Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 11/22/2007 - 18:55.

This morning when I was out with Tucker (the dog) this deer got his attention. Tucker stood still and stared at the deer, and the deer stood still, while slow-motion lifting his front left leg up and down to softly stomp his hoof on the leaves.

I thought Tucker was set to go after the deer, but Tucker just stood and continued to stare. I talked softly to Tucker, telling him that he would lose any chase with the deer through the woods, so why not just get to know each other?

Then I began to think they already knew each other – vaguely, vaguely.

Because besides all the obvious similarities – four legs on the ground, two ears in the air, fur on their surface – there were many more subtle similarities.

Black noses for instance.

And the fur on both their undersides is white – even the front of the upper rear leg is white on both. This coloration pattern is so similar it is uncanny…

And they both lift their tails over their backs.

Not very much variation in DNA here at all.

After 3 or 4 minutes the deer walked off one way and Tucker and I walked off the other.

Which reminds me of Thanksgiving…

Garrison Keiler usually has a Prairie Home Companion show around Thanksgiving. And often the Thanksgiving Lake Woebegon story revolves around distant relatives and their once-every-few-years awkwardness when they come face to face over a meal.

Today, when you meet your families’ friends and relatives, who will you sit next to while you share food and story? Will you sit with the ones you know most, or will you make - what seems like an effort -and intentionally sit with those you know least? After all, you may never see some of these people again….

And why does it seem to be an effort to converse with relatives?

There’s usually a little bit of competition between families – perhaps between the stability of their marital relationships, perhaps between the stability of bank accounts, or where the kids are going to college. And rather than discuss these things at all, its seems easier to just sit next to the people you already know.


And then turn on the game.







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Mad moon

  Watch yourself Jeff!  This is an excerpt from Moods of the Ohio Moons by Merrill C. Gilfillan:
November was the Mad Moon of eastern Indian tribes.  It was so named because the buck deer are rutting: they snort, whistle, and finish polishing the velvet from their antlers agains shrubs or small trees. 
Today, on my way back from the pool, I was startled to see a stag leaping and bounding across the yards on Fulton Parkway.  Majestic and insane.  I only hope that he made it from one green island (the zoo)  to the other green island (Brookside Park) without injury.
If you want to see deer in all their steaming, regal majesty head over to the West Creek Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.  The herd includes some ten point bucks with full racks and manes.  I have the best recollection of a frosty February morning, encountering, first the peaceful does and fawns, and then, crunching the snow to cross a ridgeline and encountering the bucks in all their fury.

deer in Cumberland/Cain Parks

There is a greenspace between Cain and Cumberland Parks in Cleveland Heights where I often let my dog run off leash so she can get to a gallop. One Sunday afternoon in late October, we crossed Euclid Heights Boulevard and walked around the BB courts and the pool at Cumberland. As we completed the loop and came back toward Euclid Heights on the bike path, Phoebe the dog saw the flash of the doe's tail and (still off leash) took off after her. Down into the ravine that cradles the Dugway Brook they chased while I called for Phoebe to return. Suddenly a buck with a rack of antlers as wide as a car emerged from the ravine about 7-10 feet in front of me. He looked right and then left, one step to prepare and lept over the 5 foot fence on my left. Jesus! Phoebe emerged triumphant. We who live in the green corridors of the city are beginning to live in the wild thanks to the developments going on in what I used to call "More Land Hills" (more land than you have, city dwellin' mofo), but now refer to as "some deer's backyard". Thanks Richard E. for the stunning Bahama Breeze, the wildlife thanks you. They have found as did the deer in Garrison Keillor's recent bit (00:10:25Deer script) , that the folks in CH don't belong to the NRA and soon will be running up to Home Depot asking for salt licks to install next to their backyard fountains.

Bucks in Shaker

I saw a family of deer crossing Lee at South Park in Shaker, the other day - right in the middle of the Clark/Lee Freeway cloverleaf, if our greatest NEO leaders had had their way, in past days.

Disrupt IT