Deer with Hungry Eyes

Ice and snow falling,
covering the cold hard ground.
Deer with hungry eyes
come close to my house searching
for something to eat.
Many of these deer
will not make it through winter.
It is sad to see
there are no acorns this year.
In desperation,
deer are eating plants and trees
that they usually do not.

And I watched as the little one
turned its head up towards mother
as if to ask–
“Momma…are we going to be OK?”
Because we live in the Civil War Chancellorsville battlefield area, a lot of deer pass through our yard every day. It is easy to see that their fear of hunger is now much greater than their fear of humans. Acorns are about 75 percent of the white-tailed deer’s winter diet, and no acorns fell from the oak trees here this year. I know that there is no way that all of these deer are going to find enough food to survive.  Nature is beautiful, but sometimes it is so harsh!    ~ms

About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in Animals, Nature, Photo Essay, photography, Poetry, wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Deer with Hungry Eyes

  1. Deer are very hardy, hopefully they’ll all make through this winter.

  2. kiwiskan says:

    that’s so sad – I guess there’s no way to help…

    • There really is nothing that can be done. It’s in the hands of Mother Nature. Even if I throw a whole bag full of “critter” food out into the woods….it is gone within an hour. There’s too many deer. That’s because there is federal park land around us and it is a protected area. Because there are no acorns around, they are even eating the bird seed (and I think they would have to eat pounds of bird seed to do themselves any good).
      People up in Northern VA have been told to stop putting out bird seed, because black bears also needed the acorns to make it through the winter—and the bears, in desperation, have been showing up in people’s yards looking for food. I have never seen a bear around here, but that would certainly be intimidating to see one of those looking into my basement window.

  3. dorannrule says:

    We are seeing lots more deer around the house now too. I thought it might be beccause we lost our big dog so there are no threats now. Never thought of the acorns. And you are right, they are eating things they left alone before. So sad because they are such beautiful creatures. Your photos bring us right into their families.

    • Maybe the deers out your way will find something good to eat in the mountains.
      I do think they are creatures of habit, though.
      They seem to prefer to follow the same path every day, even if there is not much to eat along the way.

  4. Beautiful Captures – these deer have some winter coat going on too:) Happy Day!

  5. montucky says:

    The White tail species has seen this before and they are very resourceful. they flourish here through some very harsh winters and there isn’t an acorn within a thousand miles.

    • I think that the deer might have a better chance to find alternate food sources in Montana where there is a lot of wide open land. Here the land has been taken over by highways, roads, stores, and houses. A lot of the underbrush has been stripped out. Homeowners who have spent money on “landscaping” around their houses, get upset when they see hungry deer hanging around….and they chase them away. Except for the battlefield park around us, I don’t know if there are enough good places for them to look for alternate food.

      • montucky says:

        As with the deer than come through our place every night, I wish them well. Many years ago I planted a pasture grass in the front of the house , about a half acre. I mow it in summer, but come fall I let it grow long. It’s surprising how many deer paw through the snow and feed on it. Actually I see the more “urban” deer doing well in winter, of course at the expense of people’s landscaping.

  6. Heather says:

    beautiful deer…sad to hear there are so many and so little food!!! 😦

    • They will go around to all the houses, searching for food. They will eat expensive landscaping and people will get upset. BUT, the truth is….they were here first.

      • Heather says:

        Oh I know…when I lived lakeside for 20 years we had a great many deer who would visit…for the most part what I planted they didn’t like so most of the time I didn’t loose anything…but for me it was dangerous to have them roaming…it was nothing to see 5 or more walking down the middle of the road at dusk or later…my son actually hit one as he came up over a bit of a hill…it darted out in front of his truck and didn’t stand a chance… 😦

        • Yes, we drive slow.
          One of our neighbors had $7,000 damage to the front end of her new car after a deer jumped out into the road. The car kind of survived, but the poor deer did not.

          • Heather says:

            yes, it is normal for my family to drive slow in the areas we know deer populate…we’ve lived with them for so long! Sadly sometimes things can’t be avoided! My son was driving a truck and the poor deer didn’t survive…he felt badly and made sure it was removed as he didn’t want the school children to see it on the side of the road in the morning!

  7. Patty B says:

    they are indeed very beautiful – I did not think about the acorns either. I know there have been more bears around here in northcentral PA than before. Poor things – my heart goes out to them.

    • Yes. The bears rely on acorns too. I hear they have been raiding bird feeders, looking for food. It would take a lot of bird seed to satisfy a bear!

      • Patty B says:

        A friend of mine who does live a little ways out of the city limits but still in a residential area is having a problem with a bear at their bird and squirrel feeders. Strange to have a bear problem so close to town

  8. They look so fuzzy and I love the way you’ve captured the wee one’s little face looking up at its mama. How sweet.

  9. Mary, these are precious photographs of deer, living in a big city as i do i envy your proximity to wildlife. honestly, i’ve never heard of acorns not falling, has that happened before in your area?

    • Apparently it has happened before, but not to this extent. Some years there are a lot of acorns, and sometimes there are not many. It’s a cyclical thing, I guess. But this year, there are none at all…which is not good for the wildlife at all.

  10. oh and i almost forgot to ty for liking so many of my poems lately, and for doing a little digging in the archives. you resurrected a few i had forgotten about.

  11. I’m pulling for them.

  12. Lynda says:

    Mary, I just came upon this article and thought it might put you better at ease about your local deer. 🙂 (ref. food and feeding behavior)
    As always, I love your photography and poetry!

  13. So poignant… beautiful photos, Thanks for visiting my blog.

  14. Mary, these are such beautiful pictures. I hope your furry friends make it through the winter.

    Christmas Blessings ~ Wendy

  15. fabulous photographs and its really sad to think about their plight! they are such beautiful creatures 😦

  16. Genie says:

    Deer come in my yard every year also, they always eat plants and trees where I live so they should be ok. Tree bark has a lot of nutrients.

  17. Such beautiful animals and such a sad situation. I hope they will be alright 🙂

    • So far, it has been an abnormally cold winter in Virginia and another snow and ice storm is on the way. The deer that I used to see in my backyard–I haven’t seen them in awhile. I do hope they are OK. My friend recently had a hungry squirrel chew through a screen on her deck and eat part of a cheesecake that she had just baked for her husband’s birthday. I didn’t know squirrels ate cheesecake…but I guess when your hungry, anything edible is good food!

  18. Line says:

    Oh, I love this!! 🙂 They are soooo beautiful!! 🙂

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