--- Dot, a doe ---
--- Dot's right ear nick ---
DOT - a doe with a black dot on her right side near the top middle of her back. On close inspection, she has a small nick at the 11:00 position on the outside of her right ear. Her left hip is preceded by a small diagonal scar pointing SSE.
Dot has two fawns and I am still trying to tell them apart. Unlike the adults, the fawns don't have scars to readily distinguish them. Recently, I realized not all of their spots are identically arranged, so I'm trying to memorize their individual patterns. This will only work through the summer because they lose their spots when they shed into their winter coats. For now, in the Dr. Seuss fashion, I call the fawns Dot 1 and Dot 2. I first met Dot 1 and Dot 2 in late May while cursing my brush cutter.
The Dot Family visits the farmyard everyday between 6 and 9 AM and again between 6 and 9 PM. Currently, they are bedding down in the willow thicket below the Ortega corral. Dot 1 and Dot 2 are often within a few feet of each other. I think one might be the leader, foraging ahead of the other and wandering the farthest from the doe. As with all twins, the behavior of one is often attributed to the other. They are curious about noises and the cat, but will scamper away at any sudden movement towards them.
If you want to see fawns this time of year, I recommend you stake out a California buckeye tree that is dropping its leaves. Settle in a good viewing spot with binoculars about 1/2 hour before dusk. A deer family will likely come by to pick up the leaves that have fallen in the past day. If you are at least 30 feet away and quiet, the deer may freeze at first when you slowly move your binocular hands up to your face, but will probably go back to crunching the dry leaves if you are as still as possible. The new deer families seem to follow a daily routine, so if you spot them once, it might be a good viewing spot for much of the summer.
Next up - Bump and Button.
- For hour designations or compass directions (11:00 or SSE), imagine the center of the clock or compass is the center of the deer's body as you look at it. Eleven o'clock is to your upper left. SSE stands for south-southeast on a compass or generally to your lower right.
- When referencing the deer's right or left side, it is from the animal's perspective, not the viewer's. Thus, if I say left foreleg, it is the front leg on the left side of the deer, however, if you are facing the deer, that leg will actually be on your right.