Friday, August 22, 2008

The Deer Path

We see many deer on our property. We noticed, soon after moving in, that we always see them at the same places. After some time, and after having spotted them from different angles of the house, I noticed a pattern. They always come from the woods behind a new home site, they cross the road into our property and follow the line of trees to the woods behind our house. I was describing this phenomenon to a friend of mine, "It's like a deer highway running through our yard," I said full of excitement. "Ummm... you mean a deer path?" my friend corrected me gently. "Oh, yeah, right, of course! A deer path," I said feeling a little less than brilliant.

It is a deer path and it probably has been there long before our house was here or the site was cleared across the road. These deer have most likely seen many changes since our development began construction. I wonder what they make of it all. Recently, without thinking, we added yet another obstacle to their path. Our new sandbox, a great big hexagonal sandbox, is right in the deer's path. We didn't even think of it when we put it in. It just seemed the perfect place for a sandbox, surrounded by trees and shaded most of the day, far enough from the house to shake off the sand, but still visible from our screened-in back porch.

We only thought of it the other night when we were eating dinner on that back porch and saw a doe come running. Oh no, I thought for a split second, but when she reached the sandbox she did not stumble. She leaped silently into the air with astonishing grace. She seemed to pause a moment, hovering midway in a breathtaking pose, to glance at the "herd of humans" starring back at her from their caged porch. She cleared the sandbox with fluent perfection, prancing off into our woods, her white tail punctuating the motions like notes on a musical scale. And she was gone.