Wednesday, January 17, 2007

That's going to leave a mark...

Just saw Children of Men. It was excellent, but what a damn heartbreaker. The last big scene was really rough, because it hit me that people really live like that, right now, with soldiers in the streets and militants killing people to further causes and buildings getting shelled almost indiscriminately. As a middle-class, somewhat-entitled white girl living in middle America, it's easy (and probably crucial to the maintenance of my mental well-being) for me to forget the depth of the violence and fucked-up-ness of the world. It was a hard film to watch, but at the same time I couldn't tear my eyes away because even when it was visceral, it was beautiful. It's a pretty brilliant film. I really want to read the book, but I think I need some time to recuperate first.

Their milkshake brings all the deer to the yard

I've had the following saved as a draft since the 5th, and I figure if I don't finish it, I'll probably forget about it, so here goes. I'm not even going to bother coming up with a segue.

This is one of the neatest things I've seen in a long time:  Deer in the Yard

An extended family of deer has befriended a couple that seem really cool (even if they are so hippie that they make me look right wing). They sound like interesting people, and the photos of the deer visits that they posted are pretty fantastic:

Initially, I was torn between wishing I could have that experience with deer and worrying that the deer they befriend will become easy targets for hunters. Then I read the More Deer in the Yard page, where they discuss similar concerns, and I decided to just accept and appreciate the wonder of it all.

I haven't had very many close encounters with the furred kind, really. Not the wild furred (or scaled or feathered) kind, anyway. There was that time when I was twelve and I went out to the backyard without my glasses and a rabbit ran across my foot and I thought it was a rat and screamed my fool head off. Or the time that I had to take a six-foot-long bull snake to the vet. Or the time the cat spotted a broadhead skink in our backyard.

Or the time I got to meet the owlet. A few years back, I did an 11-month term of AmeriCorps service at a nature preserve. One day in May, I heard some of the staff talking about some baby owls that had apparently been abandoned. It was decided that the last living owlet from the clutch of three should be taken to the vet, so I went along. He was about a foot tall, and seeing him up close was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. There was something prickly and cool and slightly unnerving about being so close to a wild predator, even one that could never really harm a human. Unfortunately, the little owl didn't make it. He died a few days after he was found. I did get to hold him with a falconer's glove, though. It was absolutely incredible.

So go see Children of Men, everybody. And kumbaya.


  1. i went to a petting zoo once that had baby deer. they were so cute and sweet. they also had baby emu there. bad choice for a petting zoo. it's not that baby emu don't bite; they just can't bite your finger OFF like an adult could, but it hurts like hell. i don't like emu because of that experience.

    at the same place but outside the actual petting zoo part, they had kangaroos. they let us pet the little grey ones, but they had a young red kangaroo, too. but you couldn't pet him because he was going to be like 7 foot tall when he grew up and they didn't want him to get too used to humans. it was so sad because he desperately wanted in on the petting, and was denied.

    and a bird kept trying to steal my dad's cigarettes out of his shirt pocket.

  2. Anonymous7:51 AM


    I don't think I'm ready for Children of Men yet.

    It's going to be a while before I can see something that disturbing.

    Those pictures of that owl are amazing.

    I've not had much run in with wildlife myself...well maybe except for my husband.

  3. That owl FREAKS ME OUT.

    But I have deer in my yard all the time!

  4. Evilducky771:40 PM

    That deer story reminds me of Todaiji Temple (Nara Park), a place I visited in Japan. The deer are tame and considered sacred and you get in BIG trouble if you harm one. Here are someone else's pictures of the park.

  5. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Very cool pics - I grew up feeding chipmunks and with a dad who was friends with a naturalist (not the nudist kind, the animal kind) I got to pet lots of animals I wouldn't have as a kid, and it's still a humbling experience.

    I've heard that movie is great, and PD James is a great writer so I'll have to check it out. In exchange I should tell you I really enjoyed Stranger than Fiction if you're looking for another good movie to see.

  6. Thanks for the tip, Heather! MB and I are still a little miffed that we managed to miss Stranger Than Fiction at the theater. I *heart* Emma Thompson.

  7. I had one of those skinks crawl up my pants while I was sitting on a planter out at USI.

    Fun times.

  8. The outside of my pants...

  9. Anonymous11:13 PM

    I think deer are scary... no really, I do.