Thursday, April 02, 2009

Life Out Here in the Boonies

A couple nights ago the dog was going crazy. Assuming he just had to go out and do his business, I opened the door and was about to let him out. . .when I heard a rumbling in the bushes below our embankment. Shut the door, went and found our night-vision scope, then headed back out to see what sort of creature was climbing our hill.

For five minutes I heard nothing but grunts and the rattle of branches, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but the gleaming eyes of a rather large raccoon staring back at me. Shortly he was followed by his partner. They both stared at me for 30 seconds, I assume to determine my threat level, but we both knew - these were their woods tonight. So they chose to get about their business of eating up last night's compost, while I stood still and enjoyed the sight of their foraging for 20 minutes or so. Eventually I got cold, and they seemed in no hurry to move on, so I gathered into the house for the night; they kept on with their late-night snack, paying my parting no heed.

Yesterday afternoon I had to make a quick trip out to the garage to find something, and as I ran across the drive, dodging raindrops along the way, I looked up toward where our driveway turns into the woods, and discovered three deer nibbling at the new growth of grass there. As with the raccoons, they paused and checked me out, but didn't seem all that concerned. They munched, I slowed to a walk, and the rain picked up. I was in the garage five minutes, but when I came out, they were still there. Went back to the house, they half-heartedly watching me go. Gathered a few things then ran back out to head up to worship practice. Still, they nibbled the tendrils of spring grass. Only when I was in the car, driving toward where they stood, did they decide it was time to move on, hopping over the blackberry bushes down into the gulch below the drive. Even then, they gave me a look as if to say I was intruding on their territory, and not the other way around.

With some forlorn sense, I looked over at my freshly-plowed garden, knowing it would be planted in the next few weeks, the vegetables would begin to grow, and these blasted, beautiful deer would be back to enjoy.

Did I mention the pileated woodpecker has been about his business in the ash tree outside our kitchen, too?

I love living way out here in the woods.

No comments: