Near Jack’s Cabin

     “deer… like skeletons.”
                                    —Dorothy Wordsworth

Yes. Like skeletons this winter,
stealing silage meant for cattle
though it starves them.
They look wistful at the forest’s edge.
I want to coax them to my fire
before the wind tonight and snow,
more snow.

Some will fawn in spring if they survive.
We shall shrug off matted coats,
graze among the daffodils.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Eclectica
Photo Source
For dVerse 

28 thoughts on “Near Jack’s Cabin

    1. Thanks, Frank. Jack’s Cabin is between Gunnison and Crested Butte in Colorado. That winter the deer would expend so much energy just trying to get through the snow which was up to their bellies. At one point coming home in the evening, I ran into a traffic jam on our gravel road of 2 deer, a yearling elk and a snowshoe hare, all taking the “easy” way through the snow.

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    1. Indeed we did starve along with the animals, Bjorn. It frightens me sometimes that many people don’t have the connection with our food sources and the wilderness, which then can deem the unimportant, when they are vital to our existence.

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  1. Raw and poignant! I feel for the deer. Recently at a park I bike by they put a stop to the people feeding the pigeons by San Francisco Bay. People fed them for decades before this and a large group lived there all that time. Now there are signs up but I’m not seeing any starving birds (thank heavens). I do see sad birds checking in once and awhile hoping for food. It’s amazing how fast they cleared out. Winter is so hard on animals they are tough!

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    1. Thanks, Bekkie. Like migrating birds, they’ll go to the next food source if one dries up. I think birds have more freedom than animals do who have to trudge through the snow, sometimes for miles to find food. And yes, they are tough!

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    1. Thanks, Victoria. I am a nature documentary junkie, and I’ve heard several photographers say that the policy is to never interfere, but to let nature be nature. But it must be so hard when they see animals they have been following become prey.

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    1. Thanks, Bryan. I was surprised when an old farmer told me that the deer try to eat hay, but their stomachs can’t metabolize it, so it offers almost no nutrition. And no foraging when the snow is very deep. Cruel winters in the mountains…

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