Thursday, August 12, 2010

Deer bliss

It would be silly to think of a deer taking part in a ritual - perhaps creature of habit (a REAL creature!) would be a better term - but I can't help thinking of the stations of the apple tree.

A recent thunderstorm and a few other windy periods have created plenty of windfall, and my part-time doe has been singling "Heaven. I'm in Heaven." At least that's what I imagine as each day around 9 a.m. she hops my fence for an extended stay. (I've come to recognize her by markings on her flanks and legs.)

The doe will look around, making sure she's alone, and then start eating apples. Then, invariably, she'll move near the tall old lilac bush at the back of my yard (but not in the shade as the temperature still is in the delightful 50s), settle into the grass, and take it easy. (I've learned I don't need to keep watching because she'll be there for an hour or more.)

Next time I look, the doe is up again, eating more apples. She first sniffs each one, preferring recent arrivals over apples that insects have had time to colonize. Then she plops down again, this time near the tree.

A couple of hours later, presumably after another apple snack, she's relaxing near my garage door. The temperature has risen, and she's in the shade.

Maybe an hour later I see she's moved around to my shaded side yard. I watch as she lumbers to her feet and starts sniffing around for more apples. She grabs each one by her front teeth, moves it toward her back teeth, raises her head, and starts crunching in earnest. Eventually she settles down again, a little closer to the front fence. Before long, she will disappear.

What's interesting is that every day, the pattern has been the same: Back by the lilac, near the tree, beside the garage, and on to the side yard. Hey, who said there wouldn't be rites in Heaven?

No comments:

Post a Comment