Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The deer are out again
One of the signs of fall that I’m not happy to see again is the deer rut. Deer are out and about all over the place. At night it’s particularly dangerous to be driving. Deer are more likely to be crossing the road, buck are chasing the doe, and they all seem to be looking for a party.
Last night a doe and a fawn from this year bounced across the road in front of me. I stopped and waited. I know this doe. I know she has a second fawn, and sure enough the second fawn finally realized mom and sibling were moving and rushed out of the brush to rejoin its family.
Over the years I’ve developed a few techniques to avoid hitting deer that has so far held me in good stead. I try to use my high beams on the car whenever I can, even if it’s not dark enough to actually need them. The high beams give me a wider view of the sides of the road and will often pick up the eye shine of deer long before they bounce across the road.
When I see a deer, which happens virtually every time I am out of the cabin after dark, I stop and wait for it to cross the road. After it crosses, I wait another few seconds. It’s amazing how many times there’s at least one deer more bringing up the rear.
My photo today is an old hickory tree that grows at the end of my lane. This year it’s producing a large amount of hickory nuts, which I am gathering as quickly as I can chase the squirrels away from it. Cracking hickory nuts takes a lot of work—I use a hammer on a stone. The results are worth it, though. The nuts taste like butterscotch. Try adding the pieces to cookies. You won’t be disappointed.