When we bought the lot to build our home, we chose a lot that had what our city calls a “canal” as the back border of it. (Let’s be honest, it’s a drainage ditch – no matter what you want to call it.) We thought that it would give us more privacy than having neighbors right behind us, especially since the canal has undeveloped city-owned property on the other side.
But we got a major bonus we didn’t expect: a vibrant wildlife population centered on the water source that treats our backyard as their own private meadow. In addition to the regular Florida suburban squirrels, raccoons and armadillos, we also have resident deer, turtles, and even the occasional bobcat!
We really love watching the comings and goings of the wildlife and learning about their behavior. The retired lady next door shares our love of the local wildlife too and so text alerts fly back and forth between our homes when animal visitors appear out of the woods – a fun form of neighborly bonding!
A few days ago, my husband was sitting at his desk by one of our front windows when he saw a small quick moving blur go across the front yard. He immediately thought it was a bobcat. The two of us stepped out into the driveway to peer towards the direction of the neighbor’s to see if we could score a rare sighting.
Instead, as he stepped into the grass from behind my car, Mike suddenly found a tiny fawn in front of him! It was the tiniest one I think we’ve ever seen in all the years we’ve been watching “our” deer. It’s head wasn’t even up to knee high on me it looked like!
It’s really late in the season to have such a new fawn, but my neighbor had said she had seen one hidden in her yard a few days before so we weren’t completely surprised. We think maybe it was scared out of its hiding spot very near her house by the lawn crew that had left the neighbor’s house only a few minutes earlier.
Of course, when you see a cute baby you just have to talk to it, right? So of course we did! And as soon as my husband started talking to it, the baby fawn walked right up to us! It huddled up against Mike’s legs, almost rubbing on them even!
After spending a few moments with us, the baby fawn ran across the road and into the woods on a vacant lot where we frequently see the deer. It had gotten spooked by a car that came up our road. Fortunately the driver saw me when I put up my hand to flag him down and warn him so he slowed down and passed very slowly. He even paused to check out his window that we’d seen the fawn with a mother! This neighborhood cares for its four-legged residents!
It was really unnerving to see the baby fawn running around by itself, especially being so tiny. We knew that does will leave their fawns to go wander and look for food. But in all our time watching the neighborhood deer we’d never seen a small fawn alone. We wondered whether we should call wildlife officials for help. After some internet research we learned that since the fawn looked and acted healthy and wasn’t acting distressed, it could likely be left alone despite our instinct to think it needed care. I will admit though that I will feel better when we’ve seen it again with its mother!