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Mule Deer Musings

September 10, 2010

In the photo is one of the five deer I saw on my late afternoon hike today at Santiago Oaks Regional Park. (That’s five more than I usually see.)

This made me remember an earlier mule deer sighting (back in October of 2007, which was the year the Windy Ridge Fire burned through 90 percent of Santiago Oaks in the previous March). I didn’t have a camera with me that day, but I wrote about it:

Mule Deer at Santiago Oaks

“I met her, as one meets a ghost . . .”

from “Old Trails”  by E.A. Robinson

Such labor of breathing

mechanical running . . .


how is my eye caught

by just an ear twitch:


stillness her camouflage

stillness and leaf shadow.


I pause my stopwatch

make my breath slow


swivel my head—

no owl, unwise


to share the dusk

with predators.


My destination

less urgent, flies light


on my wrist

and I twitch—


still—the deer.

Back to my plodding


blessed by red dirt

live oaks and the scorched


hills now resprouting

soothed by fall rain


home to this mule deer

home again.

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