Life in a cabin on a mountain in southern Pennsylvania
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
New babies are sprouting up all over the place. Last evening I passed a herd of Thoroughbred mares with their new foals enjoying a warm evening in tall grass. The local Canada goslings that ply the ponds around Roundtop are already getting large. The first brood is already the size of my smaller chickens, albeit chickens without feathers.
I haven’t yet seen any new fawns, though I am still regularly seeing deer. Often, my sightings aren’t much more than eyes shining by the light of my headlamp. Last night Baby Dog and I heard and saw four deer, none of them small enough to be fawns. We walked out my driveway to reach a patch of open sky, so I could take a last look at the sky before heading back to the cabin. As I stood there I heard the rustle of motion in the forest on the other side of the lane. At first I only caught momentary glimpses as the deer moved down the hill towards me. I watched the glint of their eyes as they passed in front me and kept moving further down the mountain and through the forest. Sometimes the underbrush hid the eyeshine entirely, sometimes I could see them looking at me as they walked.
They thought they were invisible, of course, and except for the eyeshine, they were. Baby Dog listened intently, though I’m not sure she saw them any better than I did. The deer kept moving though at an unhurried pace. I suspect they were heading down to the pond for a drink. They usually wait until dark to come out of hiding and search for water. They are sneaky about it. I have rarely seen a deer at the pond. I think they aren’t there very long. They come down, slake their thirst and then immediately return to the safety and cover of the forest. Invisible again.
I live in a cabin in the forests of Pennsylvania. I write about what I see and do in the natural world around me. I've been a hawkwatcher for more than 20 years, a birder for longer than that, and a crayfish-catcher since I was a polywog.