In the cool, 52-degree temperature of early morning - never mind that it would near 90 by mid-afternoon - I glanced through the window at my outdoor thermometer and saw a "new" deer savoring apples. She was the first different deer to visit in about a month. But there was something different about this doe's behavior as well.
She kept looking around nervously between bites. Was she concerned about a predator? Hearing disturbing sounds? It didn't seem likely - her big ears weren't zeroing in on any particular direction. I shrugged, wished her well, and went to the front door to get the morning newspaper. That's when I saw the answer in the form of a worried-looking fawn.
The little squirt, three months old or so, had given up on leaping the four-foot-high fence its mother had jumped and was heading around the house, looking another way to get into the back yard where the apple feast was going on. Unfortunately, that four-foot fence was the lowest access point available. The fawn was out of luck.
The doe, seeming more disturbed all the time, didn't stick around long, despite the abundance of fruit. Within minutes it soared over the fence and went looking for the youngster.
Late this afternoon I looked out again. There was my old pal, the doe with markings I know so well. She was relaxing at the last station of the apple tree. Soon she'd be gone, too.