Wednesday, September 24, 2008

There! There! Deer!

Continuing those posts which aim to give a picture of the area from which I will be setting off ...

We also get a lot of deer . There is more than one type, but the ones we see are cerfs, which are the same thing as red deer. I think in every possible direction we have gone from our house we have seen deer in the fields, in the roads, by the side of the road. Sometimes they are very close. A friend of ours crashed into one that lurched out in front of her car. It wrecked the front of the vehicle.

Once when I was going for a run early one Sunday morning I almost bumped into one. It was in the middle of the street, here in Puivert. It was outside the Chinaman’s house – the Chinaman is actually a Vietnamese, but he is known as the Chinaman. As I rounded a corner, it was standing there not too far away from me. It didn’t seem to care – I had stopped running - then it suddenly realised I was there and galloped off, but it was waiting at the next corner. Then it decided I was not going to go away and it disappeared. Or maybe it was trying to be my pacemaker?

There are a lot of deer, in pestilential numbers, and of course they are hunted as well.

I have already mentioned that we see badgers. Foxes are common. Pine martens are widespread. Only yesterday we saw a live pine marten, a dead fox, and a live dentist (last time for a while, I hope). On the higher ground there are marmots, although unfortunately we have never seen one.

And of course there are numerous smaller mammals rustling away in the undergrowth. A couple of days ago we found, while driving, a mole crossing the road. Considering what they do to our garden, I think it was a splendid demonstration of our charitable natures that we carefully avoided it. And yet again I was astonished at the small size of these creatures, seen in the light of the devastation they cause. And such beautiful fur.

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