Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sweet Tooth had a Baby!
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time may recall "Sweet Tooth", a member of our local gluten-free wildlife. Sweet Tooth is one of the female White-Tailed Deer in our neighborhood that is especially fond of - you guessed it - sweets! She helped out with all the leftover gluten-free desserts during product testing and the writing of the Gourmet Gluten-Free Desserts book over the past couple years. And, she has now given birth to this cute little Fawn that was nice enough to let me take its picture as it rested in some tall grass a few days ago.
I'm always amazed how fast the baby deer go from being helpless and fragile to running right along with their mothers and bounding over the various obstacles in the neighborhood. There are at least two newborns that frequent our yard now, and though they are staying close to their mothers, they will soon be playing games with each other much like children. Last year we had three young deer here that would play tag (from the looks of it), where one would try to encourage the others to take chase through the trees, around my neighbors barn, and through half a dozen other surrounding yards. They also practice their flying leaps and bounds that are nothing short of amazing - a full grown one can jump a length of 30 feet, and an 8-foot high fence!
Though it's a bit early to tell if Sweet Tooth's baby will be equally tame and an equal fan of our gluten-free baking, I'd expect we'll find out later this year. Sweet Tooth is certainly the most "tame" deer we have around the neighborhood, and she will even come to visit if we see her roaming about off in the distance and call for her (I really think she knows her name too - the one we have given her at least - as she responds to it!) Even if she is with a group of other deer, she'll come to see what we have to offer - be it some GF leftovers, an Apple, a tomato, or a few other favored treats. Her little one is usually close by now, though not always apparent since it tends to stay hidden in tall grass until feeding time.
In case you wondered, we don't feed Sweet Tooth directly out of our hands like a pet -- she'll come within about 4 feet or so, and that's close enough for both of us. Her fawn still stays a good 30 feet away, which is not surprising, especially given it has no desire for fruits or other snacks yet while it is reliant upon its mother's milk.
Other deer in the neighborhood don't behave the same as Sweet Tooth, and usually stay at least 20 or so feet away and don't even necessarily like apples if presented with one (though, one other deer has a taste for corn and sunflower seed mix that we occasionally put out for the birds and squirrels). But, in an interesting display of ingenuity, the corn-loving dear has learned that we sprinkle the corn-kernels and seed near the base of a few trees - and, it now checks around all the trees within a 100' radius "just in case" :)
Well, that's it for today. A summer distraction, but certainly a cute one. And, it'll be interesting watching Sweet Tooth's Baby grow up and play in the neighborhood. Now, if only there was a way to keep the deer (in general) from getting into my wife's flower-gardens...