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House of Deer

By: Nicolas Laube On: 11:31 AM
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  • House of Deer -- you may have to wait a few seconds for the pictures but they are amazing. These photos come from a family who lives on the Olympic Peninsula in the area of west of Brinnon, Washington.

    Eva in the pyramid

    Our house was built in the deer's natural habitat in a remote rural area. Well, worn deer trails cut through the property's abundant pine and sage. The oldest deer we've met (we call her Mama Rose) walked right up to us when we first arrived, sniffing and looking us over. Rose smelled some almonds in my pocket so I gave her a few. We gave some almonds to her family a few other times but stopped the practice when advised that feeding deer is illegal. Even so, that didn't stop them from regular visits. Rose and her kin obviously think the yard belongs to them as much as anyone else, and they are just taking advantage of the wealth of natural foods growing everywhere. They especially like clover flowers, but it's amazing to see the variety of tasty flowers, leaves, twigs, nuts and berries they'll eat. They stay away from herbs and herbal flowers, but on occasion we've seen young deer eating the sweet medicinal berries of the Juniper tree. Food is of course a major concern, but we also think they visit because they like our company. Often we see deer we don't know nibbling in the yard, but nearly everyday some or many of Rose's extended family come by. All of the deer are likely to lay down on the grass and hang out, whether we know them well or not. Many of them know us personally, and while often running into the yard to greet us with their quiet enthusiasm, they will also swiftly shy away from strangers. Although notoriously skittish, able to leap meters in the air in an instant when startled, a few deer we know, most notably Eva and her kids, will let us touch them as if we were family, letting us scratch them or pick something out of their fur. Eva even enjoys a hearty back rub! We've certainly learned a lot about how to act around them so as not to disturb them. We think they appreciate our efforts in fitting into their neighborhood.

    Freddy with his first big antlers

    Marlis in the back yard with nine deer from Mama Rose's family 

    Mama Rose, the matriarch -- she taught us "the way of the deer". In winter 2005 she disappeared, passing her throne on to Lisa. 

    Lisa explaining the situation to Rasa 


    Marlis hanging out with Lisa

      Two women sharing a secret

     Rasa with Eva and her kids

     Freddy eating clover flowers

    Rasa explaining the situation to Rosie

    Lisa and Eva looking up to the balcony

    Young Ram with Marlis

    Rasa giving Charlotta a third eye massage
    (when he was very young we thought this guy was female,
    But when his velvet antler brow first began to appear, and we realized our mistake, we decided to leave him as a buck named Charlotta)
    Lisa ringing the front door bell with her nose
     Could be any afternoon they drop by 

    Talking business
    Mama Rose on the balcony 

    Young Ram practices the nose ritual with Rasa
     Well, come right in . .
    So cute!


    1. This is adorable; deers as "pets"!

    2. How dear of these folk to have such a nice place for the deer to hang out.

    3. Great folks to make such a safe haven for the little dear, generation after generation.

    4. I have deer that come by to visit me, too! We moved here to the "wild hinterlands" 7 years ago and that's when I first saw "Mama Deer" and "Baby Boy & Girl" deer. Every other year or so Mama has twins -- a boy and a girl, I began speaking gently to them outside every time I would see them out the window and, pretty soon, they got to where they wouldn't automatically run when they saw me. They'll stand and look at me curiously for as long as I'll talk to them. I always worry for "Baby Boy", though... Those antlers are like a death warrant as hunters can legally only kill bucks.

    5. I would love to have that type of a relationship with deer...I'm so jealous! lol