We don't feed the deer during the season because we'd prefer not to coax them out of the shadows with the promise of food and into the crosshairs of a high-powered rifle.
But beginning in February, when their food source gets scarce, we feed them under the apple tree down in the field between the house and barn. They are still too skittish to come out in daylight by summer, they're almost eating out of our hands.
This evening when I walked down, Caillou almost knocked me down as he scooted through the back gate between my legs. He weighs close to 80 pounds now and he's a lump.
After dumping the corn, I leaned against the apple tree and watched the sun dip ever lower. A few feet from the tree, a shaft of sunlight fell on a patch of moss the size of a basketball. Pulling my phone from my pocket, I snapped a few shots for grins and giggles.
When I started back toward the house, Caillou was watching me expectantly. I hurled the plastic feed bucket as far as I could throw it. He was off like a shot and almost caught it before it hit the ground. Snarling and growling, he gave that plastic bucket a piece of his mind before bringing it back to me for another toss.
The cooler weather suits him and he will fetch until my arm is weary.
Jilda is feeling much better and she called us in for supper from the back deck. All in all, it's been a good day.