Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Private Life of Deer

I didn't take this picture, but I could have. I've been startled by a deer standing nearly right beside me in my backyard several times. It's hard to believe they have become so unaffected by human activity that ignoring us entirely suits them just fine. Yelling and throwing things will cause them to look up from your hosta for a second—long enough to give you a blank stare, a silent "huh?," before grazing some more.

I think this homeowner gave up on hostas and everything else! 
I do know the feeling.


If you've followed this blog for long, you've probably noticed I'm a little resentful of deer. My azaleas only bloom on the bottom third of the plant; my rose buds disappear; I've lost entire plants due to deer browsing. I could use a little help gaining an appreciation of these animals.

And that brings me to the point of the post: A new Nature episode, "The Private Life of Deer," will air on PBS on Wednesday, May 8th at 8:00. (Or, you can watch it at pbs.org/nature beginning after the broadcast. )

The deer population has exploded in the last century, from under a million to 30 million. Hmm no wonder we have a deer problem! Surprisingly, research highlighted on the show indicates that we unwittingly created the perfect environment for deer when we moved to suburbia. Open areas with a smorgasbord of plants arranged in thickets is just what they need! Who knew we were doing that?!

"The Private Life of Deer" will shine some light on the social behavior, feeding habits, and that deer-in-the-headlights effect we all know about. And, the rare albino deer of northern Wisconsin forests and the endangered miniature deer of the Florida keys (shown above) will be featured as well.

I recently let you know about "What Plants Talk About," which is part of the same Nature series. This one promises to be just as informative and entertaining.

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Photo credits from top to bottom: 1) ©THIRTEEN, 2) Katrina Sorrentino ©THIRTEEN, 3) ©THIRTEEN, 4) Katrina Sorrentino ©THIRTEEN

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