I guess that I am a country boy at heart. I have always loved being out doors. Given the choice I would probably sleep outside in weather that permits it. Just being out in the wind and hearing the sounds of birds, squirrels and other wild-life would put me to sleep better than any lullaby or a double shot of Old Grand Dad.
Of course here in NEPA we have not had that kind of weather in recently, but now as the air gets warmer we can once more journey into Mother Nature. It seems somehow proper and fitting that on the second day of spring I got to enjoy something in the woods that I have never seen before.
Just about a mile as the crow flies from the Rising ranch I watched in absolute wonder as a piebald deer materialized before my eyes. And I hadn’t had any Old Grand Dad. Yet. You may never have heard of this type of deer but I am told it’s more common than an albino one or even an all black one. Still they are almost unbelievably rare with this genetic condition typically present in less than one percent of white-tailed deer.
At first glance it looked like a dog or a baby cow but it was in the company of several other normally pigmented deer. Its buddies didn’t seem to take notice that something was very different about this deer. Piebald deer are colored white and brown similar to a pinto pony. I have seen a lot of deer in my life. When I was young and even dumber than I am now I used to chase them with a rifle or a bow and arrow in my hands. I bet the deer found this very amusing as I was not much of a threat to them.
Of course living here in NEPA you see more deer than you can shake an antler at, usually trying to run into your car. But I have never seen a deer colored like a Holstein cow. As I stood there frantically trying to snap its picture with my crappy camera phone I thought how lucky this particular deer must have been to make it this far in life. It seemed fully grown but how it ever escaped some hunter is a mystery to me. As the other deer blended into the woods this one might as well have been wearing a flashing neon sign saying “Shoot Me! Shoot Me Now!”
But there it was and I like to think that in some way it’s a testament of a sort to individuality. But then I thought…deer don’t use mirrors.