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Monday, November 29, 2010

Keep That Whitetail Hidden

Shhhhhh. . . . 
Don't move.
I see you
But I won't tell.
Just let me look for a moment
Then I will go on by. . .
Leaving you to keep
Your white tail hidden.
When driving the last bit of our driveway home, I usually go slowly and look over the side of the road, into the gully. There are two ledges or "bottoms." There is the current creek bottom at the level the creek normally is and there is an upper ledge that probably served as the creek bottom  ages ago before the creek cut through to its deeper level.  This upper bottom is wider,  part of the creek bed from a time when the gully wasn't so steep, probably a time before people settled the area.

Last March, I took you for a walk through the gully with a series of blogs beginning with Gully  continuing to Habitat and finally ending with  Gully Surprises.  It is one of my favorite places to go but I don't go often.  It is not because it is so hard to get there, just that it is so hard to get back home. As my knees have aged, (not the rest of me, of course) steep slippery banks are less inviting than they once were. 
But I still look.  It is for a surprise that I seek as I scan the woods from my car window.  Once I saw a fox run across a tree trunk which had fallen over the creek. I often see chipmunks or squirrels. Seeing an animal down in the gully is like seeing a secret. I see them at a time that they don't expect me to be watching, when they are being themselves. 
Deer must feel protected there, for a few times I have caught one resting.  This doe, above, looked comfortable with her broad strong neck leaned against the darkened, rotting trunk of a tree. 
She saw me before I saw her, but soon our eyes met. I backed the car up for an unhampered view then saw her shoulder muscles tense. Quickly I snapped her picture and drove on, not wanting to disturb her.  She had found a good spot to rest, for this was the Friday after Thanksgiving, a day when schools were out for young hunters and many older hunters had a day off from work.  The woods were full of orange blazers.
Hunter Taken From My Back Door
As I drove away, I silently willed the doe not to move. . . stay still. . . you can trust me, I will keep your secret.


KaHolly said...

How alarming to be able to see hunters from your back door. I would just die! Your gully sounds like a delightful spot, and when I have a few quiet minutes, I intend to peruse your archived posts and to check out the links you mention above!! Have a happy day, karen

Emma Anderson said...

Hope the doe survived.

Beyond The Garden said...

Thanks Karen. Hunting season is better than when I first moved in 33 years ago. At that time hunters walked through the actual yard, sometimes shooting across the field from the front of the house to the back. It takes awhile to convince people that they can no longer hunt where they have "always" hunted.

Beyond The Garden said...

So do I Emma. Most hunters want bucks with their antlers. This doe has made it at least a couple years. She is pretty big.