Tag Archives: Bambi

Signs That Man Has Been in the Woods


Coneflower about to bloom–not unusual in Iowa, but this one is in the woods behind my house, the first I’ve ever seen there.

Remember that scene in “Bambi” when the father deer warns his son, “man is in the woods?” You could play the Darth Vader theme under those words.

Well, this man was in the woods briefly today, and they don’t seem to have suffered much from my presence.

I was doing some minor yard work—I installed a new swing set not long ago, and today put some paving blocks under the legs to keep them from digging into the soil. I spread some wood chips, too, and put some new sand in the sandbox.

I also weeded, a bit, which for a forgetful gardener like me can be a bit too exciting. “Is this supposed to be growing here? Did I plant it?”

Anyway, I noted a young oak tree in my back yard, and rather than just leave it and mow it off, I decided to move it to what I call the “deer salad bar,” aka, the woods behind my fence.


Oak tree in the yard.


The same oak tree, now in the woods, ready to be eaten by Bambi.

Man is in the woods. Planting tasty trees that Bambi and his deer tribe will shortly take advantage of. I’ve planted hundreds of volunteer oaks in the woods—doomed ashes largely comprise those woods—and deer have feasted on them.

And I just walked about the woods a bit, and was a bit taken aback.

I’ve lived in this house for 15 years, and in that time I’ve wasted countless wildflower seeds and young oak trees in these woods. Whatever I plant seems to not germinate, get chocked out by the competition, or is eaten by Bambi and friends.

What took me aback was evidence that I had been here before—in the form of three plants that would not be in these woods without me.

A coneflower is getting ready to bloom. I’ve never seen coneflowers growing in these woods before, but I’ve planted many a seed—one must have finally sprouted.

A Catalpa tree has reached a height of 5 feet. Again, there were no Catalpa back here before, but maybe they don’t taste as good to Bambi as Oaks do. I’ve collected some Catalpa seeds from a neighborhood tree, and put them back here among the many other seeds I’ve planted.


Catalpa in the woods.

Finally, and most exciting, at the edge of the woods in the sunshine and tall grass, a Milkweed is growing. Well, cool. I’ve been scattering Milkweed seeds at the sunny edge of the woods for years, and this is the first plant I’ve seen.

May it spread by seed and roots.



Finally, after planting my Oak and photographing my woodsy baby plants, I made a few photographs in the yard of flowers and insects, just because I can it and was that kind of day.

Man has been in the woods, and the gardens. And I hope that both are better for it.

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Deerly Not Always Beloved

Deer at feeder

Bambi's mom in neighbor's yard.

OK, Bambi’s mom stopped by the neighborhood early Monday, and she was cool to see.

(By the way, why are go-go dancers sometimes named “Bambi?” After all, the deer Bambi became king of the forest, not pole dancer of the forest …)

Anyway, our location on northeast side of Cedar Rapids adjacent to a creekbed and the line of trees that parallel the creek means we often see animals—woodchuck, many birds, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and deer. The squirrels and chipmunks are OK, they dig up a few bulbs, but don’t do enough damage to fuss about.

Rabbits, on the other hand, are a huge pain.

Deer have that potential, they certainly eliminate most of the trees I plant behind our fence, but luckily our fence seems to keep them out of our backyard. I think technically most adult deer could easily clear our fence, but maybe they don’t want to because it’s too solid for them to see on the other side. Or maybe I just provide them with so much tree salad they don’t care.

Whatever. A couple of photos of Bambi’s mom here, and a link to more photos on Facebook.

We’ve moved our bird feeders but haven’t started stocking yet, since I think food is still probably pretty abundant. While we wait for our winter bird visitors, it was nice of the deer to check in. And nicer for her to do it in the neighbor’s yard.

Mama deer again.

Mama deer again posing for camera.


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