Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Visitor in the Backyard

August 10, 2013

We’ve had the wettest, coolest summer in many years. I blame myself since this was the year I finally got a little pool in which to relax at the end of the day. I’ve talked about getting one for years and this summer was the time.

It’s not very big at only ten feet in diameter, nor is it deep. Sitting down the water is only shoulder deep but that’s what we wanted. Something just big enough to cool off in with a glass of wine at the end of the day. We’ve invited the neighbors (my cousins) to join us, but so far we’ve not had many evenings without the threat of a thunderstorm in which to fully enjoy the water.

Living out on a mountain as we do, we see a lot of deer. We’ve watched this one particular buck for several years. He had a twin when he was a spike but now it’s only him and his little harem. This year, he’s an eight-point and quite the handsome fellow. Getting good photos of him has proven next to impossible. He didn’t get to be an eight-point by trusting us humans, and the best picture I've managed was through window glass.

He paid a visit one evening it was hot and dry enough to float in the pool. We were just about to get out of the water when a movement caught my eye. We stayed silent and watched him step out of the woods into the backyard and graze his way across and vanish into the trees on the other side. It was a rare gift to be able to observe this beautiful creature when he seemed to be unaware of us.

Of course, a few mornings later I called him everything except beautiful when I woke to discover he’d eaten all - as in every last, freakin’ one - of the August lilies on the terrace. One or two I’d forgiven him, but all of them? Get the gun, Pa.

Buck paid us another visit this morning. He was in the yard when I opened the door for the dog to go out and take care of his outdoor activities. Those two play a game. The old dog rushes from the house, barking, and Buck stands there and deer-laughs at him until the dog gets about ten feet from him then Buck makes a leap onto the stone fence and deer-laughs at my poor old dog a bit more. He knows the dog is now too old to climb the fence.

Come next year, if Buck makes it through hunting season again, he might get surprise. I just might have a younger, faster “wolf” on the premises. Who’ll be laughing then, big fella?

KC Kendricks

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