Saturday, 05 August, 2006

Deer nerd

I've mentioned a time or two before that we have many deer in the neighborhood.  They were cute the first year until they ate Debra's roses (and everything else pretty) in the spring.  Then they became big bony rats as far as we were concerned.  The deer are still the source of some amusement, especially when Charlie chases them, and of course we still enjoy fresh venison when one of our friends comes hunting.  All things considered, though, I'll be happy when we get the fence up and they don't come visiting anymore.

The other day I was pedaling down the street on my way home and I saw this buck with something odd hanging on his antlers.  I stopped and shot a few pictures, but they weren't very good.  In particular I couldn't make out what was on his antlers.  Friday evening I got another chance.

This still isn't a great picture, but it's the best I could do under the conditions and with my cheap little digital camera.  He was pretty skittish and there was a doe between us (off to the right and not visible in this shot) protecting her fawn.  She was not going to let me get close.  In any case, it's pretty clear that the buck has a branch--probably covered with ball moss--stuck in his antlers.  He's also missing about 1/4 of his right rear leg.  He hobbles when he walks.

I wonder if having something stuck in your antlers is the deer equivalent to nerdy stereotype highwater pants, a "kick me" sign pasted on your back, or a piece of toilet paper stuck to the heel of your shoe.  Lucky for the deer, he'll lose his nerdiness when the antlers fall off.