visited us in January 2005. The fifth picture, from May 2005, is of a fawn that was “left in our care” while Mom went foraging for food.





Century Plant Blogging

Our neighborhood boasts a mature century plant, which has a life span of about 25 years. It blooms only once, and then dies. The flower spike (main stalk) of “our” century plant sprouted in April. It rose to a height of 20-25 feet. Flower stems began to appear on it in May. It was in full bloom in June. The following photos (viewed left to right, top to bottom) capture the plant’s progress and decay from May until it began dying in July:

The final photo in the series shows that the plant dies from the bottom up; the top blooms were still full then, but the lower blooms had died and were shriveling. The plant is completely dead now; all the blooms have dried up and blown away. But it still stands tall.

As a bonus for readers who have never seen a purple sage, here’s a specimen of our local variety, which is called (fittingly) Texas sage:

January 3, 2006 . . .

. . . in Austin: temperature 86 degrees, ceiling unlimited, visibility limited only by your elevation.

The haziness is caused what the locals call “cedar” pollen, which is really the pollen of the Ashe Juniper. The juniper grows profusely in central Texas and emits copious quantities of pollen in late December and early January. Persons who are especially allergic to the pollen are said to suffer “cedar fever.”

The body of water visible in the center of the photo is Lake Austin, which is one of several lakes that were created by damming the Colorado River (the one that rises in Texas and flows to the Gulf of Mexico). The undammed Colorado isn’t much more than a stream, by my standards, and Lake Austin is a glorified pond. Lake Austin, at its widest, is perhaps a quarter-mile wide, which is only about one-fourth the width of the St. Clair River, near which I grew up. The St. Clair flows from Lake Huron, which is about 200 miles long and 200 miles wide, at its widest point.

But . . . today’s high in eastern Michigan was only about 40 degrees . . . and it was cloudy . . . and rain is expected tomorrow, with rain and snow on Thursday, etc., etc., . . .

That’s why I’m here and not there.

Bambi Blogging

Bambi (or Bambette), in our front yard around 9:30 on Tuesday morning:

After about 5 hours in that spot, the fawn finally skeedaddled to find Mom, who seems to have stashed it in a more secure place on our property. We see one or the other of them from time to time, as they venture out to feed.

They’re beautiful animals but a major threat to expensive landscaping. They must think they “own” the land on which our house was built. Well, they do, in a way.