Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oh, Deer

After a very noisy overnight storm, we woke up this morning to a foggy wonderland that eventually burned off for another gorgeous June day. I put some tomato sauce out in the solar oven at 10:30 a.m. and left it out there until 1:30 p.m. I replaced it with a schiacciata that is outside baking as I write. Photos and recipes on those to follow in another post.

But I wanted to share these photographs that I took of three deer that made their way into our yard. I have to admit to being a horrible photographer. I went to college for fine arts and, although I understood the how of taking a good photo, the actual doing was always a trick (pen & ink was my thing). Well, in order to do a halfway decent blog the ability to take a halfway decent photo is sort of a must. Digital cameras don't automatically mean you can take a good photo, though, they only mean you can take a zillion shots and hope for one that's passable. 

Anyway, I came home from my morning run to find three deer out in the backyard. The deer perked their ears up and watched me, ready to bolt if I looked at all threatening. I snuck into the house and started searching for the digital camera Annalee gave me, desperately trying to find it before the deer took off. Okay, some people are used to deer meandering through their backyard, but it's not usual in my neighborhood.

We're very lucky where we live. We're sandwiched in between a 5,200 acre preserve and the Long Island Sound (our house is 1,000 feet from the beach). RCA (Radio Corporation of America) operated a large transmitting and transmitter research facility on the 5,200-acre site, known as Radio Central, and began transmitting transatlantic radio messages from there in November 1921. In 1927, AT&T initiated the first transatlantic commercial telephone service from there. The site was decommissioned in the 1970s, although you can still see the concrete ruins, old telephone poles, and radio towers if you go back there. The site is now owned by the State of New York and is part of a natural resources management area, which is in the Long Island Central Pine Barrens. As close as the woods are, though, the deer still need to cross a fairly busy road and make their way one mile down to our house through residential streets. Rick says they head down to the beach where he often sees them in the early morning.

Me and the deer watching each other!
So there I was trying to take a photo to prove to the rest of the family that we had three deer in the yard. I tiptoed outside and made soothing noises (probably sounded deranged instead) while I silently cursed the camera and tried to figure out how the thing worked (Rick's been taking my food shots for me, guess I can take over now!) I eventually snapped some photos—or at least hoped I did. All proud of myself I came back inside and took a shower. Afterward I quietly went back out to see if they were still there. Yup. And they were eating the vegetables. Okay, guess it was time to scare them off and save the lettuce. I headed out to the garden and asked them politely to leave. Didn't happen. So I had to make a bit more noise and wave my arms, except they came running toward me instead of away. Being on a narrow garden path with nowhere to go, I turned around and dashed for the back door with the deer, much faster than me, charging right alongside. Well, that went well. If the neighbors were watching I'm sure they were on the floor laughing. The deer did make it out of the yard and continued on toward the beach, the garden looked fine, and I got some photos. I suppose all's well that ends well.

Now I just hope my tomato sauce and schiacciata come out better than my photos.

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