Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Absence Of Deer

This is an odd occurrence this year that we just became aware of.
Isn't it funny when it sometimes takes your consciousness a while to catch up to the fact that some pattern has changed? You'd think it would be pretty obvious.

We've seen no deer in our yard this winter. Absolutely none.

There is a deer trail that runs along the edge of our lawn, across the road and into the neighbors woods. We usually see deer on it every day. If not the deer themselves either tracks or deer beds. (one used to make a bed under our pear tree every night.)

At least once a week we hear the screech of tires as people slam on the brakes to avoid one crossing the road. (do people really think they can do 80 just because it's a back road? Yes!) Of course, those are the rules - you stand stupidly at the edge of the road wondering if you should cross now. How about now? Road about now? Oh! Car coming! Yes, cross now!

Every now and then we'd hear a joyful 'kill' cry from the pack of coy dogs who have taken up residence in dens in the bank a quarter mile or so behind our house. Not so this year. I think we've heard them maybe twice all winter.

We've sighted deer in the surrounding fields now and then, or peaking through a thin line of trees down the road. I've noticed tracks across the road up the hill and bedding evidence here and there.

But, what happened with our yard trail? The more than occasional 'kill' cries of the coy dogs? The screeching of breaks at 3 am? Bedding down under the pear tree? Tracks flowing gracefully through the snow in our yard?

Hmmmm....The pattern has taken a turn.

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