The town deer in Port Angeles love the Five SeaSuns gardens with its lush greenery, ample shade, water feature, and secluded area that I refer to as “the fawn nursery.” They are here year-round, eating tasty plants and apples, playing, and resting in the shade. They seem to feel comfortable and safe here, which is a delight.
In late spring, pregnant does spend an increased amount of time in the garden, resting and eating, and we await new fawns with anticipation. For the last several years, at least two does have had fawns here, typically a single fawn to a young mom, and twins to more experienced moms, all born in June. The moms make sure that the babies are safe in the fawn nursery or tucked into ferns, and they head off to eat and roam. The young fawns sleep a lot, curled up together like kittens or puppies, until their mothers return again in the evening.
As the fawns grow, they explore the garden more, nibbling on plants and running laps around the garden, always returning to their safe spot for naps. They will stay close to their moms in their first year and start exploring the neighborhood by their mom’s side.
Several of the resident deer have captured the hearts of everyone. Chetti, the curious and friendly male fawn born two years ago, is one. He often walked right up the side door to say hello, and in his second year started hanging around with two other juvenile males. They’d show up regularly, tearing through the garden on a feeding frenzy, even eating things that deer are not supposed to like (such as marigolds).
Lola, the 3-legged deer, missing most of a rear leg, is another special deer. She is a feisty and fearless girl, and I hoped that she too would have her own babies. This year I was thrilled to see her visibly pregnant, but she chose to deliver her baby somewhere else. All summer I wondered where she was and if she was ok, and one day in the fall, she showed up with her baby boy by her side. I was so happy to know that she and baby were thriving.
Each year brings new hope and surprises, and as the dark days of winter slowly get longer and spring blooms, we get ready to begin the cycle anew, with the hope of welcoming a new batch of fawns to call Five SeaSuns their home.