By Sal Citarella
Even though I’ve lived in the SF Bay area for much of my life, I’m still an East Coaster at heart. Particularly, New England. How I miss the horrid winter weather, the power outages, the humidity, skeeters…. Well, you know what I mean.
What have I got here, other than the mildest weather and finest views one could wish for? The forest fires and occasional drought are purely incidental. My wife believes these are the fault of the Democratic Governor whereas I know it was the result of the former Republican President’s policies. Regardless, recent events have led to a renewed interest in protecting the forested lands against further damage. Intelligent clearing of the woods has been going on for some time.
One benefit of this forestry program has been the more frequent appearance of deer on my morning runs. They were probably always there but now they’re readily visible. Even if I wasn’t looking for a reason to pause in a run, spotting a family of deer will bring me to a halt. They watch me. I watch them. We watch each other. Each of us being semi-domesticated, we accept the other for what we are, creatures at home in the woods. The deer, however, are more agile than I am and will disappear if I do something unexpected, like extending a Power Bar toward a fawn.
Another contribution of the deer is their network of trails. Ever see a deer stumble or trip? Not likely, because they’re such sure-footed creatures of the woods. A deer trail will inevitably be safe, easy to travel, and lead you to someplace you didn’t know was there and always wanted to reach.
What is there not to love about these gentle creatures? Since mine is not a remote area where wild nature rules, big bucks with impressive racks are seldom encountered. Our deer are more like city squirrels, charming to watch and always just out of reach.