Tuesday, September 8, 2009
138 - The Hidden Life of Deer; Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Despite the fact that I contracted Lyme's Disease from a deer tick a few years ago, I still love watching deer.
In The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons From the Natural World, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is an Anthropologist who lives with her family in a wooded area of New Hampshire. It was not unusual for her to see deer, wild turkey, bobcats, coyotes and sometimes even an occasional bear. One fall, a few years back she noticed that the acorn population was almost non existent. Since wildlife tends to depend on acorns to help get them through the harsh winter months, she decided to spread some corn (some 100+ pounds of it, over the course of the winter). Initially, she thought she was feeding the wild turkey in the area.
The wild turkeys did come, but so did about 30 deer, over the course of the winter: doe, bucks and even a few fawns. The author began to track what she saw, who she saw etc in her yard and nearby fields. She also hiked into the woods, studied trails, feeding patterns on trees, and reported her observations in this book.
Although I thought it was interesting to learn about the feeding patterns, feeding chains, and wild life etiquette as it relates to who eats first, I found some of what was contained in the book to be somewhat heartbreaking. (I'm a softy when it comes to any of God's creatures). So, I admit to glossing over a few sections.
All in all it was still an interesting read. If you are interested in learning more, read this one for yourself and decide.