Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29: Deer

Winter ducks are starting to arrive on our ponds--on Maces Pond this morning we saw 42 ring-necked ducks, 13 buffleheads, and 7 ruddy ducks. Also, many geese in fields. The waterfowl are piling up. Having nested far north of here, this is their idea of a winter getaway. At least as long as there's open water.

And tonight we're supposed to get our first winter storm--though it's yet unclear if we're going to get mostly snow or rain here on the coast. As we were driving home from errands today, my husband remarked that it felt more like late November than late October. The sky has that late fall cast, true, but some of the trees are still hanging onto their leaves, perhaps clutching their colorful foliage afghans as protection against the snow and wind to come.

As we were about to pass a farm field where we often see deer, my husband commented on how we probably wouldn't be seeing them there for a while now. Today is the first day of (firearms) hunting season (for Maine residents; for everyone else, it's Monday. For bow hunters, it's already started.) Just as he said that, I picked out the forms of two does standing together in the usual spot in the field, their gray bodies barely visible in the dying light. I hope they behave a bit more cautiously after the snow falls and deer become much easier to track. And if the snow cover lingers, I bet there will be a lot of hunters taking some time off on Monday.

Deer on a gray day--
how easily they're hidden
in this bleak landscape.

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