This morning, around 8am, I took Uriah out for his morning walk. The air was still and cool. I could hear the muffled chatter of the birds. A dog complained somewhere. He could be miles away. Around here, with all the open spaces sound moves across miles of fields, over the roads, past cows and horses grazing silently in early mist to land at my feet. Curiosity will have me speculating at each sounds origin.
Uriah ran ahead of me as I circled the back yard. I walked close to the trees to the north, near the old apple trees.
I felt someone, or something watching me. Peering intently into the nearly leafless bog willows I saw nothing. The dense summer foliage had changed over night, to naked branches weaved together in a haphazard maze.
Still, I felt something watching me. I tried to shrug it off and turned toward the house.
I took a few steps forward. My right side towards the trees, that’s when, just out of the corner of my eye I spotted him, a buck, standing quietly, about one hundred feet from me inside the tree line. He was the size of a large horse!
I didn’t move. Yet, I could feel him. He wasn’t frightened, neither was I…
I didn’t have time to react even if he charged. This is mating season, and crossing paths with a buck now can have direr effects.
His ear moved. Then he turned his head slightly in my direction.
I couldn’t differentiate between the tangle of trees and antlers on his head. He stood tall; his stance was similar to walking with a heavy crown on your head. All this time I kept looking straight ahead. I could only see him in my peripheral vision, he bended into the trees when I tried to look directly at him.
Time moved slowly. Finally, I noticed a slight breeze as it blew towards the deer explaining why I hadn’t caught his scent. Just as I was wondering if he was going to charge me, I saw his white tail flip; just slightly. He slowly started walking east. I took the hint and headed to the house walking west.
That’s when I realized, Uriah had decided to go check him out. I really wasn’t in the mood for irritating a buck today, or any day.
I whistled and Uriah did his bravado dance of scrapping at the grass with his hind legs. He squeezed out a couple of attempts at a growl. Then rolled his eyes, mouth open in a wide doggy grin he trotted over to me. His job is to keep the wildlife out of the backyard. He raised his eyebrows at me then he glanced around, as if to say, “No one here but us. I did my job, gimmee cookie!”
I gave him a choice of a Milk Bone, or a Liver Snap. Being Uriah, he ended up with both.
I grabbed my coffee, and stood out on the deck. High pitch screams circled above me and I could hear branches breaking. I love my morning coffee.