Monday 18 November 2019

Poetry Monday: Neighbours

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is .....NEIGHBO(U)RS.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, Merry Mae and me as we give a tip of o(u)r hats -- or not -- to those folks who share our lives by occupying a space close by us -- at work, at home, or by geographical accident. Good neighbours or bad, let's let it all out :)

You can leave your poem in the comments or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment so we can find you and your excellent offering. Use the topic, or choose another. The objective is to have fun and give your mind a workout.


We are lucky to have excellent neighbours at the moment -- kind, considerate, friendly, and supportive, yet still allowing everyone to have their private space, given our comparatively small house lots in this town.

But my poem today isn't about those neighbours.

Read on :)


Sometimes Exasperating . . . But Always Magical

The folks in houses round us
Are top-notch. No complaints.
They have our backs; they are our friends;
They're close to being saints.

But the beasts who range the closest
Are a different sort, all right.
They use our yard as bed and bath;
Munch everything in sight.

They flaunt their coats of fur!
(How unethical can you get!)
And as for paying monthly rent?
Well -- not one penny yet.

They even had their babies
Along the property line,
And brought them back for naps and snacks,
Time after time after time.

If they were human neighbours,
There would be heck to pay.
But since they're white-tailed deer, you know,
It's fine! They're A-okay :)


Some photos from last summer, of the neighbours in question, follow.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of the two wobbly fawns that we think were born in the back yard tree line (the second year in a row!) but I didn't dare disturb them. But as the fawns grew, it was easier to get pictures because they were no longer hiding in the bushes. There were two mothers who visited regularly with their babies (one mother had one fawn, the other had two), and there were an additional mom and fawn that occasionally joined the rest.

These shots are not clear, but they'll give you an idea of what we were seeing all summer.

The earliest picture I could get after the babies started showing up

Taken through our basement window. Note the ears up close to the window; this was one of the twins, lying down next to the house. The other twin, along with mama, is in the background.

The body attached to those ears, after he/she stood up

The twins, having a snack. I wondered why my perennial geraniums weren't blooming this year. Eventually I realized they'd all been mowed off by little teeth!

Napping in the sun. Still wearing baby spots.

Later in the summer. The baby spots are gone.

Can you spot six deer in this very hazy photo? Taken in the fall; you can see the tree to the right has mostly changed colour.

The video was taken early in the summer.

And one final shot, from our front verandah. This is the twins' mama, with one of the fawns. This mom was very thin all summer. You can see her ribs in the photo. Feeding two babies is tough on the mother. I hope all of them survive the winter.

"Mom! That two-legged animal is looking at me again!"

And here's a casualty of the grazing habits of our "neighbours". This used to be a beautiful geranium but in its first peak flowering, one morning all of the blooms were gone. There was a muddy hoofprint on the verandah that identified the culprit!

If you enlarge the screen (press Control and the "+" keys a few times) you'll see the denuded blossom stalks in the center of the shot. This is why we can't have nice things! Well, this, plus cats :)


I hope the upcoming week brings you lots of magic and not much (if any) exasperation :)

Note: The topic for next week's Poetry Monday is ......WINDOWS.....

Good luck!



baili said...

dear Jenny what a lovely post !!!!!!!!!!

i envy you for sights you have been enjoying in your neighborhood :)))

wow! having nature as close excites me a lot ,thank you for incredible images ,they just brightened my day up :)

you been witnessing the most beautiful and appropriate process of life near you :) such adorable kids and pretty mom :) really cute neighbors

i remembered some touching memories related to your topic and i think i am going to post about it with same topic as they are very powerful and overwhelming that i can't resist to share

wishing you a happy peaceful healthy life while having such wonderful neighbors :)

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Lovely neighbours you have there :) Poem and pictures were a delight.

Anonymous said...

So often your poetry makes me smile, and this was no exception. Beautiful as they are, they are a pest here in Australia.

crafty cat corner said...

I think those wonderful animals are worth a few flower heads, much nicer to look at than my slugs and snails who do the same thing to my plants, lol

only slightly confused said...

Who needs lawn ornaments when you have deer in your yarrd?

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Pretty bold neighbours, if you ask me. Grazing your yard. Treating it like it's their own. (Tell them they're welcome to come and munch in my yard!)
And next week is 'Windows'.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You have a lovely view of the deer and seeing the babies is an extra treat. They are such beautiful creatures. Your pictures are wonderful and you must have been so excited to get these shots.

I also love to see deer, but not in my yard in the spring and summer. As you stated, they are ravenous eaters and can take out a garden, that took weeks to plant and cultivate, in a few hours. I have to admit that if they ‘prune’ at the right time, some plants come back better.

nothoughtsnoprayersnonothing said...

I am sure you are my neighbor now because your pictures could have been taken in my neighborhood. I stepped out my front door once and almost stepped on a new born fawn.
I quit taking pictures of them but never quit watching and wondering about these beautiful neighbors.

Marie Smith said...

I envy you these neighbours. I’ve never lived in a province which had deer.

Red said...

Interesting critters to watch. The woods near your place must be full of deer. Oh yes, the poem keeps us thinking until the end.

The Happy Whisk said...

Very nicely written.
We love deer too.
And so cool, I got to see your video.
That's super duper fun to watch.
Have a groovy week.
Cheers and boogie boogie.

jenny_o said...

I'm looking forward to reading your post, baili!

Thank you for your good wishes, which I return to you also.

jenny_o said...

They are better than a lot of human neighbours would be, actually :)

jenny_o said...

Some people consider them a pest here also. There has been talk of a cull, birth control, and feeding stations to keep them out of urban areas. Other people, such as my husband and I, don't see them as a pest but as the original residents of our area, pushed out by continual expansion of the suburbs.

Glad you get a smile here from time to time!

jenny_o said...

I never tire of looking at them, Briony! Sometimes, I have to confess, I whimper a bit when they clean the buds and leaves off my rhododendrons, but they have to eat :)

jenny_o said...

Well, I wouldn't mind having a few gnomes, but otherwise, you're right!

jenny_o said...

Very bold indeed! And we don't do anything to discourage it, so maybe we're part of the problem :)

Windows! Great topic! I'll update my post now!

jenny_o said...

I know it's hard to believe but I have dozens of other shots that are worse - lol - I picked the best for this post. They move around so much! Even when they're lying down! And I have to take most photos through the windows! ha ha

They really can destroy a garden in such a short time, can't they? I planted a small garden in a large, long container on our high deck this year because I knew it was futile to plant anything on the ground.

jenny_o said...

Oh, how amazing to have a fawn born right outside your door! It seems no matter how many times I see deer in our vicinity I still ooh and ahh over them, so I get what you're saying :)

jenny_o said...

But you can probably plant a garden without fencing and still have something to harvest later, right? lol

There are good and bad to most things. But I do feel lucky to be able to watch these graceful animals so closely.

jenny_o said...

The deer population has ups and downs like any wild animal. I think we're in an "up" at the moment.

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Ivy - I'm glad you could see the video. That little guy seemed to be just switching from mom's milk to greenery, although I'm just guessing from my spotty observation :)

dinthebeast said...

I read a story this week about someone who was getting their house ready for an oncoming storm and couldn't find the three orphaned fawns they had been looking after until they went back inside and found them sheltering in a corner of the living room. They had come in an open door, and were allowed to spend the stormy night inside.
I've had some wonderful neighbors, like Sherman Vernon, our first neighbor in Oakland. He was seventy when we met him, and when he found out that Briana had family in the wilds of Trinity County, he met them and went up to their property on a hunting trip. He had been a jazz pianist for decades and made his living playing when he lived in New Orleans, so it didn't really bother him when musicians (us) moved in next door to him and his wife, whose name escapes me just now. It was somewhat of a cultural awakening as Mr. Vernon was black and Briana's family were white.
Our neighbors at our last place started a taco stand in their driveway, and I miss them a lot.
The place we're probably moving to doesn't have many neighbors, except for the Christian summer camp across the road, and I don't think they're even around until late spring. There may be others that I didn't notice the time we visited there in 2016, but I'll just have to wait and find out.
I like your poem, and it would indeed be strange if you had human neighbors having babies in the trees along the property line.

-Doug soon to be in Sugar Pine, if all goes well

jenny_o said...

Good luck with the move, Doug. It's a shame you had to have all that upheaval so soon after the last move. Hope it all goes as planned.

It's so nice when neighbours become more like friends. Some folks are hard to get to know; others feel like kin.

Like Chicken, I love your comments - they're like a mini-post and always interesting.

Joanne Noragon said...

Oh, yeah, blame the cats. They don't eat the pansies.

jenny_o said...

Ha ha! No, they don't eat the pansies, but they shred the furniture!

Chickens Consigliere said...

Strange indeed! I had my bet on raccoons. I like deer better.

Chickens Consigliere said...

Lovely pictures, PD. I always feel so lucky to catch sight of a deer. You're really lucky to see them all the time. Well, except the eating of the geraniums, I guess. But you don't seem to mind too much. I always think of the deer in the winter and wish them well. Seems like such a harsh environment for such a graceful creature and their fur doesn't look near warm enough.

jenny_o said...

I know what you mean, but I've seen them lie for several hours in the snow and they look quite comfy. The only thing that keeps me sane on really miserable nights is to repeat to myself that all wild animals have adaptations to let them survive most natural conditions. And I can't help them all anyhow - it's physically impossible.

Nature sucks a lot of the time and it can drive you nuts if you think about it too long.

Yikes. That went downhill fast! Sorry . . .

Powdered Toast Man said...

I thought the poem was about octopus.

River said...

I know they cause a lot of trouble for gardeners, but they are so beautiful.

Martha said...

Oh my gosh, how sweet! They are so adorable. I wasn't sure which animal was going to end up in your poem. I thought squirrels or raccoons or skunks or crows or rabbits...but not deer :)

Susan said...

I am the owner of a meadow. I have told our deer many, many times they are welcome to graze there as much as they want. I thought the agreement was, in return, they would leave my roses alone-they maintain they never saw the agreement and certainly never signed anything. I count the babies and always hope they will show up the following year.

jenny_o said...

Ye-e-e-s-s . . . with little fur coats - lol

jenny_o said...

I feel lucky to be able to see them at such close range. I'm not that invested in our plants, and for anything I need to replace, I try to pick deer-resistant options.

jenny_o said...

Hah! We've had all of the above - ALL - at different times, but the deer made it to the poem. lol

jenny_o said...

Ha ha! Those tricky Cervidae with their denial and their lack of opposable thumbs! They'll come out on top every time :)

Anonymous said...

Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell
and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear
and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside
and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

messymimi said...

Precious and exasperating neighbors, indeed!

jenny_o said...

Poor girl! I think if I got my ear pinched I wouldn't want to go back either :)

jenny_o said...

Gotta take the bad with the good, I guess :)

Steve Reed said...

What great pictures -- and a great poem, of course. I love the spots on those baby deer. I had no idea they'd eat a geranium -- seems like it would have a very strong taste, based on how they smell. But I notice it didn't eat the leaves!

Diane Henders said...

We love to watch the deer around here, too... but on the OTHER side of the 8' tall page-wire fence we've installed. I like the neighbours a lot better when they can't invite themselves in to snack on all my precious garden goodies. ;-)

jenny_o said...

This is the first year they ate either the perennial or the annual geraniums. I also saw them eating the neighbours' chrysanthemums in early fall. Seems they enjoy a wide variety of flowers (as well as my rhododendron buds and leaves) :)

jenny_o said...

Hah! I don't blame you a bit!

Hopefully the animals will never get so pushy you need to electrify that fence :)

Mr. Shife said...

Your poem is A-okay too. I think I would like those kind of neighbors but Ms. Frizzle might have some issues. Have a great week yourself.

jenny_o said...

Indeed she would! Thanks, Mr. S.

Cherie said...

Jenny they are lovely photo's and almost worth losing a few flowers for.. almost but not quite.

37paddington said...

You have the best of both worlds it seems, at least when it comes to the various sorts of neighbors!

jenny_o said...

I'm okay with it, Cherie - everybody has to eat :)

jenny_o said...

We've been very lucky!

The Happy Whisk said...

What cutie. We love seeing them in our yard.
Wiggy, our bigger dog wants to play with them.
Have a groovy week, Jenny.