Sunday, September 12, 2010

Close to Nature

This picture was taken over twenty years ago by my folks while we were on vacation at Wallowa Lake in the northeastern corner of Oregon. It was my first experience up close to wildlife. The deer were extremely brave and extremely friendly and would approach with little hesitation. I would feed pieces of bread to them and was able to pet them as if they were tamed animals.

I recall my mother not being too fond of me doing this, but also finding it quite amusing that the deer, which were normally quite timid would approach without caution. Maybe this was typical;  maybe it just wasn't hunting season and they were hoisting a big deer middle finger to any would-be hunters in the area. Never the less, from the porch of the cabin, I kept feeding them. Even in the grassy field nearby, I would venture out and they would meet me. Maybe it was just my size and that I had food to offer.

It is assumed that Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease or CJD (pronounced /ˈkrɔɪtsfɛlt ˈjɑːkoʊb/), may be carried by many of the species of deer in North America. In common parlance, CJD is known as "Mad Cow Disease." This condition of the brain progresses over many years, decades really, and so if I begin to ramble irrationally. I could possibly blame my exposure to this experience. Or maybe to the decades of eating beef. Who knows.

But I have to say, feeding deer by hand in the wild is pretty damned cool.
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