She's been around all spring, stepping lightly and eating silently. Her coat is splotchy with a bad case of mange. We run into each other every once in a while. So many times now that I'm convinced she has grown accustomed to my presence. I find her sleeping spots close to the house and she trips motion sensor alarms before dawn and after dark during her nighttime browsing sessions. The mange may be why she's always alone.
I worry about her as the drought continues. A little rain has fallen this week but not nearly enough. Food is beginning to grow a little thicker but there is only one natural spring I'm aware of close by about a mile up slope hidden within the Santa Fe National Forest. It may have run dry. I keep wanting to set the dog's old water bowl out and fill it up for her but I'm reluctant to interfere with the course of nature any more than I already do. With the dogs gone, she and other wildlife are no longer being stressed and chased away by territorial pooches pretending to be ultra-tough.
I sense a simple, slow trust developing between us. We're the only two creatures interacting out here now, aside from a pretty bossy little wren nesting above the kitchen window. The wren has been back here each spring and we know each other well enough. It's her own fault if I am a disturbance to her. This doe is still young. Though not showing severe signs of malnutrition, she may not avoid starvation.
This unhurried trust building is a pleasant experience even though she's obviously not healthy. I hope she hangs around for a while longer as summer arrives this week and beyond, without me enticing her with an artificially provided water supply while the drought drags on.
Maybe she'll teach me something worthwhile.