The weather of late has been exceptionally dry, as made reference to the other day in the post "Funny What You Come Across...". In fact, the dust on the surface of the lane leading up to the house is finer than self-raising flour, which is more akin to high summer than the start of the second week in November. It's perhaps for this reason that we've witnessed two really feel-good "nature moments" this past couple of days.
The lack of rain has lent a much greater than normal importance to our plant pot tray, the one we keep filled with water just beside the car port, primarily for the toads to sit in during the night hours. The first photo below, which isn't all that good quality-wise since it was taken through the double-glazing, shows one of the local Jays drinking from our "pond". This bird is exceptionally shy, but is prepared to come this close to the house because it's thirsty, as are the sparrows and Sardinian Warblers which also pay regular visits to our "watering hole".
There is simply no water out there in the natural environment anywhere. The forecast suggests that this weekend we may get some rain at last and we really hope it's right. Having just watched the news, which told us that the South of France has received seven inches of rain in 36 hours, twice the amount which they normally receive in the entire month of November, we're feeling decidedly deprived. No, we wouldn't like a huge typhoon, but a heavy storm or two wouldn't go amiss now.
Perhaps, and I don't really know - I'm only guessing, the drought is also the reason for our second sighting of deer within metres of our perimeter fence during a calendar year - just. The last time was during December 2010 when a single doe approached the house from behind (Those last two links will take you to the post about her). But at 8.30am this morning (Thursday November 10th) I went out to throw some vegetable peelings on to our compost heap when, turning to look up the hill as I returned to the house I saw two creatures gazing at me from a few metres up the rise towards our neighbours' house. As usual I at first put them down as goats, since they're always around. But for some reason I gave them a second glance and, sure enough it was a pair of deer, probably a doe and her fawn, who was approaching adulthood, but still a little smaller than the one I took to be her mother.
I dashed into the house for the camera, hoping that they wouldn't be disturbed and take flight. As the photos below show, they stayed right where they were and afforded me the opportunity to snap four shots before they ambled off over the rise. Since they approached to within a few metres of our nearest neighbours' perimeter wall and fence, I wondered if they were associating the houses with a potential water source. Who knows, I'm no expert, but I know a tingle factor moment when I experience one.
Click on any of the images for a larger view.