Deer Parade

Twice a day, at sunrise and dusk, we have front row seats for a deer parade.  This is probably the one and only perk of the winter of 2012-13, the winter of severe snowfall warnings and unseasonably cold spring temperatures.  We noticed the parade nearly two months ago.  Deer would emerge from the east side of the swake and tentatively cross through the weeds, alert for possible predators and silly German Shepherd puppies.  Eventually there would be a string of five to ten deer following one another single file from one side of the swake to the other.  We watched and wondered what had predicated the parade.

It has been a long hard winter for the wildlife too, and the parade was taking them to an emergency food source.  The deer had taken to feasting on the neighbour's foundation shrubbery because the snow cover was not as deep close to the house under the eaves.  One day the neighbour looked out his window and was nearly nose to nose with a deer and that was the tipping point.  He decided it was time to put out some bales to feed the deer in an effort to preserve the shrubbery and keep the deer alive.  It didn't take the deer long to figure out where the food supply was and to telegraph their buddies to join in and the parade was born.

At first, Kanti got all worked up watching the parade.  She barked and raced back and forth along the
fence line, desperately trying to let the deer know they were not welcome on her side of the fence.  As the weeks went by she relented a bit and turned down the intensity of her deer patrol activities.  Greg chatted with her regularly about the deer being here before us, which I am convinced was highly effective.  Now she runs full tilt to the fence line and sits patiently watching the parade, a quiet observer.  The parade has grown to sixteen hungry deer, and the forecast for today is for another severe snowfall warning.

I don't know about you, but I am sick of snow and tired of the endless winter.  My tomato seedlings are languishing as winter refuses to release its grasp on the swake. I wish I was in Santorini, heading down the path to Red Beach.  But I am on the swake and the sun is coming up so it is time to take up my front row seat and enjoy the parade, making the most of what the day has to offer right where I am.