I almost missed her, so well did she blend into the surroundings. The remains of her mottled winter coat perfectly matched the dead leaves on the forest floor.
My movement with the camera at the window caused her to turn my way. What a beauty! I couldn't yet see her markings to tell if this was one of my regular visitors.
As I approached with a new feed block and a bag of apples I had leftover from making apple crisp, the deer got up and backed off while I opened and set out the food. Before I'd reached the house, I turned and saw that she'd moved back in to begin eating.
Was she bellowing out a thank you or just chewing with her mouth wide open? From the markings on her flank, I could see it was the deer I call Lucy. Her coat was shaggy and uneven as she had begun dropping her heavy winter coat. She looked thick around the middle and I wondered whether she was carrying babies this spring too.
Packing her mouth with several apples all at once, I laughed at the expression on her face which said, "Caught in the act." Perhaps she didn't want to share with others who might come along.
It's good to have the deer return to my safe haven and I look forward to watching them over the spring and summer months. I'm hoping that fawns will come visiting soon also.