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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Up close and personal

Our local deer herd continues to grow, at least for now. Walking near the city wildlife refuge a few days ago, a glance at the side of the road revealed a smallish doe and two fawns, browsing the grass between the reserve and the street. It would not be fair to describe her as totally unconcerned (though a common description of the deer around here is "tame as dogs"), but she certainly wasn't particularly alarmed at my presence or that of a car turning out of a driveway across the street. The babies were a little more nervous, retreating into the shade of the trees as the car went past and I got closer.

I'm not sure about the health of this growing deer herd. This doe wasn't quite Scrawny Momma (the name we gave to a stray tabby who took up residence on our back deck at a previous house), but she certainly wasn't overweight. She was so small that her ears were her largest and most notable feature. Her ribs were more hinted at than visible, but they contrasted with the swollen udder that was obviously well-used. I had no idea that deer developed such visible udders, never having been this close to a nursing mother of that species before. She and I stood observing each other for a minute or two, at which point I decided that I really did need to get home, and she took a few steps away from the street into the protection of the posted refuge. The browsing of the new growth along the refuge edge continued.

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