It is a whirlwind in here



Stalking Deer Without A Deerstalker Hat

I thought this was a nifty title because (in some things) I am easily pleased. But I thought I had better get my facts straight about a deerstalker hat (’cause I only really had an image in mind). And I realized that that image was from Sherlock Holmes but, along the way, I found out that Holmes is never described as wearing a deerstalker hat, but that it was the device of an illustrator to his stories. So.
And, to be exact: The deerstalker is a fabric cap with a front and back peak and side earlaps which can be tied up atop the hat or worn down. The purpose of the dual peaks was to protect both the face and the back of the neck from the sun during long periods outside
We can be sure I was NOT wearing such a thing.
But the deer are real.
I had started down a hill toward a long copse of trees when I saw two fawns quite a distance before me. One bounded into a field but the other stayed on the road. It had to be an optical trick of perspective, but the fawn on the road seemed to be no taller than my knees. It followed the first fawn, but I waited because I was sure there would be a mother deer close by. And, in a couple of minutes, one wandered into view. Now, they had all given me a long once-over, but I didn’t move, so they all went their way. I eventually continued down the hill and along the road.
The road turned and I went with it. In a minute I saw all three across a field in the distance. The two fawns appeared to be grazing, but the mother certainly saw me. She stood stock-still and I did the same.
At a guess, we stayed this way for six or seven minutes. That is a long time to stand (for me) but I was in no rush..  The fawns were oblivious to me, but mother deerest did not take so kindly to such constant intrusion. She moved until she was out of my sight line, and then started to cough. Cough and wheeze at the same time. It was an exaggerated call, which the two offspring were ignoring. Their grub must have been good.
So I stayed, unmoving, for another few minutes, while the mother deer made this strange (to my ears) noise another half dozen times. Whether by this prompting, or by finally having enough of a feed, the fawns languidly made their way toward her. Soon, all were hidden by the trees.
I was relieved to continue on my way.
(image) https//



I was walking along the river and heard the strangest noise. It was one of those noises which, when I found out what It was, sounded exactly as it should. A beaver was chewing at a branch on the bank of the river. First there were small rolling noises as the branch went through its hands, and then the ‘gnaw gnaw gnaw’, and then the turning noise and the cycles were repeated.

This went on fifteen minutes or so, then the beaver and I both heard noises in the water. We both saw another beaver approaching. The beaver-at-gnaw quickly went in her direction (though I can only guess which sex was which). They swam toward each other, then rubbed faces. The approaching beaver made small bawling noises like a young calf. They rubbed bodies and seemed to sniff each other, then they swam in different directions. This performance – the swimming away, the languid circling, the approaches – went on for twenty minutes. A couple of times the ‘gnawing’ beaver clambered over the over beaver’s back, but this lasted just a few seconds. The beaver which approached rubbed noses once again, and made the bawling sounds one more time.

I never appreciated how large beavers are until one of them came up on the bank. The water was clear enough to see their feet and tail move underwater (I wonder if the portion out of the water might have the 1/10 proportion of an iceberg). The sun was setting and they became difficult to see. However they decided to part anyway. One began to go down river toward the harbour and one headed to the other shore.

But I bet they were going to meet the next day.


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