In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

tender apple tree tips

Greg has been pruning the old apple trees. That means there are branches lying on the ground, a feast of swelling buds and tender tips and a dream come true for hungry deer. The First People called March the time of hunger. If animals could speak they would agree, I think. It is too early for the earliest of spring greens, and most of the winter's food sources have been used up. In a few weeks the island will begin to provide new food sources: fern, purslane, dock, dandelion, and buds and tender tips galore, all you can eat.I used an old towel to clean off the window so I could take a picture of the deer browsing the apple branches. The deer saw my towel moving back and forth and stopped, vigilant, to watch. Then raised her leg several times and stamped it, while staring at me.
This is her signal that if the towel becomes aggressive she will defend her turf.
After the towel went meekly away, she walked over to the younger deer -- her offspring, I suppose, though she seems awfully small herself to be a mother.
They continued to eat, though the mother kept an eye out for any more towel incursions.
These two deer do not seem as starved as the deer we saw last March. Last summer was a good long season for island vegetation. The weather was excellent. Leroy had reduced the size of the sheep flock, so the deer were competing with a smaller number of the island's other large herbivore. They probably went into the winter with good reserves. Last March we could count their ribs. But now they seem strong.


Vintagesouthernlife said...

They are such beautiful creatures!

Sybil said...

I have had some pretty scarey tea towel incidents myself. I heartily endorse foot stamping as a good way to ward off towel-flickers.

I wish I had a view of deer out my back window -- instead I see the neighbour's cat fluffing itself on their back deck.

Eastern Passage, NS