March of the Quail

Until I started this blog I never knew how often I think about, watch and enjoy the birds in our neighborhood. As I drove out this morning to have coffee with two friends, I saw a march of some 50 quail on the hill at the north end of our street. They marched single file and disappeared underneath a large, snow-laden evergreen tree.

Sometimes we have to stop the car to wait for a bunch of them to cross the street, always in single file. They never look at the cars, but somehow sense that we’ll never drive into their midst, but choose instead to enjoy their quiet and quick marches around here.

A few weeks ago I spotted two deer in one of the green spaces in our neighborhood. I stopped the car, mesmerized. What is it about deer and quail that so enthralls people? Or at least me? When I figure it out I’ll let you know, but right now, off the top of my head, I’d have to say it has to do with life forms other than mine not being afraid of me or people like me. That’s something, if you stop and think about it.

A few years ago Dennis and I lived in a different neighborhood and we were engulfed by deer that winter coming down to feed at our shrubs, because we had an unbearably cold winter. We woke each morning to find deer prints in the snow in our back yard, and on the side of the house. All over the neighborhood shrubs were eaten clean up to a certain level, as high as the deer could reach.

One evening I came home form work rather late, and found four large deer sauntering down the main road like teenagers in a pack. They stopped when my car got close. Not like deer caught in headlights. Nope. These deer were too tame for that. They stopped, looked at each other, then looked backover their shoulders at me, then looked back at each other, then turned their heads and continued sauntering down the middle of the street. I followed them for two blocks until I could turn off onto my own street. Every time I remember this scene I think about how much they reminded me of a bunch of teenaged friends, unafraid and out together for the evening. This always makes me smile.

About beeconcise

A Southern writer living in the Pacific Northwest.
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