Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

Deer, Deer, Everywhere! February 25, 2011

Filed under: 365 Project,Winter — everydaywomanusa @ 7:44 am
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An interesting phenomenon is happening in our town, following a good, old-fashioned winter that dumped several feet of glistening, white stuff on us.  As the snow begins to melt from from a southern hillside in town, which houses a rock quarry, hundreds of deer are flocking to this spot in search of buds to eat, after a very meager winter with very little available food.

When our son reported that he had seen 50 deer at a time on this mountainside, I found it incredulous, but when I drove by after another fresh snowfall the other day, I couldn’t help but gasp  . . . and then pull over, as I stopped my counting at 100 . . . and took some pix of this unusual sight.

The entire hillside was spotted with deer, which stood out boldly against the fresh snow.  Literally, every square centimeter of my viewfinder was filled with deer.  I was mesmerized by the sight and stopped counting to take pictures to document this most unusual scene.

With my mouth agape, I continued to snap photographs, alternately looking through the lens and then with my naked eyes, as I blinked away more snowflakes that were falling.  Even though I had grown up on a farm, and currently live on another farm with orchards that welcome deer to its fruits, never before had I seen such droves of deer!

I zoomed in and out, as I continued to marvel at what was in front of me.  Another woman stopped to get a closer look,  and a man, who had lived in town all his life, stopped with binoculars to inspect the scene.  He handed the binoculars to me and said, “Do you see this?”  Even though I was witnessing the same sight through my lens, I graciously accepted his offer for yet another inspection.

This had been occuring for several days . . . day in and day out . . . alongside a very busy state road.  The hoards of deer are unfazed by traffic, and this day several huge snowplows and even tractor trailers roared by, without so much as a flinch from the animals.

Here’s the sad part:  although local police have set up signs and barriers in an attempt to keep the deer from crossing this busy interstate, there have been lots of deer/auto accidents.  One night alone, twelve deer were reported as being hit, as they jumped into oncoming traffic.  In speaking with someone who experienced this first-hand, he said he felt terribly for days afterwards, but never saw it coming.

When I drive through this area,  I slow down to a crawl, and probably perturb those behind me.  As the warmer temperatures continue to melt snow in the area, the deer are relocating to other portions of the hillside, seeking fresh buds as this area must, by now, be mostly grazed off.

When driving to our daughter’s house just one street up from this section, I routinely see a group of seven or more deer, usually standing right in the middle of the road.  So, I’m always on guard for these lovely creatures . . . and also always have my camera ready . . .

These deer lanquidly crossed the road in front of me and then looked back, seemingly to pose for this picture.

These deer are safe in the confines of a local reservoir and quarry hillside where they reside . . . until they venture into traffic.  As this harsh winter brings the creatures out of the woods in search of food wherever they may find a few tasty nibblings, I hope we can coexist and that we humans, for a change, can just slow down!

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Majestic: Sunday Stroll Nov. 16, 2008 November 16, 2008

Filed under: Farm,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 1:00 pm
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Majestic is a word than can only just begin to describe what I saw early yesterday morning on my driveway.

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I came face to face with this magnificent, 8-point buck deer, just a few meters ahead of me on our driveway.

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He was in no hurry to move, and he simply moved his head,with his majestic rack, slowly from side to side.

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That’s when I realized he had something else on his mind.  In the woods just off the driveway was a rather young-looking, pristine doe.  The buck was in hot pursuit and to use Bambi’s words (of Disney fame), I do believe he was “twitterpated.”

With the rain falling around us, and me craning my neck and snapping pictures, I felt like I was an intruder on something I shouldn’t have seen–and never had seen before in real life, only in wildlife documentaries.  I have such respect and admiration for these lovely creatures, performing as nature intended, that I feel I must skip posting the next scene, even though I couldn’t help snapping it!

Shortly after, the two deer meandered through the woods into the apple orchard on the farm, perhaps for a quick snack of still-green grass and fallen apples.

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As you can see, the doe is looking straight at the camera and I couldn’t help, again, feeling that I was the intruder here.  I only hoped that the cycle of life can continue on our farm, where deer are safe to roam and eat their fill.  Our family lives on the farm and we don’t allow hunting, as this is the animals’ home, as well as ours, and there’s enough to go around.  The not allowing hunting is for our family’s protection as well as the animals.  We want to be able to walk, hike, and bike on our land without being in danger.  During harvest season, we’re also a very public place and we have to be sure everyone is protected.  Just this past week, wildlife rangers visited to let us know that they had received reports of someone “jacking” deer–in other words, hunting at night with a light.  This is so upsetting to me and the rest of the family and I support all efforts to have those trespassers prosecuted.

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But I digress. . .

I was to run into that same buck two more times before the day was over yesterday, which I took as a kind of omen.  It brought back memories of a pet deer that we had on the farm when our children were young.  This young fawn, which of course we named “Bambi,” came to us from my father’s farm in a neighboring town, after it had been abandoned by its mother, who probably was involved in an accident of some kind, either with dogs or was hunted.

Me and my brother Jonathan with Bambi, our pet deer.

Abbie and Jonathan fed Bambi with a bottle, with milk replacement we used for calves, and she lived with our sheep in a pen near the pond.  When she was big enough and strong enough, she jumped the fence and went to live in the orchards and surrounding woods.  Bambi would come back from time to time to visit and we could always approach her, calling her by name, and even petting her.  Every time we see a deer on the farm, we’re quite sure he or she is a descendant of Bambi!

To see who else is strolling this weekend, visit the Quiet Country House.