Autumn Icons

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I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. — Henry David Thoreau

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Shed Antler

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The bleached antler here, shed years ago by a black-tailed buck, was already white when I chanced upon it, and has remained so on a shelf in the barn. Though deer traffic is heavy through our woods, this is the only specimen I’ve found, and thus a rarity. Handling it again today, I was reminded of the diversity of natural structures that we take for granted, or that go unnoticed, in our short time among them.

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. —Roger Miller

Mother & Twins

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This is our favorite trio of black-tailed deer for this year. They visit often (calf manna, anyone?), knowing a good thing when they see it. We call the doe Raggedy, for her right ear, while the twins, a male and female, are Nubs and Sissie. Like most of the wildlife here, they live short lives. We’re grateful they’ve spent part of it with us.

Big Brother

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This little fella’s twin sister napped a few yards away while he stayed alert to their surroundings. During a brutally dry summer the browse for black-tailed deer has dwindled to zilch—they’ve even shredded the patches of vinca, and they never eat that. Kathy and I have supplemented their meager diet with calf manna, and their coats are shiny and full. As autumn progresses they’ll become more and more skittish around us (I think deer sense when it’s hunting season), and soon be on their own.

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. —Arthur C. Clarke

A Late Summer Portrait

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“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”
― Ellen DeGeneres