Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Deer

Bing and I were out in the back yard this morning bringing all the flower pots out again from the shed where we had been keeping them during the cold spell (cold spell meaning that we went from temps in the 70's to a 10 degree polar plunge with snow for nearly two weeks!)

Suddenly, she grabbed both of my hands.

"Good hell," she muttered. "Turn around very, very slowly. Don't make a sound."

I was petrified, but I did it.

And there, standing in our side yard, were FIVE gorgeous deer. Not big, not little. Probably teenaged deer out on a lark. They were all standing motionless looking at us.

For maybe a minute, we all stood warily staring at each other. None of us moved or made a sound. Then, as if in a pre-arranged dance, the deer jumped lightly over our fence into our back quietly that you couldn't even hear their hooves hit the ground. And then, they all loped in this unbearably beautiful dance across our yard and jumped our back fence into our neighbor's yard. They loped through his yard and on and on through the rest of the yards, mostly fenced like ours, leaping gracefully over each set of fences effortlessly.

And then they were gone.

Bing and I just stared at each other for a moment and then smiled.

We both said it at the same time: WOW!

Later, we figured out that they must have been heading for the small creek in a park that is about a mile away. But, how on earth did they get to our house? We live on a fairly busy street in a medium sized city. We sometimes see woodchucks or raccoons. I saw a bushy tailed red fox once. The area where we live is older with lots of trees and big back yards, but it is hardly rural.

They were so beautiful. They were so very beautiful. I keep remembering how they all seemed to move in unison and with such exquisite grace.



stacy said...

Sadly, suburban sprawl is crowding wildlife out of more and more of its habitat. That means the critters either have to move on, die off or adapt to living with us. You'll notice more and more news stories about animals turning up in unlikely places if you pay attention. Our neighborhood sounds a lot like yours and we have deer, coons, possum, groundhogs, skunks, a huge hawk killed a rabbit in our front yard, and we've in had a bear and cub in the back yard.

Melanie said...

I guess they're beautiful. I'm scared of them, it's hard to remember to appreciate them. During rutting season I've had a male stag charge my CAR while traveling at highway speeds. He tore my mirror off as I flew past, leaving a trail of spit all the way down the length of my car. I hope he didn't lose his teeth, but he probably did. He's lucky he didn't fracture his skull. Another time during rutting season, back when I worked at the Forest Service, one of my coworkers was walking between buildings when a stag came out of nowhere and gored him in the leg with it's antlers. He almost died from blood loss before we could get him to the hospital. Wasn't doing anything, just...walking around. Yet another time I was coming in to work at the Forest Service (the office was out in the middle of Cherokee National Forest) and I saw a big stag charging a BLACK BEAR. Talk about confusion. I didn't know who to be more scared of. Worse, I didn't know who to root for. That was about the time I stopped going for healthful little walks in the forest on my lunch breaks.

Of course there have been better experiences, sort of. Once in the park there was a mother and baby deer in the parking lot, browsing. Storm was about six then. She and the baby deer just kind of checked each other out for a while. Mother deer just observed them. I was having a heart attack, simultaneously trying to grab Storm, just out of reach, and not freak out the mother deer and make her attack or whatever. Storm ripped up a weed out of a crack in the parking lot cement and proffered it to the baby deer, who sniffed it and then took it from her and ate it. Mother deer seemed to decide everything was cool and she turned the other way and started nibbling at leaves. Baby deer stepped toward Storm, as I peed on myself and hyperventilated and tried to grab her hair and yank her toward me. He sniffed right at her face and then let her rub his nose. I thought I would die.

Jill said...

I love moments like that. When nature enters your world instead of the other way around.

As for how they got there, I don't have the answer to that. But if a coyote can walk into a sandwich shop in downtown Chicago, anything is possible!

Lainey-Paney said...

That is a WOW moment!

I just saw my first live-out-in-the-wild deer on our Salt Lake City trip.


Carrie said...

How beautiful! We don't get anything like that because we live off a main street but we have had encounters with raccoons and o'possums.