Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Rut in Full Swing

WPXI News Bulletin: "Pa. Residents More Likely For Deer-Related Accidents Than Other States"

And, "Pennsylvania drivers beware: The state holds the top spot -- again -- for the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes." We're Number One!.... We're Number One!....

This, after a lovely weekend trip to Ohio, in which Aunt Emma and I surveyed the fall sights.

Her, as we round a bend on Hwy 77: "Oh, look at that hillside. The sun on those sycamore trees is magnificent!"

Me, craning to get a better look as we whiz by yet another dead deer: "Was that a buck? Could you see an antler in that?*"

*note, at this point, Emma is in road-kill reaction mode, simultaneously snapping her eyes and the car vents shut.

A perfect illustration of one of the differences between the hunters and non-hunters

To Them, such carnage indicates renewed danger to life, limb and property and possibly a sudden triggering of the gag reflex.

To Us, 10 roadkill bucks in a weekend means one thing:

The Rut is On!


Hunting in earnest.

Enough of this warm weather yuck.

Hello Crisp Leaves who signal the approach and location of woodland animals.

Welcome Cooler Temperatures as you rekindle the fauna's fall mating season, sparking fire in their loins... and keep our meat cold while it hangs from our deck.

Hail Rut!
Your ephemeral charm,
works temporarily to disarm
the habitually wily and wary big Buck
rendering him loopy
, dumbfounded, lovestruck.

You shamelessly transform the confusing noise
of my grunt call and rattling antler decoys,
into ungulate poetry, the likes of Lord Byron's,
calling ever so sweetly, the Song of their Sirens.

Meanwhile, the Report from the Treestand...

I missed an 8pt this morning.
Buck fever strikes again.

Several deer pranced in the far corner of the field near dusk- the mating dance continues.

Finally, not one, not two, but three gray foxes trotted through my treeline. And, even from 20ft up, I couldn't help but notice that Foxes 2 and 3 had hearts in their eyes as they caught sight of Fox 1's teasing tail twitch.

What a rare treat -
too be reminded that their cautious, deft, and light movements suggest cat, not dog; to notice the black stripe down the back of their tails, the bright rusty orange and white markings, brilliant against their gray coat, and the surreal bubbly sound of their laughing bark.

Just look at that picture...

I think I'm
a little in love too.