Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting Used to the Wildlife

I remember being 16, going hiking with my boyfriend in Big Basin, and seeing deer in a clearing. These deer were so used to people that they actually came up to us, and we fed them peanut butter Ritz bits out of the palm of our hands.

Not something that you would expect from wild creatures, but it was amazing then to me.

Driving up into those mountains, I remember seeing signs cautioning you about deer crossing. In the 36 years I lived in CA, never once did a deer cross the road in front of me. I knew people who had hit them or been hit by them while driving, but I'd never seen them. A part of me figured the animals were smarter than that. Why come into the road, right?

On the day of my physical in August, I left out the rear entrance to our complex, and looked right in time to see a doe cross the small road there. She was in a rush, but not running full speed.

A few weeks later, we were driving home from walking at the mall and looked at a field off the side of the road in time to gasp. The field was literally covered with deer, standing and eating, not even minding the traffic.

Two nights ago, on a drive home from running an errand, there was a deer up on the mountain watching the traffic. I almost missed it, but A spotted it immediately and pointed out how it hid in with the brush so naturally.

The there are the groundhogs. I have never seen this many groundhogs ever. They stand and watch traffic, poke their heads out of their holes by the sign down the road, and lay sunning in the sun.

Honestly, the biggest shocker was leaving for the doctor on Monday morning. As we walked downstairs to the car, I heard noise. I looked around and caught a flock of geese taking off from the field at the end of the complex, all honking. I had to laugh, because at first I thought someone had turned on a radio station in some foreign language. When I saw them take flight I gasped, then had to laugh and share with A what I'd thought I'd heard.

As we watch the valley around us change colors from green to yellow and brown and red, I realize I truly do love this area. It's so different than where I came from, and as the seasons change I am completely amazed in the changes that even the animals and insects are going through.

There's a part of me that wants to fast forward 7 weeks, just to be in the clear with the pregnancy and feel more at ease. But at the same time, I am enjoying getting to see this. And doing it with my husband, while it's still just the two of us, makes me smile.

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