Can you say Tame?

by Phyllis Irene Radford

We feed the birds.  A cache of sunflower seeds resides in the biggest plastic bucket we own right beside the back door.  During bear season—April to November—we bring the feeders in at sunset.  Bears don’t just steal the seeds, they trash the feeders.

This winter we’ve had raccoons and squirrels slurping seeds out of the feeder, so we moved it another foot away from the deck.  Slowed the raccoons down but not the squirrels.  They climb the post and cling upside down.

Now it seems we’ve adopted a new family of hungry critters.

Mama and her 2 babies who were new in April.  Who knew that deer like sunflower seeds?

This morning my dh stomped onto the deck in his bathrobe and slippers and removed the feeder.  The deer didn’t move.  Then they stood and glared at him through the glass doors for a half hour until guilt hit him square in the gut.  He put the feeder out again.

Sigh.  I guess we budget a lot more money for sunflower seeds this winter.

Here’s Mr. Chessie objecting to the deer steal seeds from HIS birds.  His tail is 3 times its normal bushiness

Phyllis Irene Radford is a founding member of the Book View Café.  Though raised in the seaports of America she was born in Portland, Oregon and has lived in and around the city since her junior year in high school.  She thrives in the damp and loves the tall trees.

For more about her and her fiction please visit her bookshelf here on BVC

Or her personal web page


About Phyllis Irene Radford

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species—a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon—she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck. A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between. Mostly Irene writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series. In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Later this year she ventures into Steampunk as someone else. If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can subscribe to her newsletter: Promises of no spam, merely occasional updates and news of personal appearances.


Can you say Tame? — 4 Comments

  1. So it’s been a hard year there, too, eh? All that oil is a big temptation to them. Of course, the danger with a deer getting that cozy is that someone will walk up during Season and she’ll end up as venison stew.

    Maybe you need to investigate one of those movable art sculptures that vary their speed depending on the wind? Would motion frighten her off?

    My cat completely understands Mr. Chessie’s dilemma. Birds are good cat television — deer, not so much. Unless you can chase the deer — that’s fun!

  2. Deer, under the right circumstances, are appallingly bold. The deer at Skywalker Ranch, where my husband works, stand around on the softball field cropping grass and glaring at people driving by. “Yeah. So I’m a deer. Got a problem with that? Drive on, dude.”

    Think Bambi as a juvenile delinquent.

  3. They used to browse in my parents’ front yard in the evening and watch TV through the front windows.

    For their sake, you don’t want them to become too tame or too dependent on you, but you likely know that.