Chill damp day, drizzle off and on. At the conservation area this morning which I entered - I belatedly realized - a trifle illegally having disobeyed in my determination to go there since I had the car, a Road Closed sign, which I realized as I lifted weights and punched the air Buffy style as I headed down the path could possibly get me arrested by those adhering to the authoritarian letter of the law types - are you above the law? no, I, I, I.... listen of all the things there are to make a federal case about these days you're going to bust me for disobeying a Road Closed sign so I could go take a walk? Are you suggesting that some sexual exchange might transpire that would get me out of this municipal scrape? (What I would not divulge to their cynically impassive selves is that I have a blog...)
No such dire personal scenario came to pass. Instead, as I walked down the path towards the view of slate mountains, I saw three creatures grazing and nosing in the distance. I knew that they were deer and yet in the obfuscating gray their shapes looked like cows, or small horses, or long-legged coyotes. I was alone in the wide landscape and so felt free to call out. Hello deers, what are you, cows? small horses? no, you're beautiful deer. They looked at me and seemed to listen but then there came the point that one became skittish and then the other two. They raised their tails and ran, the three of them bounding across mown meadow, backsides flashing. Evolutionarily speaking, those white undertails seem counteruntuitive, high beams betraying dun cover. At the rim of far woods they stopped and regarded me. I came to more or less the spot where they had been. On the grass by the path was a large bone, polished clean of raw meat but with bits of gristle still adhering. It was the leg of a large animal, freshly killed and eaten, perhaps overnight, not an old ancient petrified bone polished clean after long exposure. At the end of the stripped flank was a vivid reminder of the creature's recent life - soft brown tail, completely untouched, coat intact. It occurred to me to be wary. I don't know enough about coyotes. Alone in the landscape, prey scattered under a cloudbound sky, walking towards flat slate ridge, I sang aloud - loud - not camouflage, not hiding - but advertisement.