Scrappy wakes me up about 5 till 4 this a.m. to bark/growl at a skunk meandering at the edge of the fence row. ( I guess I really should flesh out the term "fence row"; what I am talking about in this case is actually an approximately 10-yard deep patch of woods and scrub starting at the edge of the townhouse block across from us and extending full width to the end of Woodbridge and about half that width through the next addition to Inland Drive. Following a stream that emerges from it at our end, it crosses Woodbridge, becoming the stream that Scrappy gets his drinks in when going/coming back from a walk, and draining into the feeder canal. Thus this "fence row" can handle the network of various sized trails and the zoo full of transient animals.)
I got up to hit the "head"; Scrappy was again at it when I returned, although I was sure that Mr. Skunk had ambled away for the evening, as indeed he had. But on the other side of the tree at the right of our bedroom was a deer. She took up about 5 minutes of our evening nibbling on the pine needles (they're close to killing these trees that border the fence row) before finally disappearing down the trail. Just as Scrappy finally settled down, he was up at it again- you guessed it, perhaps; another deer, same spot that we spotted the first. Same story again, except he passed the trailhead and just stood in the middle of the yard. Scrappy began to bark and growl and whine and lean back on me and look up as if to say, "Dad, do something," though what that something is is never made clear. Of course, the deer hears this, looks right at us- and deducing rightly it was no threat to him, continued to nonchalantly stand there and make Scrappy miserable. By the time he was satisfied with his morning's work, stopped off to eat some more needles and finally disappear, it was about 4:30. I kept waiting for Marlin Perkins to come through, but he must have had the night off.
None of this, mind you, changed the routine of wake dad up at 8 a.m. and pester for a walk until he gets his way. So out we go at 8:15 into a world that was already in the mid-seventies with humidity at 82%. Through the hedge into the Plex, alongside the tall grass of the meadow and into the woods where the dirt and stone trails meet. Along the way our poop-eating butterflies were all over, and one tried desperately to land on me; each landing had to be aborted by a/the jerk on the other end of the leash, who wanted to see all the little soccer kids gathering on "fields 15-19".
In the woods, I immediately spotted a fawn deep in the trees; he spotted us, too and scampered off before I could tell if he was one of the ones we saw earlier in the week. I thought he might have been smaller, but not for sure on that. It was more humid yet in the woods, so we went up the dirt trail and exited quickly into the addition. About a block from home, Mr. Bunny Rabbit was sitting in someone's yard; amazingly, the near-exhausted Scrappy actually saw him before he moved, and was momentarily upset I didn't let him chase the beast across the guy's yard. However, it was a fleeting thing; I wondered if Scrappy'd make it all the way to the door before wanting to rest ( this was not a mile walk, folks).
So, if we throw in the bat that we saw Thursday night, that puts us at 30 deer, 18 rabbit, and 7 bat-sightings for the year.