Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Hunkered down

 It’s hard to take photos in a heavy rain, which is why you haven’t seen many blog posts from me, now that I am mostly recovered from a hard cold.  The rain is accompanied by low clouds and fog, so the lighting is terrible.  Sunrise is now at 7:11 a.m., and with the rain and overcast skies, the chickens do not arise for a good 30 minutes after the sun’s alleged rise.
If I’m lucky, I can find enough light around noon to snap a quick shot, but they are nothing to write home about.  The wet darkens the tree trunks, which would be a nice effect if the lighting was cooperative, which it isn’t.
Pennsylvania’s rifle deer season started on Saturday, so traipsing around in the woods, even if the weather was cooperative, is not the thing to do right now.  I heard a lot of gunfire the first 30 minutes of the season, far less later in the day, and not more than 1-2 shots since then.  The deer are hunkered down, as much from the rain as the hunters.  Most of the hunters I’ve seen are waiting for the weather to improve before resuming their hunts.  My own family hunters reported not seeing a thing even though we routinely see three buck promenade across the grassy boulevard that leads down to our pond our at the farm.
Here on Roundtop, I saw the old doe this morning.  She lives in a narrow band of forest between my cabin and my neighbor’s cabin.  She is used to hearing the squealing of my neighbor’s elementary-aged girls and the barking of my dogs.  When flushed by one or the other of us, she just crosses the lane and finds another spot a few feet away.  I hope she makes it through doe season in another week or two.  I like having her around, though she is an old doe who didn’t produce a fawn this season.  I like watching her.  She is about half-tame, whether from habituation to us or because her age makes her less inclined to bolt like a youngster.  She would be tough-eating for a hunter.  I am torn between wanting her around and thinking that perhaps a quick shot would be kinder than a long and painful decline from age in a harsh winter.


Pablo said...

Stay dry and stay low.

Scott said...

The combination of colors in the first image is really striking, Carolyn. Good for you, despite the challenging light conditions. I hope you're feeling better, too.

Our hunting season has been going on for some time now (since the last Saturday in September), but our hunters are not allowed to use rifles here in the populous part of the state, so they rely on archery and (occasionally) shotguns. Mostly, the harvest is very quiet.

Incidentally, my organization picks up roadkilled deer from the three suburban municipalities surrounding my preserve. (If we waited for the Game Commission to pick up "their" dead animals, the neighborhood would reek.) This year, so far my staff members have retrieved 83 roadkilled deer--a record--and the year's not over. They picked-up three today alone!