Inspiration Just Wandered Into Our Yard

Young bucks playing in my back yard.

We have been here in Monument Colorado since November.

The FIRST DAY we arrived was mid October. It was dusk and we had to unpack a few items to then race back to Provo Utah.

Right next to the house I spotted a GIANT buck. Is it a buck? I don’t know – I need to learn the right words. That’s the one I’m sticking with right now (correct me, I don’t mind).

He stood there, 30 yards away, watching Randy and I unload our belongings. Staring.

Over the few months we have seen pairs of 2 (at most, never more) bucks roaming through the back ravine area.

Today we got our socks blown off when 8, maybe 10 bucks visited to raid my bird feeders!
 
Randy and I stood paralyzed just watching these majestic creatures move slowly about. There were a few young’uns with them. The chain of command was pretty obvious too.

First Arthur (I named him that today) arrived and stood alone munching away. Off in the distance more bucks began emerging from the wooded area and ravine. SLOWLY.

I started taking photos from indoors and wanted to go out and see what I could do without a dumb window between us.

The FIRST click of my Canon 7D and they all bolted!! Dang it!!

Back inside I went…and they returned.

I got some moving pictures (video) footage which was neat. I also got some amazing photos of them being THEMSELVES!

Arthur backed off and let the others in on the grub. Look at his antlers – the base of them are so scratchy looking!

Frank, the one that you will see was talking to me, stayed the longest.

I named two others: Bill (he waited off on the edge for eternity) and of course you can’t miss Brad (he has a tilted antler… likely going to fall off…I wonder if that hurts).

Two sets of boys were knocking antlers. I noticed their little tails were wagging sort of like Kona’s when he’s having fun. So, I’m going to assume they were playing, not fighting.
 
These creatures are why I drive the speed limit around here. Our roads are rural and winding. We live around 7,000 ft and the weather here has been snowy and cold AND in the 60’s.

What a start to the day!


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Conflicting Information

Traffic came to a standstill today when a gang of deer needed to cross our path to nibble on the brush this morning.

We waited patiently as they pranced past cautiously. There are 30 deer wandering and we have spotted the older and wiser as well as the brand new fawns. The antlers range from 1 point to 3 on each and BOY do they look sharp. They mostly travel in 5 or 8 and I’m beginning to recognize them.

Today I had a lightbulb moment connecting up some dots.

Even before becoming vegan I loved animals. A lot. I remember how my heart broke seeing them in cages in the zoos wondering how anyone (or any living creature) could possibly WANT to live in a box, cell or behind windows. We put people that are bad in jail to serve time in a cage removed from life as they knew it. To protect us from their bad behavior (and sometimes protect them from themselves).

I don’t know very many humans that call themselves a HUNTER. Most people I know live in cities with plenty of grocery stores to provide the many dietary needs they require. In other words: a Hunter hunts for the exciting feeling they get killing another living creature. That, in my opinion, is unacceptable.

There was this hunter who tried to convince me that the deer population needed to be “handled”. The deer were overwhelming a town eating the gardens meant for the human to consume (in hindsight this must have been vegetables). According to this person the deer were taking over the entire town! Humans were starving to death. It was a very grave situation. Hunting was helping when the population exploded and that is why “Hunting Season” was so “important”. I call bullshit.

This reply is just a way to make murdering innocent animals look gallant and stretching it…American.

I heard two stories (yes, only two…but still… read on and you be the judge) of hunters paying over $5,000 to a guide to take them out into the wilderness to kill deer. They were PISSED when they returned empty handed after a WEEK of attempting, suffering in the cold, waiting…and paying so much. If there are so many deer, why couldn’t even ONE be located and murdered? The other person had a similar fish boating story.

Oh, and when I found out the lakes are stocked with farmed fish I almost spit out my drink. To hear people going ga-ga over the size of the fish that they caught was ridiculous. Go to the next carnival or State Fair and throw your dime on a dish, pick up a duck with a number on it or try to get the ping pong ball to land on the lilly pad. Your prize will be a giant stuffed animal that you can leave on your couch for everyone to oooh and ahhh over when they visit.

When was the last time you heard about a “deer invasion” happening?

I did a quick search of the internet and TWO DAYS AGO in Washington there was a deer invasion! Guess why? BECAUSE THE HUMANS WERE LEAVING FOOD OUT FOR THEM. OMG humans. Here’s the story: http://komonews.com/news/local/oh-deer-bellingham-considers-ban-on-feeding-deer-after-animals-invade-neighborhood

The only other deer invasion I could locate had to do with a 2009 blog post (pretty entertaining and excellent writing) asking the citizens of Bountiful Utah if they would allow a sharp shooter onto their property to help contain the mule-deer problem. IN 2009.

This is a manufactured bullshit problem and I’m not sure who is profiting by it.

I just know it pisses me off that there are actual people, with access to plenty of food (and probably they consume way more than they should for their own health) who get excited at the thought of killing something.

There are so many places that energy could be used to help a friend, neighbor, homeless person…the list goes on.

RANT OVER – BACK TO MY OWN WAY OF LIFE

I’m vegan which may be why these issues affect me deeper than someone that is not.

I will never kill another living creature on purpose.

My choice to be vegan started when I was battling a virus that was invading my mouth, ear, nose and throat.

Pic: My mouth FILLED with blisters on every surface. This was a 6 out of 10 (I kept a record of every day of my life with these blisters gauging their severity in pain). I could not eat or drink anything at all when I was battling. This problem began in 2005 after I had gone a full month eating spinach salads with salmon or tuna on top (canned). No Western Medical Doctor I visited (and I went to ALL that were available to me) could figure out what was wrong. I went to an Eastern Medicine Doctor one of our boot campers recommended and he had treated three people with the same problem! I was in shock. He told me he would be getting rid of the blisters, not covering them up. He also let me know how bad my insides were doing. My liver was working overtime, my kidneys were going to give up and my immune system in general was just destroyed having spent from 2005-2012 battling this problem with ‘modern medicine’.

My doctor told me the next place for it to destroy were my eyes (my vision!). That scared the shit out of me enough to listen to what he said (he did not tell me to be vegan for the record). My immune system was shot and getting worse. I was spending $1,000 a MONTH at the Costco pharmacy (cheapest in town) pumping my body with pills, salves and liquids that weren’t working.

Along with following my doctor’s advice and consuming a gawd-awful herbal tea that our dog Kona (who eats poop off the trails) wouldn’t touch I switched out conventionally grown produce with organic THEN in 2012 thanks to Lisa Eidman’s advice to listen to a nutritionist named Julianna Hever. She was a “Plant Based Dietician” and I’d never heard of that before.

That was the beginning of huge and lasting improvements to my health.

– Sleep soundly

– Dandruff GONE

– Blisters GONE

– Energy UP

The biggest bummer is that I will eat EVERYTHING I can and love food even more now because I CAN EAT IT! I went for years eating barely anything and lost a lot of weight as a result.

I’m currently back to 163lbs which isn’t my highest but creeping in the wrong direction.

I got myself an InstantPot to make lots of dishes in but beyond that I love trying new things out.

Eating without meat is super easy for me now and clearly I’m not starving, that’s for sure.

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