Ramble On

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Herding Instinct

On Sunday, Tessie and I were returning from our walk at Hawksbill Recreation Park in Stanley when we surprised a small herd of deer in the yard.  As the apples begin to fall from the old tree, they get pretty bold in the morning browsing the front yard.  Since this year appears to promise an excellent crop of acorns from our white oaks, looks like we'll have a couple of months to enjoy them out front.

They stood for a while in the yard with us stopped in the car out on the road, before I pulled in to the drive.  I looked back, and there was Tess giving them the border collie eye - just a little instinct oozing up from the usual hug bag behavior. She was motionless, but right on the verge of quivering with excitement to get out there and check them out.  When I finally parked the car, she exploded out into the yard to find them.

This reminded me of the morning after we got her:  I took her out to sit on the brick terrace with me, to get to know the new place, when we heard some foot steps in the woods off to the east.  They got louder, and Tessie sat up to listen intently, motionless as this time. 

Finally, near the bottom of the yard, five deer emerged from the yard.  I let them get across the road and disappear down Beaver Run hollow before I released her to investigate.  For the next two days, and then again on the following weekend, we were off on a border collie adventure as she went down to where she'd seen the deer to make sure they weren't back.

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