Sunday, May 01, 2011

Wilderness Skills

For the first time in many years, I spent multiple nights at my parents’ house in my home town. When getting back to their house after spending the bulk of the day at the hospital where my father was recovering from a recent surgery, I would do the chores that needed doing then head out into the pasture with my camera to catch what wildlife or other nature sights I could before the sun went down too much. 
Due to the ongoing drought, even though the time was middle-spring, areas that should be lush and green instead appeared dull, dusty, and stressed from lack of moisture. Armadillos were out well before dusk to begin their digging in search of grubs near the surface. I even managed to catch a rabbit in the middle of one of the right-of-ways cut through the wooded area. 

The most amazing sight, though, came when I walked upon a doe that was preoccupied with something besides my approach. Long after I snapped the first picture of her, she remained with her head turned aside. Finally she turned aside and I could see something that from the distance appeared to be a cat crawling around below her.
Moving around to gain a better vantage, and with the benefit of my zoom lens, I was able to see the new-born fawn that lay flat against the ground as soon as the doe moved away upon noticing me.

I remembered all the times as a youth I had used my wilderness skills to sneak up on the white-tailed deer in our pasture. I would get within yards of them and yell, “BOO” as loudly as possible just to see them about jump out of their skins. Looking back as an adult, I’m really glad none of them ever attacked me with their razor sharp hooves, but after again being able to sneak up on a deer and see the brand new life, I am glad to know I still have some of the skills.
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