We took a short trip to New Mexico and Colorado recently. Visiting family and friends was great. Wonderful. The heat that followed us surprised us.

High summer temperatures aren’t usually a part of summer in the mountains of Colorado or New Mexico. This year the heat dome that hovered over Texas spread to those states too and greatly limited our outdoor time. We still had fun seeing folks we hadn’t seen in a while.

Anticipating increased hot temperatures while we were gone, I placed all the backyard patio plants where the yard sprinkler would reach them and in shady spots so the sun wouldn’t bake anything in its rays.

When we returned, I was shocked to discover the plants I’d moved to save from the heat were stripped bare. Squatters had munched down just about EVERYTHING.

I was upset and a little mad.

While we are a habitat for all the creatures that visit, our backyard has always been off-limits. Finnegan, our ninety-five-pound Old English sheepdog, takes care of that.

Creatures may wander in the backyard but quickly leave when the backdoor opens.

The front yard is different.

I know whatever I plant in the front, deer-resistant or not, is food for the deer. The deer know it too.

They also know Finnegan won’t be loose in the front yard or street. I’ll always have him on a lead. The deer know they are safe.

Recently a doe trusted our safe front yard enough to leave her fawn in the shade of our giant oak for us to watch during the day while she foraged elsewhere.

I guess when the doe realized we were gone, she bedded her baby in the shrubs on the front side of the house and jumped the fence to the backyard flower garden.

She was nibbling the firecracker plants around the fountain when we pulled in and jumped the fence fast when Finn got out of the car. She knew she didn’t belong in the backyard.

I quickly forgot my mad the next morning when this year’s fawns came through our yard.

Flowers can grow again but the babies and their mommas need nourishment.