Anyone who knows me…

…knows that I am the sworn enemy of white tail deer. Each summer I spend crazy amounts of money for foul-smelling stuff that I spray on my lilies, hostas, roses, dahlias (actually I gave up on dahliahs) and increasingly on plants that used to make the deer turn up their little dark noses. Zinnias–if they begin to like zinnias, it’s all over.

But now that it’s January and the ground is buried beneath half a foot of snow, I see them in the yard and have to wonder what they are living on. I watch them paw up the snow and nibble, arc their necks and nibble, but can they possibly get enough? And aren’t they freezing? I read that they can slow their metabolisms, and that they have special muscles in their skin that let them angle their hair shafts to best advantage (say what??) But still. The other morning, before I’d had my coffee or found my glasses, I looked out and briefly wondered, How did that lovely big rock get in my garden? How sleek they make themselves, legs tucked under, heads resting on their backs. When they get up, they leave an oval hollow, just the right size for a grandchild to curl up in and pretend to be a sleeping bear.

I’ll resume my war come spring, but for now, the deer and I are both just doing our best to get through this cold, worrisome winter.

Helping me this week: the couch, the comforter, these books: Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin; Lost & Found, by Kathryn Schulz; Amber and Clay, by Lauren Amy Schulz; Middlemarch, by George Eliot. A sip of red wine helps, too.

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