In the evening we looked out and thought we saw the doe with two fawns moving along the fence line. The were remarkably close to the fence line, then we realized that the doe was inside the fence. I don't know how long she was in the fenced area. Carrie had been going out, but i wonder if she froze or hunkered down in the "natural" corner. When we went out she became very distressed and hurled herself at the fence, sometimes trying to jump, sometimes just ... hurling. Many of the zip ties have popped free and at least one of the "hog rings" that connects the plastic mesh deer fencing to the more rigid wire fencing has come disconnected. There's a stretch of worn grass where i think she must have paced for a while earlier than when we saw her.
I was terrified for her, terrified she'd become tangled, she'd get hurt. Twice we made it over to her and tried to soothe her (with the idea that we could lead her out of the nearest gate) but she was strong and i couldn't just hang on to her neck. By the time we thought to cover her eyes and get a strap we also knew to hang back to reduce her panic. Finally she started testing the fence, throwing herself against it, heading towards a well opened gate. Christine and i held each other as we hoped that she would continue to bounce back three, two, one more time before finding the gate open. She did, and she ran off, calling to her fawns.
I am very relieved to know that the deer wasting disease (a prion disease like "mad cow") is still not known to be in North Carolina, although my reading this morning revealed that the prions from a deer carcass could infect deer two years later -- which is horrifying. [here]
I assume the doe needs some tender greens for water and thought there might be some in our orchard. The grass is pretty crispy and the beetles got all the field turnips (a relative of collards). She did munch up a pokeweed. I am racking my brain for what i could get for her. I think we'll get a water tub and leave it out, but i curse the stilt grass for choking out all the growth that might be attractive.
Maybe mow down the front of the island and plant buckwheat? That might sprout with a minimum of watering.