Monday, December 28, 2009

Where Are the Deer?

There are five Deer Crossing signs on the four miles to my father’s residence. They are along a main road as well as the roads that swivel through housing developments. It seems that the more land is developed the more signs are needed. If the sightings are any indication, the deer are flourishing. I have seen young deer grazing in a development swale. I had to stop short when a deer ran across the path of my car. I saw one disappear into the scant woods behind someone’s house. There have been dead deer on the roads, too, sometimes along the busy section of a street, three in one season. Where are they coming from? Where do they live? I hope people are paying attention to the signs. It is easy to forget that these beautiful creatures are sharing our living spaces when most of the motion we see comes from cars and trucks.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In the Storm

We had a record-breaking snowstorm this weekend; almost two feet of the white stuff fell. It was exciting and beautiful though it caused problems. Our cars had to be excavated from the snow that completely surrounded them. The blowing wind swirled flakes into the bird feeders making it hard for the birds to grab the seeds. But the finches lined up anyway. There weren’t many choices for a meal. As soon as the storm stopped, I dug a trench toward the feeders to load them up again. The finches deserved that much. So did the juncos and the cardinals, the titmice and chickadees that waited in the bushes for a turn at the feeders.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Last of the Leaves

The trees are mostly bare but the streets not so much. This is the last of the leaves that have been raked and piled at the curb for our township to pick up. The mass of them blocks the sewer drainage and at times we have mini-floods. Next week they will be gone so visitors will have places to park again. I have mixed feelings about their disappearance. Leaf piles speak to the child in me. I have to resist clopping through them to hear the crackling sound dry leaves make and it takes all my adult will not to kick them high into the air. If no one is looking, though, I may grab a handful and toss the leaves over my head for the simple pleasure of watching them float down over me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Body of a Tree

Now that the leaves have fallen it is possible to see the skeletons of the trees and it is easy to see how much the tree resembles a body. The trunk is very like the core of our own bodies, supporting the thick branches that form the limbs and the offshoots remind me of the veins and arteries that run through our systems supplying them with nutrients. In the middle of one of the trees in my yard there was a nest, barely visible when the leaves coated the tree with their lush greenery. Positioned as it was, it looked like the heart of the tree. And perhaps it was, bringing movement and sound with the springtime birth of its occupants. What a glimpse into nature’s inner workings.