I’m beginning to think that perhaps my front porch is not a very good place for me. It is my porch and I like being out there, but …
Last night, at 11:30 pm as usual, I was again standing on my porch. For the past few nights, I’ve noticed a large number of deer in the front yard, but mostly close to the street and out of reach of most of the house lights and the moonlight. Of course, before I stepped out I cracked open the storm door and sniffed for Big Yogi, but the air was clean and crisp. Maybe the Big Yogi story has come to end I thought, so I was becoming more relaxed.
We’ve lived here for more than 20 years so we’re familiar with the seasonal changes and how the wildlife adapts to those changes. In the case of Big Yogi, it was a case of foraging heavily before hibernation. In the case of the white tail deer, it is preparation for the winter and the annual rutting season. We really don’t think much about any of this because it’s become normal for us.
Over the years, we have seen three large white tail bucks in our neighborhood. There is no hunting here so every time we see them they almost seem like family. The last time they crossed our path while we were taking an evening walk about 2 years ago, they were a 10-pt, a 12-pt, and a 14-pt. Considering the number of doe and fawn in the area, these bucks are increasing their herd nicely.
So, I’m standing on the porch relaxing and suddenly there is a large buck charging toward the porch. When he stopped just out of the light, he gave a loud ‘breeding bellow.’ http://www.myoan.net/sounds/bellow.wav. Clearly, I had interrupted the rut and he was not very happy. It took less than a split second for me to have my hand on the doorknob and be halfway inside the house before I realized what was happening. I had already been through the Big Yogi episode the week before so once again the adrenaline was pumping through my old veins.
That was when I started yelling at them, as though they could understand me (of course). “This is MY PORCH, and I will stand here whenever I want!” Then I chuckled to myself while the buck was chuckling to himself, and I went upstairs to tell my wife.
I have the most wonderful wife (in deference to everyone else of course). When I went upstairs I paused by the bed and she woke up and said “What?” “A buck just charged at me in the front yard,” I said still out of breath. This is the part where my wife is so wonderful. If she had said that to me I would probably have immediately said, “what did you buy from him?” or “did you mean a deer just charged you a buck?” or some such nonsense. But, my wife didn’t go there and instead began the task of calming me down. Thanks dear.
I was up for another hour or so before I decided I could go back to sleep, but now I’m extra cautious when I go out on the porch. It somehow doesn’t seem fair, it IS my porch. Well, built in THEIR habitat. I’ve heard stories about the large number of coyotes in the area. Outstanding!
© J T Weaver
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