As an avid hunter, I appreciate seeing signs of life in the woods. Being a hunter means being a conservationist: not just harvesting, but also cultivating. As it would happen, I don’t actually hunt around my house. I typically go deeper into untouched timber where the deer population has reached its max and the undergrowth has begun to suffer the effects of large numbers of deer foraging the area. This is where I will harvest a deer, so as to aid the health of the herd and promote the growth of the species as it fills out the breadth of land between highways and towns. At home, I like to enjoy the local wildlife as much as anyone. I try not to disturb the creatures there and I even encourage them to feel comfortable as I go about my chores. I don’t feed them and I certainly make every attempt to keep them out of my garden, but as they graze along the edges of my lawn, I savor the moments I am blessed with their company.
My neighbors are farmers and I often get to sit in front of the large window of my living room watching deer and turkey graze and rummage through the fields across from my house. It’s like nature’s television.
Sometimes they cross the road and end up in my yard before exiting through the tall grass at the back property line, disappearing as a curtain of green swishes closed behind them. When they come from that direction you might never know they were there until they step out, startling both themselves and me at times. Last week marked the start of summer and with it came the abundance of new fawns. Does have been all the bolder as they stand near roads and other high-traffic areas where people run into them. This is because they will wait for their fawns to catch up, hide, or continue running ahead. It’s great to drive around and note a doe that is standing near the road, then pull close and look around her feet for that speckled gangly fawn—all of which my wife addresses exclusively as Bambis.
One such Bambi was seen toward the back of our yard this week, jumping, kicking and running with gleeful abandon as we got home from town. We snuck inside our house and peered through the back window, not wanting to spook the mother and fawn. It was just after another shower of rain (go figure) and the yard had a hovering fog like an Irish glen. My Crimson Maple was boasting its auburn leaves, framing our view as we looked out the window to watch the tranquil pair. I held my son to the window to show him the bounding baby deer. I hope he wasn’t jealous of the fawn’s walking skills. At three months, he is standing pretty well, but I doubt he will be mimicking the young cervid’s acrobatics anytime soon. I was pleasantly reminded of my wife and son as the fawn returned to seek its mothers milk, tail wagging excitedly as it found what it was after.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a sunset or a rare animal sighting. Sometimes the animal isn’t even all that rare. That’s what makes living here so special. The way out here is just a beautiful view.