For the second day in a row, my young buck lazed about my back yard in the middle of Helena, first digging out a little lie-down space before dawn in the sparce snow near my suddenly stick-like lilac tree, then enjoying the greening grass as 38-degree sunshine made more and more of the snow go away. The buck, three points on one side, two on the other, antlers skinny as twigs, was gone by 4 p.m., but around 6one of my does - the one with her two near-grown children - came strolling down my alley. I walked outside toward my back fence to get a better look - I was wondering how the youngster who had injured itself jumping my fence this summer was doing. She was the injured fawn that stumbled around my back yard for hours until I noticed the mother hanging around outside the fence. After I opened the gate, the mom timidly stuck her head around the fence-post - and her kids leaped up, animated again, and scooted to her side. (Except the injured one, who limped to her side.) Anyway, today as I walked toward them, the little family froze, as deer do when something is approachinbg. But by now, I am a known factor ... known to be benign, so they resumed feeding on my back neighbor's grass. The injured young gal - noticeably smaller now than her sister, - is no longer limping so noticeably. But her gait is stiff. I daoubt she could scamper across a street if need be.
Anyway, the threesome, at 60- to 90-second intervales, walked across the relatively quiet street in front of my house and disappeared into another neighbor's back yards. As always, I hope to see them again.