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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Deer, Deer!

Imagine my surprise when I came out of church last Sunday to find two deer standing on the lawn near the walk.

There had been a congregational meeting that morning so nobody had left the church yet, except for a few members of the choir. Bill was waiting in the car for me and he had left a good 20 minutes earlier (I had to file some choir music and pull more for the upcoming Easter season) so when I left it was likely there had been little foot traffic to disturb them.

I knew deer had come into the neighborhood because I had seen their tracks in the snow on my way to choir practice a couple Thursday's ago, but I never expected to see them so close, in broad daylight, at 11 am on a Sunday morning.
I should explain I live in a densely populated area (Chicago, IL) and that one does not usually expect to see deer in a busy metropolis. But I also live near the forest preserves which serve as picnic areas and parks to area residents. There has been a thriving population of White Tailed Deer in the area for as long as we have lived there. But it is still a surprise for a "city girl" to come across a pair of deer only a few feet away.

We usually see then in the evening when we drive home past the forested area. They are usually in among the trees but sometimes we see them crossing the road or grazing in the yards of the houses along the road.

It had been quite cold in Chicago, and we have had snow on the ground for the past several weeks. I'm sure the deer in the area are having trouble finding enough to eat, prompting them to be a little bolder in their search for food. That's probably why they were willing to venture through this settled neighborhood during the day.

I stopped, surprised, and stared at the deer closest to me. He (she?) stared back and seemed a little affronted. Probably he (she? it?) expected me to keep walking and was taken aback when I stopped and stared.

After a moment he moved his head side to side (not sure if he was trying to see me or to see past me) and then stamped his front feet in the snow. I continued to stare (am I rude or what?) and he waved his head and stamped again.

His companion began to look uneasy as well so I moved slowly to the car hoping to call Bill's attention to the deer. Bill loves to see deer. Bill was dozing in the car. I pressed on the bumper to wake him and he seemed to nod to tell me he had seen them. But when I got in the car, he said he had not noticed them.

How can you not notice two full grown deer less than 10 feet from your car in broad daylight?

As I walked past, the deer retreated a few feet to stand between the two giant pine trees on the church lawn and stayed there until we drove away. We did not see any more deer on our way home that morning. I think the two I saw, so close, was enough!

Quotable Quotes; in the category There's No I In Team!

"They run like deer, jump like deer and think like deer."
Charles Barkley on the Portland Trail Blazers.

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