Friday, October 3, 2008

A visit from the Ladies...

I was fortunate enough to have been offered a ride into work by my spouse this Friday morning. The ride in by bus is never traumatic but all the same, the thought of a smooth, comfortable ride with no banging and jostling, was a great way to start the day. As we headed off from St.Joseph Boulevard and onto the start of the Rockcliffe Parkway, I found myself musing out loud if we would see some deer on the way in. My spouse chided me that I was becoming spoiled, after seeing a graceful doe bound across the road just the day before.

We arced over the overpass spanning the six lanes of the 174, noticing the long line of headlights inbound to the city's centre. My head was steadily pivoting from left to right, scanning the sides of the road and beyond, into the bush. I remarked to my wife that this was a tricky time of year for spotting deer, as the deer's coats took on a subdued moca shade, allowing them to blend in perfectly with the dead vegetation of the fields and forests. Descending the slope from the overpass, we engaged the slow right-hander, where that doe had skipped across the road just the other day. No repeat performance today, however.

I willed my eyes to concentrate further down the road, still nothing. We came up to the first curve to the left. As I've trained to do a thousand times, I checked my eyes to the left, leading into the turn with my line of sight. There! In the shallow ditch to the left of the opposing lane, stood 2 does. One, the larger of the two, was closer to the edge of the road. "Deer!" I sounded off. "Over to the the ditch...the smaller one is under a sumac shrub...". My wife slowed the vehicle to a crawl and the closer of the deer turned back to rejoin the smaller one in the relative safety of their small hollow. We slowly passed them, mesmerized by their beauty. "Good morning, ladies...", I softly called through the open window. They tracked us with their big, brown liquid eyes... "Aren't they beautiful...!!?!??", I heard one of us say... I always get excited when I have the chance, the privilege to observe wildlife. There are times whe I really don't know how I could hunt way back when I was a young 'un.

We maintained a slower pace, signalling oncoming cars by momentarily flashing our brights. There were no further sightings on the way in, but it was a great way to start a Friday morning! We're getting into the fall rutting season now and deer will be everywhere. Stay alert out there and I hope you get to enjoy such encounters as we've been fortunate enough to have.

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