|Nature's snowflake, Queen Anne's lace. I wish I had a few of the real snowflakes right now.|
I did, however, still manage to see something I found interesting. I’ve been spooking a deer, a doe, about once a day when I am outside. Usually my first sighting of her is when she bounds away, often from very close by. She’s surprised and startled me a couple of times. I figure she has a fawn hidden somewhere nearby, a fawn that is still too young to be following mom around. I don’t expect to find the fawn until mom is convinced the new baby is ready for travel.
What has surprise me is how close the deer has been to me when it takes off, and I have wondered where it could be hiding so that I couldn’t see it. And I’ve finally figured that one out.
Last year during Snowtober, my lane was so cluttered with tree halves and large limbs that it took me hours to clear it. The rest of the forest was just as thick with broken limbs and trees, too. In the past when I’ve cleared brush, I would just drag it off into my brushpile in the woods. After Snowtober so many trees and limbs were down that I couldn’t even reach my brushpile. The whole woods looked like a brushpile. I just dragged the limbs off to the side of the driveway and left them there; even so I had to struggle to find somewhere to leave them or had to toss them atop the other limbs that came down but didn’t land in the driveway. The side of my driveway looks like an impenetrable barrier now.
This mass of limbs and half-trees is proving to be useful for the deer. Many of those downed limbs are a single main branch with lots smaller branches at the end of it. Those smaller branches don’t lay flat on the ground but instead create a kind of mini-teepee. Dead leaves still cover the branches, and the deer crawl into the circle of the smaller branches and lay down inside. When they do that, they are invisible to me. The deer, and this doe in particular, just stays inside that circle of branches unless I walk too close to her. Then she bounces up and rushes away, but I never knew she was there. If she hadn’t run off, I would have passed within 10 feet of her and never known it.