With Cindy in Vermont, I have to rely on Emma to help me find bones, skulls and other interesting tidbits to display in the coffee table. This morning she presented me with a just-shed antler. I had noticed a lot of deer tracks earlier on the morning walk. I think the antler had been just shed because the "head-end" was bright white, with not a speck of dirt, and as it has sat here in the house, it has turned beige.
When we first came to live here, six years ago, we hardly ever saw deer, but this year we have seen a lot of them. There is the herd of mule deer that practically lives in the neighborhood. A couple of months ago I watched more than 20 of them cross our road, and we surprised probably the same herd on Cindy's property when we came to feed her horses lunch about a week ago.
We often see deer on our rides too; not all of them mule deer, but there are blacktail deer in the Forest, and Coues deer in the Stronghold. Horses being prey animals are always on the alert for other species and often Buggsy will draw my attention to them by stopping and putting his head in the air to get a whiff of them.
Meanwhile, I spent the morning planting. The peas are doing well, and had to be staked; I sowed more lettuce and beets, and planted the rest of the flowers that were pining away in the cold frame. The sunflowers for the Great Sunflower Project were doing very well, and I put them into the ground by the barn. I wonder if I have fortified them sufficiently against whomever mowed them down last year. Just in case I have planted some in the garden as well. Overall, the plants are doing well in spite of rather cool temperatures, especially at night, and a week of high winds.