Backyard visitors a sweet surprise |

Backyard visitors a sweet surprise

Amy Roby
A yearling greeted Ranchos resident Amy Rob and her dog Zeke on Valentine's Day.
Special to R-C |

Our house’s proximity to one of Carson Valley’s many irrigation ditches makes the backyard a popular spot for wildlife. The herd of deer that have meandered through the Ranchos for the past several years are occasional visitors. They mostly forage for fallen apples and will sometimes lie down in the sunshine for a rest.

On Valentine’s Day morning, I noticed about a half dozen does and a couple of yearlings making their way around the yard. They froze when they noticed me watching them from behind the window. Other than a twitch of a nose or the slight shift of an ear, they stood perfectly still, their wide eyes luminous and unblinking. You would have thought we’d dotted our yard with life-size lawn ornaments.

Once they determined I wasn’t a threat, the deer went back to their business of tiptoeing around the yard and poking their noses in the grass. I spent a pleasant morning working at the computer, sipping coffee and feeling grateful for the view.

I sat next to a window that is low enough for our dog, Zeke, to see outside. He walked by a few times and whined softly, but otherwise paid little attention to the deer.

Around lunchtime, a slight movement caught the corner of my eye. Zeke stood at the window in silence, ears perked forward as he stared straight into the face of one of the yearlings. She stared back, her nose nearly pressed to the glass.

I’ve never been this close to a deer before and it’s pretty safe to say that Zeke hasn’t either. Other than a gentle back-and-forth of his tail, he didn’t move for the long moment they gazed at one another. When the yearling stepped away from the window and ambled off, it was as though a sweet spell had been broken. The small herd hung around for another hour or so before making their way along the ditch.

The deer haven’t stopped by again since that day, but I’m looking forward to their next visit and a little more of that backyard magic they bring.

The Tahoe/Douglas Elks will host breakfast at the lodge from 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m. this Sunday.

The menu includes biscuits and gravy, hash browns and eggs, pancakes and an omelet bar. Cost is $7 for Elks members and $4 for kids 10 and younger, or $8 for non-members and $5 for kids 10 and younger.

The Tahoe/Douglas Elks Lodge is located at 1227 Kimmerling Road in the Gardnerville Ranchos. For more information call 265-4523.

Amy Roby can be reached at