Last night - what excitement! My friend and I were driving around our neighborhood, enjoying the bloom, and shaking our heads at the lakes of garlic mustard - a horribly invasive plant in our ravine that you can see will overcome all the Virginia Bluebells and Dutchman's breeches. People band together to pick it. We were on Glenmont Avenue getting near to the light at High Street, when I saw something different in a well-trimmed yard to our right. I said, "Are those real?"
They were. Two deer. Then two more. Then another. All walking delicately toward the busy street. Down the hill into a parking lot. My friend and I got frantic, afraid they would go out into High Street. Then I saw a white Volvo parked around the corner with his trouble lights blinking. A man got out of it, and his wife. I pulled around behind him and turned my blinker on too, hoping to help stop traffic. Now we were looking at - count them - eight deer. In the city.
Some people were trying to photograph them, but I was too flustered. Some were trying to shoo them back away from High. The man called out, "No, they want to cross the street. They belong over there." Over there was a steep, undeveloped piece of land, heavily treed.
More people got the idea, and now there was a loosely coordinated action, traffic stopped both sides, and the deer were shooed across the street, into their deep woods. Where they wanted to go, they just didn't know how. And what were they doing up there in our pretty gardens? Probably eating tulips, we thought, and not garlic mustard.
The image above is my photo of a Dutchman's Breeches in the ravine, a plant I never expected to see in the wild. It favors rich woods. I want to memorize the lacy foliage, too, so I can identify its fruits later this summer, which Audubon describes as "oblong to linear capsule, opening to base into 2 parts when mature." I guess I need to go down there again today and see what's going on. I'll let you know.