A cold spring with frost at all the wrong times and a very dry summer decimated our fruit crop this year. Only one pear tree had a little fruit. Where last year the mule deer had apples, plums, pears and grapes to choose from, this year our cervine visitors are limited to a few pears. That does not deter the mule deer from coming by each day to eat all of the windfalls and low-hanging fruit.
Leonard and I always concede the low fruit to the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and claim the top of the trees for ourselves. Unfortunately the adult deer are quite adept at standing on their hind legs and invading “our” territory. Not only do the deer reach high fruit in this manner, they also break branches. Oh well, no permanent harm done to the fruit trees – and we love the deer wandering about the yard.
These mule deer (three does and one young buck in the group) were photographed outside my kitchen window (Modoc County CA) as they enjoyed the windfall pears.