May 1st, 2004


Deer Gone Brave

Deer gone brave, that's what it is. Every night this week, I've come home after dark along the creek road with the four miles of lowland, a wildlife refuge.

Every night, I've passed at least one deer eating the grass on the roadside, which is the least cut and eaten, so the first to recover this spring and be abundant.

Now, when I think of deer, I don't think of "graze", but "browse"... yet, these animals are grazing, and uniformly FAT. (I wonder if grass fattened deer have a better flavor than twig-fattened animals, sort of like corn fed beef...) There are NO trees/brush allowed in the roadside ditches and the wild cedar that were growing in there got cut down last year, leaving brown carcasses every so often if the landowners living along the road did not remove them. (The county crews did the demolition.)

Deer don't browse on cedar, anyway. Even Charlie Brown would be hard pressed to make a Christmas tree from a wild cedar. But I digress.

The first night, I saw three, two on one side of the road, and one on another. The next night, right outside Seymour was a lone one on the passenger's side. At the creek, another lone one who bolted. By Friday, he was at the passenger side driveway entrance of an abandoned farmhouse where our industrial arts teacher lived when I moved here 27+ years ago. Last night he'd gotten so tame, he didn't even flinch when I went by. I slowed down, not wanting to meet the other two unexpectedly with their rumps ON the road.

I wonder if I had stopped and rolled the window down if he'd have strolled over and put his head in like Canela did, taking a bite out of a friend's seat to sample this strange new environment... (Well, it WAS nearly midnight. Thoughts are bound to be weird by then... Mine go wonky any time after 11.)