Spotter’s Delight

Sunday, November 10, 2019

It’s a wonderful thing to live in a neighborhood where deer still roam. The fact is, many fewer come through than almost 15 years ago when I first moved to Bend’s outskirts. Often then, day and night, bunches roamed across my small acreage. My place is part of a long-standing passageway for deer that leave a grazing expanse over west, to easterly grazing opportunities on this side of town. Over time I’ve been sighting fewer deer and sometimes none for days. Around midnight, I often let the dogs out and sometimes they start barking. I assume the deer are passing through, and in the mornings, if hoofprints exist, I like it.

Deer activity has been slowed by an increasing human population and never-ending building of housing and commercial structures. Residents on my side of town also know that deer crossings are hindered by recently installed, fenced, and guarded fields of solar panels. Believe me, those panel fields exist despite the outcries, consternations, and objections of most eastsiders. This county, without due process and advance information to residents, changed a law a year or two before the solar panel fuss. The county’s original law maintained that this side of town could be “farmland only”. The secret change recreated the law to include “solar farms” as “farms”. This allowed for constructing commercial solar facilities on east-side acreages.

I’ll skip all the mishigosh about how sad it is, driving past huge installations that have obliterated previous natural terrains and numerous trees. And how they’ve interfered with traditional natural wildlife trails. The law change is a sad even for animals and most humans alike. Besides reducing deer traffic, some passing animals display injuries from crossing heavy-traffic streets. Some animals die in the roadways.

Okay, I’ve unburdened myself on a two-point problem: burgeoning solar farms and diminishing wildlife, specifically deer. Having done this, I’ll describe the sheer delight of walking uphill from my mailbox toward the house and seeing a herd of eight does grazing a few feet to my left. My camera didn’t catch every animal, but most are in the photo. The doe in the foreground alternated between keeping a close eye on me and grazing, the others were unfazed. All were meandering southward toward a busy road crossing that takes them west.

Among residents, deer are controversial and many folks really dislike them. The animals show up in darkness and eat whatever grows that’s good, including special plants like veggies and flowers. Their very sharp hooves seriously can damage a chasing dog. Their sudden appearances on roadways (day or night, especially at night) are potential driving hazards. I’ve learned to share these concerns about living with a deer population. But I appreciate those brave leftovers from a previous world, one that was natural and didn’t have competition from well-funded human interests.

The next time I’m lucky enough to spot our recently-appearing neighborhood buck (an eight-pointer), who watches me with his magnificent head held high, I’ll try to be quick enough to take a picture.

Dear Friends: Whether it’s a buck or some does, the surviving deer are special. Diana

3 thoughts on “Spotter’s Delight

  1. Luckily we still see a lot of deer out here. They are pretty relaxed about us watching them from close windows. They still tickle us. Mostly does but an occasional big 4 point.

    On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 7:55 AM Diana’s Morning Blog wrote:

    > trailriderincentraloregon posted: ” Sunday, November 10, 2019 It’s a > wonderful thing to live in a neighborhood where deer still do roam. The > fact is, many fewer come through than almost 15 years ago when I first > moved to Bend’s outskirts. Often, day and night, bunches roamed through” >

    Liked by 1 person

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