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December 30, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

As the leaf turns. Fear.

Oh, this could pass for the intro of one of the slasher movies: fading light. a slight drizzle, and scraggly underbrush.

Whoa! He flung up his arm defensively. Then looked quickly around to make sure no one saw.

(He kept thinking someone was watching)

Only a group of startled doves.

Yeah, just like a movie.

Darkness of the woods (Image: David Eppstein/ commons.wikimedia.org)

What lurks?  (Image: David Eppstein/ commons.wikimedia.org)

Shoulders shrugged – to show nonchalance.

Just in case.

In case someone was watching.

He hoped he didn’t get the directions mixed up.

A hesitant thought. Unsettled.

No. She said they were meeting over here.

(The regular place was boring: too many tourists, too much traffic.)

They were young – ready to break from that herd.

A woodsy offered a chance to “socialize” more to their liking

Away from prying eyes and rebukes.

Hollywood beauty.(1916. Marguerite Clark publicity shot for media, public domain/commons.wikimedia.org)

Hollywood beauty.(1916. Marguerite Clark media photo/ public domain/commons.wikimedia.org)

No one could be watching.

He shuffled through the clumps of damp leaves on the path wishing he had avoided that bush. Now his coat was wet.

He wasn’t really cold. No.

A vague suspicion that this was some sort of game?

And he was the target?

No.

He was sure.

He’d spotted her a day or two ago: cutest one of the bunch.

She smiled at him.

Those warm doe eyes.

Stay on the trail. (Image: alkolugbara/commons.wikimedia.org)

What beckons? (Image: alkolugbara/commons.wikimedia.org)

Still it was so quiet in these woods.

His toe caught a root.

He stumbled.

Briars.

He angrily kicked trying to free his foot from the tangle of stickers.

Great. Now mud up his leg.

How impressive will that be?

He’d hoped to cut her from the herd.

Real debonair and suave now.

Mind's image doen't always match reality. (1895 press photo of Rudolph Valentino from the George Grantham Bain collection of the Library of Congress. Public domain / commons.wikimedia.org)

Mind’s image doesn’t always match reality. (1895.Rudolph Valentino. George Grantham Bain collection.Library of Congress. Public domain/ commons.wikimedia.org)

A snap.

He jerked his head up.

Searched around.

Calmed the stiff hairs on back of his neck.

It was nothing.

(Why did it seem like someone was watching?)

She said there was a clearing. And someone always brought food.

So here he was.

Against better judgement?

Left shelter and warmth behind.

On his own.

But she took the first step when they crossed paths the other day.

Looked invitingly at him.

Before trotting off with the others.

Romance of legends. (Image: Garbo, 1936 media photo for Camille. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Public domain. copyright not renewed. commons.wikimedia.org)

Theirs, a romance of legends? (Image: 1936 Garbo. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Public domain media photo/copyright not renewed/ commons.wikimedia.org)

The trail spilled into the clearing.

They all froze as he crashed forward: a serious deer-in-the-headlight moment.

He hesitated.

There were a couple of older guys.

But they dismissed him as a non-threat.

And went back to jostling for admiration of the lovelies surrounding them.

He spotted her, lifted his head, and started towards her.

She pivoted shyly. Dancing on tiny ankles.

Strange things are in the woods (Image: Public domain/commons.wikimedia.org)

Strangeness in the woods (Image: Public domain/commons.wikimedia.org)

Suddenly heavy footsteps – not by ones trying to hide their approach.

And a low voice.

“Why, this is a fine gathering.

Aren’t you afraid of being found?

You are aware this spot is being monitored?”

Several of the heavy louts plodded forward – inspecting the scattered food.

He noticed the older guys had already slipped away with their chosen admirers.

She moved closer to him trembling.

Unsure.

For good reason.

The bulky newcomers had orange lettered messages sprawled across their sides: COW.

“Look, Bambi,” one of them moaned, “we’re doing you a favor.

There’s trail cameras all over here and the bang-bangs are on the way.

So take your doe and run.

Run, Bambi. Run!”

His instinct was right all along: someone was watching!

Oh, deer!

A real horror story!

Horrors! (1935 Bride of Frankenstein. Universal Studio. US public domain: no copyright notice and date published /commons.wikimedia.org)

Talk about a fright! (1935 Bride of Frankenstein. Universal Studio. US public domain: no copyright notice /commons.wikimedia.org)

“Look out deer: You’re on candid camera!”

Outdoor cameras assist hunters in locating that hard to find mature trophy bucks.

This technology certainly puts an end to romance.

(Uh, seems to be getting really close to shooting fish in a barrel, but that may just be me….Anyone interested in bow hunting – without the cameras? More sporting?)

Sanctuary. A place of their own. (Image: miguel v./ public domain/commons.wikimedia.org)

Sanctuary: A place of their own. (Image: Miguel v./ commons.wikimedia.org)

But to finish tracking these deer:

This Romeo, with his left broken antler stub and right antler little more than a prong and a branch, bucked up his courage, looked both ways, and  bolted across six lanes of traffic on Egret Bay Drive.

Made it safely to the lakeside nature preserve.

His little Juliet watched with soft brown eyes from the forest underbrush.

There’s plenty of food and, although someone’s watching, the only thing shot is photos.

They wish to be alone. (Image: 1926 publicity media photo of Garbo and Cortez. Public domain. expired copyright not renewed / commons.wikimedia.org)

They wish to hide from prying eyes. (Image: 1926 Garbo and Cortez. Public domain media photo/ expired copyright not renewed/ commons.wikimedia.org)

Deerly yours,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Technology being used for deer good:

“Game warden cases: Frida Kahlo and Facebook fools? Must be deer season“. Game wardens read Facebook, too. (Duh, dude). Get some chuckles here.

Visit some calmer pastures: 

Wander over to visit a real live deer, Daisy, trying to make it in the world. (Hunt Daisy here.) She’s got some lovely glamor shots posted. Sigh, she’s growing up and dating now – and there’s a loose pack of feral dogs in the neighborhood. Fortunately she knows who her friends are.

Can’t have too many friends. Thanks for hiking over today!

Happy trails to you! (Image: encmstr/ commons.wikimedia.org)

Happy trails to you! (Image: encmstr/ commons.wikimedia.org)

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21 Comments

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  1. rumpydog / Dec 30 2012 8:21 pm

    Jen uses Facebook to hunt down folks for her job!

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 30 2012 8:37 pm

      It’s a resource ful of info. People seem to forget it’s “open”. Glad you trotted over for a bit! (hope your New Year’s is fun – but not scary loud!)

  2. littlesundog / Dec 30 2012 8:28 pm

    Oh my gosh! I nearly split a gut laughing at, “His toe caught a root.He stumbled. Briars. He angrily kicked trying to free his foot from the tangle of stickers.” That could be me on any given walk through the woods! But, I have gotten some of my best shots from the woodland floor! Great post, my friend! And thank you for the referral to my blog. I’ll see if I can come up with some more Daisy photos in this beautiful snow… if only I can locate my wayward girl!

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 30 2012 8:40 pm

      Anyone who wanders woods understands briars. (sometimes they do seem alive and willfully wrapping around your ankles) I kept thinking of Daisy when I saw that little buck. Hope Daisy dances by for the new year.

  3. The Hook / Dec 30 2012 10:46 pm

    Forests are wonderful creative focal points, aren’t they? Another wonderful job!
    Be well in 2013 my friend!

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 31 2012 2:38 pm

      THose of us who don’t have hotels must work with what we have. Hope things roll smoothly for you there, Hook. Take care and HAppy New Year!

  4. jmmcdowell / Dec 30 2012 11:26 pm

    Sigh—all the high-tech gadgets have removed any “sport” from the hunt. How about bows made from scratch with handcrafted stone arrowheads? If there are any hunters in the audience, please don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with thinning herds or using the meat for food. But I simply can’t see modern compound bows and high-powered rifles (or camera traps) as “sporting.”

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 31 2012 3:57 pm

      Deer hunting used to involve lots of practice shots, some tracking skills, ability to sit quietly in the cold and damp – and you had one shot so it better count. Getting a deer meant real skill by a person.(resulting in yummy deer burgers). Not everyone could get a deer.
      While outdoor cameras have been used for wildlife management by agencies, putting them up along possible deer routes and using them for hunting bothers me. (along with using dogs at night to run deer – game wardens can’t be everywhere)
      One of the trouble with high powered weapons is that many using them aren’t familiar with the areas they hunt – and forget/ignore the fact that the bullets that miss travel long distances – often towards houses, barns, and other living things like people and cows. There were times we were not allowed to wander the woods or get far from the house (and had to wear bright colors).
      ALthough I do not like “canned hunts” at least those keep some hunters enclosed in certain areas – usually those really want is to brag they shot something. Not really fair game or fair sport…just ego trip.
      Thanks for hunting down a comment…now I have to go noodling (just kidding!). Enjoy the new year!

  5. Unconfirmed Bachelorette / Dec 31 2012 5:54 pm

    Grateful for the happy ending. This time. All the best to you in 2013!

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 31 2012 11:25 pm

      We were a bit worried when we spotted that little buck just outside the brush. Stopped and flashed lights to warn other cars – it’s a deer crossing area, but people are in such a hurry these days. He bolted clean across and made it – to join a little doe we spotted in the woods. Whew! Need to help those happy endings along when you can. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Unconfirmed Bachelorette / Jan 2 2013 5:00 am

        I’m so glad you did. I saved the little sparrows in my birdfeeders from a hawk today. Sort of the same as I felt I had lured them to their deaths with the feeders. They hid in the jasmine for an hour after I shooed the hawk away. I’m hoping he caught a field mouse instead.

  6. beeseeker / Dec 31 2012 7:04 pm

    Super piece of work – just the horror story to see out 2012 – happy endin’ an’ all.

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 31 2012 11:39 pm

      So glad that little buck cleared the road. Just need some happy endings right now. Thanks for hoofing over to chat

  7. pippadogblog / Dec 31 2012 7:15 pm

    That last pic looks a bit like one of my walks here in Gib. And I even thought I could be a Valentino at one point:

    http://pippadogblog.wordpress.com/2008/03/22/pippa-star-of-the-silent-screen/

    Anyway I’m really here to paw wave at Molly, send long distance greetings at the German, and chase RC. HNY to theme all :)

    Pippa

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 31 2012 11:44 pm

      Oh, definitely see the Valentino potential. (and you live in such a glamorous exotic spot). Paw waves all around and HNY, too!

  8. Robin / Dec 31 2012 8:28 pm

    Seems like they’ve taken the sport out of hunting if they’re using cameras. Not much skill needed these days, I guess.

    Happy New Year, PhilosopherMouse! All the best to you and yours for 2013. :)

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 31 2012 11:45 pm

      Well, at least this little guy found safe haven. So we can start out with hope for the new year. Thanks for hiking over. Bubbles and giggles galore to you and yours!

  9. PiedType / Dec 31 2012 11:01 pm

    Just came by to wish you and your entire crew a Happy New Year!

  10. jannatwrites / Jan 2 2013 3:01 am

    I don’t know what to think about the high tech gadgets used in hunting. I’m not a fan of hunting, because of my soft spot for animals, but I know it’s a necessity. I guess I just think they should keep the ‘game’ fair. If they are going to spy on the deer with cameras, then the deer should be outfitted in night vision and camouflage and armed with weapons for protection :)

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 2 2013 3:24 pm

      Deer populations have to be monitored and managed. But using cameras along routes just so hunters can see which deer is coming (“wait – don’t shoot there’s a bigger buck coming right behind these.” “Look there’s a big one coming, put down the latte and head to the deer blind”) seems a bit lazy and taking skill out of the equation. Get out there, suffer the elements like the critters, and take your single best shot if you want my admiration. (They make dog googles, maybe some deer ones? And some radar or motion detection alarms? Lot of fog and drizzle here – might hold through to the end of deer season?)
      Hope your new year is hopping with subject matter for your camera! Thanks for flying in to chat

Always glad to hear from readers.

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