Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yes Deer

What a pleasure to spend Memorial Day weekend in the mountains of Appalachia.  It is dry and one risks wildfires if you burn a campfire or trash, but the woods are a million shades of green and full of life.  At night, as I lay in bed with windows wide open the sounds of the nocturnal animals can be heard throughout the night, birds call, occasionally a coyote sings love songs to a moon not nearly full and one lone bobwhite calls sadly, wanting a response but never hearing one.  After several years of work, my little cabin now has electric and water... the water is still not into the house, but a pump works and brings water to an outside faucet.

As we drove through the hills we saw deer, turkey, coon, turtles and so very many birds or all varieties.  At one point, a deer came up a ravine at full speed, most likely being chased by a coyote or wild dog and leapt high as it ran to jump a tall fence on the side of the road I traveled.  It soared over the fence easily and landed in the middle of the gravel road before it made another bound and leapt off the road into the weeds on the other side.

At another point we drove slowly along a road and saw a deer stop momentarily in the middle of the road, look at us and then jump to the side, up a very small bank.  In the ditch we saw its fawn, only days old as it struggled up the bank, only 18 inches high but a major barrier for awkward legs not yet able to run and leap.  We sat and grinned as it made its way up that bank.  I could not take my eyes off it and sat for so very long watching the Mama wait and the fawn stumble along till it joined her.

How blessed I am to have a place in the woods, high in the mountains of Appalachia, along a ridge covered with oak, hickory, sassafras and sourwood.  How blessed I am to be steward over this small piece of home.

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