Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where Deer Sleep!

What the will and reason are powerless to remove,
sleep melts like snow in water.
        Walter John de la Mare

It is pouring rain I have no reason to be heading back into the bush other than the fact I want to be. My chores are done, everything is fine I should just get back in the tractor and head to the house and be sitting with a nice cup of tea. I am a little wet, as a result of checking, and chatting with the cows but only a little wet. “I am not sugar I will not melt” as they say. I am just going to take a  little walk. I will not be long.

I watch as the raindrops drip from the evergreen trees and wash the snow below away. I walk carefully on the packed down snow as it is very slippery so I head to the road or should I say path less traveled. The thick cedar tree branches above my head hold the rain at bay. The temperature is warmer, and I am enjoying the sound of the rain. I would have preferred more snow but we don’t always get what we wish for. I make the best of it.

There are a lot of animal tracks in the snow, melting into strange shapes making them unidentifiable. I head to the pond. I start at the bottom of the ridge and work my way up instead of down like I did yesterday. This turned out to be a great idea. I found a deer trail, deer tend to stick to the same trail every day; I follow them up to the top of the ridge and along the rocky path. There are fresh big tracks and smaller ones one atop the other packing the snow down. It is a little icy so I walk along side. I see the coyotes have the same idea their tracks walk beside the deer path. Rabbit tracks crisscross this path and some of the coyote tracks veer off into their direction. Maybe they thought the rabbit would be an easier catch.

I continue to follow the trail; I never tire of seeing the beauty that surrounds me. The ice on the trees is starting to disappear, except for some trees sheltered deep in the bush. I now see the damage the ice storm has inflicted on my forest. The broken trees lay on the ground making me think of the old childhood game pickup sticks. There is a lot of damage, more than I had imagined. This makes me sad.

I continue tracking on the top of the ridge when I notice patches of snow melted in three spots. This is where the deer have slept. Their warm bodies had melted the snow beneath them exposing the fallen leaves. They look like they had been curled up in a ball, their head tucked close to their body. They were probably trying to conserve heat. They are all positioned in a row on the top edge of the ridge overlooking the drop off to the lane below. I surmise this is for safety; they can see everywhere from this vantage point. If they were to be noticed by a coyote they would have lots of time to escape.

I think to myself deer are very intelligent. I wonder if one stood guard all night and watched for danger.  I am also thinking I would not mind sleeping here on the edge of this ridge, waking up early and seeing this spectacular view.

I make my way along the trail following the tracks up to the fence; they stop, and begin again on the other side. I head back to the tractor very wet but happy. Once in the tractor I notice the time; I have been in the bush for two hours. Where does my day go?



  1. Such pretty pictures. I would love to walk the bush with you. It looks so beautiful and serene.

  2. Beautiful photos. It's hot down my way.

  3. Beautiful words...nothing is as renewing and refreshing and being one with the land.

  4. I saw those same big deer tracks in our woods, got to be a big buck around.

  5. thanks for taking us along. i could almost see those deer laying there...

  6. What a beautiful option you step outside into nature's wonderland...if you want to. I bet a hot shower and cup of tea were really perfect when you got in. Here? Not a single flake!

  7. Your pictures are very pretty - almost magical look to them.

  8. As you know I would love to come and hang out and walk the bush with you. Thanks for taking us along.

  9. I laughed at your I am not sugar and will not melt comment. I love to walk hatless in the rain. I am also not scared to get wet. My students are always aghast that my head isn't covered and I'm walking calmly while getting soaked. My reply is always the same, "Despite what you think I am not the Wicked Witch of the West and will not melt when I get wet:)" They always laugh.

  10. It's such a blessing that you are so observant, Buttons. It makes walking with you so much fun!

  11. you are so right; deer are prey animals, so they will always take the safest route up or down a steep hill...guess what I look for when im cruising in the woods? :D

    and two hours in the woods is the best therapy anyone could need ! lol!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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