|Sunrise in Osborne Bay|
Life last week was full of dogs, and especially of walking with dogs. In addition to my Mitzi and Eddie, Sadie B is here for a three week stay. Then I got a call from the hospital that a woman on the next street had been taken to emergency during the night and could I please look after her dog for a few days. Her dog is a very large, unneutered male smooth coated collie who, while fairly well behaved, is somewhat lacking in doggy social graces – he is very pushy and won’t leave other dogs alone. So he couldn’t come here (especially as Sadie B would NOT appreciate a dog that invades her space), but a friend and I agreed to share responsibility for looking after the dog in his own house - letting him out, feeding him, taking him for walks.
And so it was that I took the first morning shift – his mama was an early riser, so he was used to being let outside to do his business at around 6 AM. I rose at 5:45, quickly downed a cup of coffee, pulled on sweats and jacket, and trudged around the block to let him out. As his yard isn’t fenced, I wasn’t about to let him off leash and he wasn’t about to do his business on leash unless I took him for at least a little walk. So down to the corner park we went. Business done, I took him back home, fed him, and turned back towards my house, my mouth already tasting that second cup of coffee. My friend would take the collie for a longer walk at a more humane 9 AM.
But as I headed home, I noticed a glimmer of morning light rising behind
– a hint of yellow
and pink casting itself across the bay. Salt Spring
And so I decided to forgo that coffee, grab Eddie’s leash and the camera, and go for a sunrise stroll. It was so worth it.
That evening, after a day of walking dogs and playing fetch a zillion times with Sadie B, I went over to let the collie out for one last bedtime pee around 10 pm. The night was moonlit, the town quiet, the air crisp. I decided to squeeze in one more walk for Eddie – night time walks in this small town are often my favourite. And again nature worked its magic, for as we walked along a particularly dark side street toward a well lit crossroad, we heard and then saw three deer – a doe, a buck and a fawn – leaping and prancing like Santa’s reindeer as they bounded along the centre of the tree-lined main avenue in town. Beautiful.
The deer are plentiful this time of year, making their way down to the beach, across the parks, along the roads.
|A fawn hides in shrub, waiting for its mama -|
a typical sight around town these days.
Two nights later, Eddie and I saw what I first thought were two dalmations in the middle of the road. As we got closer, I realized they were two tiny spotted fawn, frozen in darkness and mesmerized by the glow of my flashlight, mama nowhere in sight. Eddie sat quietly by my side as I watched to see what they would do. A car speeding for the ferry appeared and I jumped into the road to slow him down – my reflective vest blazing and my light waving frantically. Still the fawns stayed put, as he slowed to a crawl and drove around them. When all was dark and still again, I saw the mama – bounding across the green space by the terminal, leaping over the chain link fence, and quickly hustling the little ones into the brush on the other side of the road.
I saw them again late last night – mama deer coming down a lane just as Eddie and I turned a corner. She stopped and watched us, as we stopped and watched her – keeping our distance so not to alarm her if the fawns were nearby. Then as the moon slid from behind a cloud, I saw the babies – this time on the greenspace – and watched as mama again leapt the fence to be with her little ones.
There they stood, mama and her fawns together, silhouetted against the moonlit sea. Magic moments to soothe the soul. What a beautiful way to end a day.