Monday, March 22, 2010

Sign of the times

Why do deer, probably very young deer, insist on pooping in a (nearly) perfect half circle around the door to my garage?

Are dim-headed, cud crewing, spry but cow-like ungulates who spend the most satisfying part of their day munching on regurgitated stomach contents somehow programmed to excrete their little piles of stuff in meaningfully placed bunches? I don't think so.

But their "sign," little piles of poop still trying to steam hours later into the pristine Montana air, are perversely welcome. Deer are visiting again!

I didn't see them, those night visitors, but new poop - dark and moist - tells its own tale. As do the countless blades of grass bent down to make a deer bed, distinguishable in the dark only by the shine of the night-frozen dew that outlines the pressed outline of a deer at rest.

I've been raking leaves lately, and deer sign mingles with the dry leaves as I scoop them into a plastic bag. But that is OLD deer sign. NEW deer sign: That I like to see!

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