My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pancho & Lefty

I looked out my sunroom window yesterday to see Peanut basking in one of his favorite spots by the back fence, and he definitely had all his pieces-parts. A little while later I spied him in his customary spot under my kitchen window, making his mooney-eyes at me in hopes of wheedling a mushroom or carrot. And still he had all his pieces-parts.

But a little while after that (maybe 30 minutes?) I looked out the patio door, and this time our Mr. P was looking decidedly lopsided!

He had clearly just lost his left antler, as the "socket" was still bleeding. So I looked all around the patio and back yard, but I couldn't find it. When I fed Mocha, I searched the barn area and Mocha's paddock, but still didn't find Peanut's missing antler. However, a smaller buck, who is very shy and rarely comes around, had shown up with the regular gang and darned if he wasn't missing his right antler! That was suspicious enough, but then I noticed Peanut giving him the stink-eye, and him giving Peanut a wide berth, and I figured they'd been duking it out. I told BW the story last night when he got home so he'd keep his eyes peeled for Peanut's antler, and that's when he named the shy buck "Lefty," and started calling Peanut "Pancho." This morning I managed to find Lefty's missing antler, but Peanut seems to have hidden his! Note his sly "Nyah, nyah, I've got a secret!" expression...

That's okay, he may be secretive and lopsided, but he's still my sweet boy! :-)


  1. That is the weirdest. Are new antlers gonna grow in? I really ought to know this, I'm from Maine, but we didn't get deer in Old Orchard Beach. Just seagulls, and if they loose a body part it won't grow back, but they'll keep coming after your french fries nonetheless. Maybe Peanut and Lefty were fighting over a lady...maybe soon you'll be an aunt.

  2. LOL over the seagulls and french fries (I remember that!) Deer shed their antlers annually, as early as January but as late as March or even April. (It's usually in February around here, so this seemed a bit early). They'll start growing new ones, which will be covered in a velvety material and very sensitive, in the spring. Mating season ended a while ago, so while I have no doubt I'm going to be an aunt again, I think Peanut and Lefty were probably tussling over Mocha's alfalfa hay during our subzero temps the past couple of days. Finding Lefty's antler in the middle of the hay remnants gave me a clue about motive... but I'm mystified about where Peanut left his!

    By the way, we attach shed antlers I find on my hikes to our fence posts. The birds use them as perches, for sharpening their beaks, and to help open sunflower seeds, and the squirrels and chipmunks gnaw on them for the calcium and to maintain their dental hygiene. :-)

  3. You take the best animal photos! The expressions that you capture on their faces are just amazing.

    I didn't know about the antler shedding either, but am glad to hear they will grow back.

    Have a great evening,

  4. Thank you, Alicia! I just get lucky, really... or maybe it's that the critters are always wearing great expressions, so I can't help but capture them on film when I press the button! :-) Truly, I miss, due to bad timing or lack of a camera, far more great photos than I manage to take.

    Yes, it's pretty amazing that deer, elk, moose, etc all grow these huge antlers, made almost entirely of calcium, every single year. And where do they get all their calcium? (Say it with me, fellow vegans)... From plants! ;-D

  5. LOL, love the calcium comment. If I had a dollar for ever fool that told me I couldn't get enough calcium or protein on a vegan diet I would be rich. I love your delivery!

    I can't wait to see what critters you photograph next. Punky is still my favorite, so far. That face of his is just too cute!


  6. I love seeing pictures of Peanut! That's a really good use for their antlers. :)

  7. Hey, Alicia, that's an idea... every time someone says that to you, tell them, "Thank you, that will be $1, please!" ;-) When it comes up, I like to mention all the large herbivores with big skeletons and plenty of muscle mass, like bison, elephants, moose, hippos, horses, gorillas, etc and ask the person where they figure those critters get their calcium and protein. They have no choice but to say, "from plants." Sometimes it's an epiphany (as it was for me) and sometimes not, but it's still the best way to illustrate a truth about plant nutrients and vegan nutrition that I've found.

    I wish you could meet Punky, you would really love him in person! He's got a personality that's every bit as adorable as his fuzzy face! (And I think he knows it, too!) :-)

    Thanks, Molly, I think it's a fun way to use and recycle the antlers, too! And Peanut is a fun guy know and to photograph. Oh, by the way, he's missing both antlers this morning, so I have twice as good a chance of finding one of them now! :-)

  8. Well, color me amazed, I'm constantly learning new things on this blog. Deer grow new antlers every year? Gee! That looked painful with the blood and all! I'd say he deserves a little treat to make him feel a little better. :-D

  9. By the way, I just saw this and thought of your post!

    Mutts Strip 12/19/09

  10. Hi, VW! (I've missed you!) :-) I know, it does seem like it would be painful. The bloody spot where his antler had been looked a lot like an empty tooth socket, so I'm hoping it was no more painful than having a loose tooth fall out. But even then, the Tooth Fairy brings you something to make you feel better, so fear not... the Cookie Fairy did no less for our Mr. P! :-)

    Ha, silly Mooch! (I don't blame the deer for having big eyes over that!) :-)

  11. Owie! Poor deer!
    Get it, poor dear, poor deer! Ah ha ha ha ha!!
    I am officially going to volunteer to come over for search & rescue for the antler!
    It could take a while!! LOL :-)

  12. Izzy - I shared your "oh deer" quip with Peanut tonight, and he found you quite amusing. :-) I guess you'd better get on out here to help look for those three missing antlers, 'cause I sure haven't been able to find them yet! Even on multiple hikes and after a lot of snow melt. Where DID those boys hide them??


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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