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Deer Magic

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

This morning on the way to the boat launch for our pontoon ride, Paco and I saw some sweet scenes. 

The deer at North Bend aren't hunted, and they people the landscape in the most fearless way. 

Nothing says Eden quite like morning mist and four bucks in velvet, ignoring you.

Looking up to see what you're doing, then turning away without concern, standing belly-brush deep in sweet vernal grass.  

We spotted this gorgeous buck stripping grape leaves as high as he could reach.

Which was pretty high when he got up on his hinders, gerenuk style. 

If I remember correctly, Paco told me this is a three-year-old, judging by the spread of his antlers and the slope of his forehead. He said a buck's forehead gets less scooped in and more Roman-nosed as he ages, and I've noted that myself, without really knowing it.

I so enjoy talking with people who know natural history, know animals, know the woods. I always laugh when people apologize to me for being hunters. (Paco knows he doesn't have to). What a silly and boring world it would be if non-hunters only talked to non-hunters, animal lovers only talked to other animal lovers, hunters only talked to other hunters. So to avoid being silly and boring, I like to cross those lines as often as possible.

For my part, I simply marvel that there is an animal this big, this beautiful, this wild, that chooses to walk amongst us, to give us a long look and then go on stripping grape leaves off the vine until he's gotten all he can reach.

The deer at North Bend are privileged. They know no one will turn a weapon against them. And privileged are we, to see them doing deer things out in the broad daylight.

This sweet fawn shared the picnic area with us today for our last lunch together. Even at its tender age, it seemed to know that it had nothing to fear from us. It didn't lie down, ears flat against its neck, pasted to the ground like other fawns I've seen. It listened and looked, sighed and even got up and stretched, waiting patiently for its mama to come back.

It was the sweetest farewell from a place I have grown to love well. 


...the peace that passeth all understanding...

Posted by Birdie June 9, 2015 at 9:52 AM
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