Friday, July 17, 2015

Wild (and not-so-wild) kingdom . . .

Interesting interactions with local wildlife of late. We have a buck who visits our yard (whenever he has a hankering for hydrangeas). I call him “Antler Boy” — his antlers are in velvet right now. Anyway, the other day he was out there eating some newly-bloomed fuchsias and so I went outside to talk him out of it. As I was extolling the virtues of our neighbor’s gardens, he began walking toward me.

Part of me thinks, how cool is this? Part of me thinks hmmm, pointy antlers, sharp hooves. Maybe I should be concerned. I take a few cellphone pics as he continues his stroll.

And now I wonder, okay, do I turn my back and (as with a mountain lion) perhaps inadvertently encourage a chase? Should I play dead, as I might with a grizzly? Do I raise my hands to make myself look larger and menacing? Should I make eye contact or not? Do I bare my teeth or would that be the kiss of death-by-deer?

So I did what I do with my cat, who understands hand signals. I raise my hand, like a cop, and say (forcefully) STOP! And he does! But then he comes a few steps closer. Again with the hand and STOP! And yes, he stops again. OMG! I’m the freakin’ deer whisperer!

So, keeping my hand up, I slowly begin walking backwards toward the porch. And he decides to walk away. Whew! Imminent death averted!

There’s been more . . . more owls, rabbits, and coyotes . . . but that will have to wait for another day.

©Carol Leigh
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