As everyone knows, winter has beaten most of us down with all her snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. I'm not whining--just stating facts sure to show up on a Gallup poll. The falling snow ceased looking wondrous to me weeks ago. Most of us are about done in after paying excruciatingly high fuel oil prices and paying the guys to plow out our driveway. And many of us, including myself, have fallen on ice. My ankle and thigh still sport a lovely oil-slick purple bruise. We are winter-poor and winter-weary these days.
As I sit here trying to fight my way through Twitter and Facebook--I'm of an older generation that has to learn social media by the hit-or-miss method--the deer are gathering outside my window for my meager offering of corn. Yes, I feed the deer; they've had it rough this winter, too. Their life is difficult--way more than mine, I guess--having to avoid getting shot by hunters in deer season and now by poachers in non-deer killing season, bedding down in the pouring, freezing rain, and having to nourish themselves when most of their food is under two feet of snow. And their water sources are frozen-over, forcing them to cross dangerous highways to travel down to the river. It's not an easy life. So, I've begun to try to make their lives just a bit easier by putting out corn.
Every evening around this time the herd approaches, stealthily--never at ease, never able to thoroughly enjoy a meal in peace and quiet as I do. No, the deer are constantly on edge, fidgety--they know to watch for two-leggeds with guns, cars, and bad intentions.
What they don't know is that I do not, or ever will, carry a gun to kill them. I am their feeder, their nourisher. I just hope to fill their bellies and make one afternoon a bit easier for them.