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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nature Calls

I love my boyfriend. I love him more than he knows. He teaches me so much every day, and he doesn't even know it. But this blog is not about romance. It's about nature.

Last week my BF went to his camp in NY with one of his hunting buddies. At the end of the day he called me up and told me him and his buddy went driving around looking for hunting spots and counted more than 100 deer in an hour. I, of course, told him he was full of shit and reminded him about fishermen and their stories of fish far larger than they really were. My BF did not find this amusing at all, so this weekend at the last minute he decided we were going to camp (3 hours away) so he could prove to me there were really high numbers of deer out in the open.

Now, I've been there before, many times. Yes, there are a lot of deer. The first time we went to check out the property before buying it, we were driving up to it and found deer laying down on the side of the road. Didn't even care that we were driving by. So I know there are deer there. But over 100 in an hour? I don't think so.

Anyway, we drove all the way there and we drove all over the area and counted exactly 69 deer. Not kidding. Don't be gross. I prayed we'd see at least one more just so I didn't have to say we saw '69' deer. But that was what we saw that night.

My BF was rather disappointed about the lack of numbers that day when we drove all the way there so he could prove to me that it was more than possible to see over 100 in one hour. But, he drove us back to camp where we started a fire and sat out the rest of the night.

But before we went out driving around looking for deer, we took a little walk into the woods and just sat down, silent and still and just listened. We heard leaves falling all around us and even on us. It was so loud that I had a difficult time telling the difference between the leaves falling and footsteps. I looked all around, real slowly so as not to make myself noticeable. We didn't see much......except for a squirrel. This squirrel was so loud. We both watched it from a far. It came trotting right over to us. I really thought it had no idea we were there. It didn't look at us. It just ran over, hopping and stopping here and there looking for food. Then it noticed we were sitting there and it stopped right in front of us. If I had to guess, I'd say about........12 feet away? There was a single tree right next to it. It used the tree as a security blanket. He didn't stray far from it. He just stared at us, standing still for a moment. He looked from me to my BF and back to me again. He wasn't sure what we were. He made a few sounds to see what we'd do, but we didn't do anything, didn't move. He ran back and forth as if to show dominance, but we still did nothing. He got a little closer and looked back and forth from him to me as if he were wondering what we were going to do. It took a while but after showing off for us for about 6 minutes, he was off and looking for more food.

That was rather funny to me. I remembered as a child how I would sit in the woods in Maine and the animals would even come up and walk over my legs! But none of them had ever put on quite the display as this squirrel did.....New I right? LOL!!

Our silence made all the difference. Quiet movements, slow breathing, pauses.....they made all the difference. If we had been barging through the woods, we never would have met Mr. Squirrel that day. And little did I know, there was more to come.

The next morning, we sat up just long enough to have a cup of coffee before we went out in the woods to check the hunting cameras and change the chips. We walked through the woods as silently as we could. There were fresh fall leaves on the ground but there had been a good dew on the ground from the night. So it wasn't so loud. We took our time. We stopped from time to time just to listen and look.

When we approached the first camera we spooked 3 deer that had bedded just next to the camera! All 3 jumped up turned to look at us for a moment then lifted their white tails and ran off. We stopped and waited for them to leave before changing the chip in the camera and moving onto the next one.

There were no more deer (that we saw) but being as quiet as we were, upon returning to camp we saw a fisher cat just a few yard from our camper romping around in the woods. It didn't seem bothered by our presence at all. In my experiences in Maine, fisher cats are NOT an animal to be toyed with. They are like over grown minks with fangs and a bad attitude. They will chase you, they will mess you up and yes, they can climb trees. LOL!!

Anyway, I was just impressed with how much nature we were able to be a part of this weekend. In just one night! Id almost forgotten how impressive it can be. I also became painfully aware of how ridiculously LOUD I am. LOL!! Step lightly folks. It makes all the difference.

So that was my weekend. Scouting deer with my BF and finding myself in nature once again.  It becomes more clear every day why I hate the city so much.

Anyway, be one with nature so that when it calls, you answer in kind.

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