When I look up from my computer, this is what I see – almost exactly this angle! Why have I called this post “Deer Food”? Well, because that’s what those white blossoms are. The plant is called a Sotol, and the stalk shoots up like an asparagus spear in about a week, and is covered with nascent blossoms. Then the blossoms come out, and the smaller birds gather around. Apparently it doesn’t have enough rigidity to hold a bigger bird because I’ve seen pyrrhuloxia land and take off in a flash.
But deer food? Yes, I’m coming to that.
The other night, we had a plethora of wildlife activity. The roadrunners were still here (gone now), and the jackrabbits and cottontails were all taking advantage of the watering pond. The Scaled and the Gambel’s Quail were getting their share, and, as dusk crept in, a doe and her good-sized fawn were having their water in the alley behind the house two doors down from us. They drank and drank – taking turns keeping watch – and then sauntered down my way. Of course I hadn’t brought out my camera, and it was really too dark to use the iPhone camera – but I guess I should have at least tried. But I just sat very still and watched them.
They came down the alley, nibbling on the pods that grow on the mesquite trees, and then the doe discovered the white blossoms from the sotol that had fallen to the ground. Apparently these are mighty good eating, because the mother gobbled them all up without calling to the fawn to come join her. There were a few left by the time the fawn got here, though, and she scarfed them right up.
While they were over in the mesquite trees right in back of our house, I saw a coyote trot with determination right past and a bit behind them. He didn’t seem at all interested in them, or maybe he didn’t see them. Hard to say. Anyway, there was no altercation. I don’t know what I would have done had he gone for that baby! Probably Mom was more than capable of dealing with him.
The next night I was sure to take out my camera, but all that showed up was a herd of about five huge javelina at the watering hole down the alley. Something spooked them almost immediately, and they took off quickly. Didn’t see any more of them.
Last night? Just birds. But we like the birds, too, and they have been a bit scarce with the roadrunners in residence. They seem to be making a comeback now. This morning there was a determined woodpecker inspecting the birdhouse. I took some pictures, but haven’t looked at them yet.
No sign of any roadrunners yesterday or today. Sad to see them go, but now we can sit out on our deck again to drink our coffee in the mornings and afternoons! ;->