Wildlife: Up Close and Personal

Seclusion rustic golf scenic getaway cabins lake lodge dining Salem Christiansburg free discount culture parkway travel
Ann called almost inaudibly from the kitchen. It almost seemed as if she were trying to talk without even moving her lips.

Finally I made out what she was almost saying: turkey. Right. Here.

I grabbed the camera and got a few mostly bad shots, because the window glass reflection played havoc with the autofocus on the lens. There was practically no light, so the ISO got pushed to 800. I can say this: this is the best picture of a turkey I’ve ever taken. Because it is the ONLY picture of a turkey I’ve ever taken.

Ah, wildlife. Thursday, driving to work, I hit a deer. It came up out of a ravine and was maybe 20 feet away when I hit the brakes hard, and the deer the same way–broadside. Thankfully, I had slowed enough that I didn’t go up and over the deer, which probably would have turned me into the ravine.

The deer didn’t tumble, but instead slammed hard into the bank, staggered and ran back infront of the car AGAIN. I slammed on the brakes AGAIN. And the deer bounded back down into the ravine along Union Valley Road, and I feel certain is still out there somewhere, not feeling so very good.

And the Subaru: a few coarse deer hairs under the license plate frame. That’s all. This time.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. yikes! i hate to admit, but i have totalled two cars b/c of wildlife…one a deer and one a bear…both in western MD where i commuted home late at night from the children’s home i worked for.

    the bear i never even saw b/c it was a black bear and it was pitch black outside….it hit me at an angle and didn’t pass in front of the car- and then, of course, i get out and wonder around in the dark trying to figure out what i had hit. not very wise!

    they ended up approving a bear hunt just for one season b/c our area was so overpopulated with them. is saw them at least once a week walk in front of my car on the road home.

  2. Yikes! Didn’t that turkey know he ought to lie low around Easter?

    Too bad about the deer. We see them all the time around here, but so far I have avoided hitting any.