rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Passing the Night

Slow rain fell through the early night, then turned to a fine mist, which continues to fall even now. Though the moon never appeared, it is yet bright enough to fill the clouds with its glow, casting a pale, shadowless light over town and forest. I stepped out the front door shortly after the rain stopped. The mist was sufficient to keep the trees wet, and to allow water to collect on the roof and run down the drainpipes, and fall from the eaves, and so the music of dripping water was everywhere, filling the night with varied tones and complex rhythms. Nearby, I heard an owl hooting, and another bird whose call I've heard before but can't name- a call of eight or ten close and accelerating repetitions of the same woodwind-like note. Further away, and somewhat incongruously, a rooster crowed.

Aside from the bird calls and the dripping water, no sound broke the stillness until I heard a rustling of leaves at the end of the yard, and the clop of a hoof on wood. It was a deer, treading on the wooden border of the flower bed next to the wild plum bushes. Gazing through the dim light, I saw the grey form moving onto the lawn, followed by another, then one more. I stood still as they crossed the lawn with slow steps, pausing now and then. They crossed the driveway with faint clops of their hooves, and went into the flower bed where, amazingly, a few pansies are still blooming. A few minutes later, they went around the low fence along the north edge of my yard and onto the lawn of the neighboring house.

There, the first of them triggered the motion sensor that turns on a light. Suddenly the deer were clearly revealed. It was a buck and two does who had crossed my lawn. The light was bright enough to illuminate another doe and a half-grown fawn across the street, who had passed unnoticed by me.

The deer were startled by the light, at first. They stood perfectly still, heads up, looking at the sudden brightness. Seeing no danger, after a moment they continued on their way. I watched them walking up the street until the light went off, and they were lost in the darkness. After that, there was once again only the sound of dripping water, and the calls of the birds.

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