Thursday, 2 January 2014

Deer Over Headlights

Deer are abundant here in the Ottawa Valley and our roads are dotted with signs warning of their presence.  There are often stories of deer/car collisions; in fact,  just this week there was a very scary incident on one of the main roads where a deer glanced off one car only to land on another car's windshield.  Tragically, a person was killed.
One of the  local newspapers is keeping track of vehicle/deer collisions in each county.  Our area is 'winning' so I am conscious too of meeting them on my outings. My son-in-law attached two small devices called deer whistles to the front bumper of my car; the idea is that as you are driving, the wind through these whistles emits a loud sound that would be heard by deer and supposedly keep them away from the road.  I really don't know if these work or not.
 I have encountered deer several times.  I've been told there is never just one deer; you should slow down and wait because there are sure to be more deer behind it.  Sure enough one day, I came around a corner as a deer was crossing and there trailing behind was a tiny herd.  A little unnerving because a minute later and I would have been in amongst them!  Another time I saw a deer on the side of the road and as I passed I spotted two fawns beside her. 
The closest I have come to a true deer mishap though happened right in my own laneway on our property.  I was nearing the gate when suddenly a huge deer leaped over the bonnet of the car.  It was sporting a wonderful rack of antlers so I know it was a buck or maybe a stag?? I'm not sure of the difference.  It passed close enough to my face that I had a view of the way the grayish brown of its fur met its white underbelly.  In the moment, I felt awed by its litheness and magnificent jumping; however, it disappeared so swiftly I was left wondering if it really happened, did a deer just leap over my car?
I think deer are beautiful, gentle looking creatures.  But then I only have Bambi to go on and she was pretty sweet. 

My heart's in the highlands,
My heart is not here,
My heart's in the highlands
A-chasing the deer.