After a drive through Stone Mountain State Park the other day all I can say is I’m sad. Stone Mountain is only a few miles from my house. Several times a year we travel there to hike or camp, other times to just ride through and take in the natural beauty and watch the deer graze. On a typical late Sunday afternoon ride through the park we’ve seen up to 120 deer. The other day we saw 3! Yes, only 3 poor babies.
Where have the deer gone? A disease called Blue Tongue or EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) is rampant in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Reports tell of farmers finding two, three and four dead deer at a time near their ponds or streams. This disease causes a high fever so the deer travel to the cool water for relief.
Even though deer have terrorized my garden spot for years I still don’t wish them any harm. The authorities say this disease does not affect humans, and that you can even eat the meat of these diseased animals… but I beg to differ. Who in their right mind would eat an animal that has died with a fatal illness that causes hemorrhaging?
The ailment is caused by the bite of a midge. What is a midge? Well the Webster’s Dictionary says it’s a gnat. After doing a more through search on the internet I found a midge is a tiny swarming fly: a small slender flying insect that occurs globally, particularly in swarms near bodies of standing water, or a related biting insect that can transmit blood-borne diseases. YUCK!
Now I don’t know about you but my house has been infested all summer with these little insects that I call gnats. They swam around my tomatoes that I’ve brought in from the garden. They love to land in whatever sweet drink I’m tasting and hang out near the trashcan, and bathroom. I’ve never thought too much about these irritating little buggers, not until this blue tongue disease came along.
How do I get rid of these pesky disease-carrying midgets? The only way I’ve found is to swat each and every one of them individually and pray for an early freeze. If anyone else has a better attack plan please let me know.
No kidding the deer population in some counties in North Carolina has declined up to 50% or more. Why, there’s even talk of canceling deer hunting season in Wilkes County this year. I’ve thought a lot about this. How will our men react? Testosterone levels will spike. They will go on a rampage and track down all who support this decision. If you think people who suffer from road rage are crazy, wait until you come face to face with a guy who cannot legally deer hunt for an entire year.
Women who were once widowed from the first Saturday after Labor Day until sometime in December will now have a full time husband…year round…every day. I’m trying to decide if this is a good thing or not. A woman needs her space just like a man does you know.
My husband isn’t all crazy about the kill anymore, but he once was. There have been fights with friends. Falling out with family member, and a few times there have been echoes of divorce coming from a far off place in my mind. Come on admit it. Men take on a different personality when they dress up in multi-colored earth tone clothes and get a gun in their hands.
What would it mean if deer season were really cancelled this year? Maybe a father would not miss his child’s basketball game, or supper most nights with his family. For four entire months he may very well be the partner that his wife desires. His mind would not linger on how many points that buck had in the photo that his game camera took, but he would dream of the softness of his wife’s skin and the smell of her hair. (I know. I’m really going too far now aren’t I?)
Anyway, in truth I really think it would be a good thing if deer camp was closed for business this year. The surviving deer population might have a chance to re-populate and husbands and wives might have a chance to see what fall of the year is like sharing it with each other.
Personally I don’t see anything wrong with a man going out into the woods and listening to the breeze as it shakes the autumn leaves. I can totally relate to connecting with nature and finding peace in the woods. But I can also feel the strife of many a lady, as she becomes a single parent for a quarter of the year.
God has a way of fixing things. Whether it is a disease to lessen the overgrown population of the white tailed deer or to calm down a man’s urge to escape reality and wonder off into the forest.
Another excerpt from my soon to be released novel, The Color of My Heart.
“What are you doing, Me-maw?”
Me-maw was planning her future instead of drowning in the sorrows of the past.
“Just making a list. Things I need to get done before I move home. I’ve already checked the first thing off. I called the electric company, and they said the power would be on by noon. Do you think the girls would come down on Saturday and help us clean? Maybe they could pick out some new curtains and accessories.”
Laura listened as her me-maw told of all her plans. Right at that moment, she felt much older than her great-grandmother. Inesta was on a mission and was determined to conquer any obstacle that came her way. She was going home, and it was obvious that nothing would stop her.