Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oh, deer! redux

Final Standings:
Moose Count: 0
Deer Count: 55

You read that right. I counted forty-seven deer last night on my drive from Moncton to Fredericton to add to the eight I'd seen thus far. That's forty-seven I saw; I doubtless passed dozens, even hundreds, more, further back from the roadside and blending in with the brown and gold brush their coats camoflage them so perfectly in.

Something - the deep snow, probably - had forced them to the very edge of the highway to forage. They all seemed entirely disinterested in the highway or the cars. Photographing them turned out to be a self-defeating proposition; for the act of pulling the car off the highway to take a picture inevitably spooked them into running for cover. Therefore, the few pictures I got more or less duplicate this one - the maverick, the last brave one who stayed behind after all the herd had hidden in the treeline, out of sheer foolish curiosity, to wait and see just what that big blue bug wanted, anyway.

What it wanted was to make its last commute home safely, thanks, and it wished the same for all of those deer along the highway. I drove the whole way at 80kmh (the highway speed limit is 110kmh) just in case one of those lithe guys decided to sprint out into my path.

It was a remarkable drive. I have never seen close to that number of deer or any other wild animal on a drive before. I guess it's been a hard winter for them. Some rain next week should melt some of the snow and give them some relief.

As for me, I've arranged things so that I can take a couple of weeks off between jobs. I think I need it to decompress from the unnatural living conditions of the last three months.

Deer oh deer. What a long, strange trip it's been. How funny that it feels like so many of you have made it with me!




Anonymous m.e. said...

glad you're safe home and finished with the commuting gig. are you going to Qbert to present a gift from the Canadian gummint to Raul? That's what I'd do if I were in your mukluks....

we used to have a big herd of deer stealng out of the woods at sundown into the field behind our house in ND. they'd gradually mosey across the county road into the cornfields on the other side. they are such beautiful animals, and so alert.

10:10 p.m.  

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