For at least the better part of a year and a half, or maybe as much as two years as I didn’t write down the date of its arrival, the deer shaped archery target in the picture to the right has held fast the position of neighborhood oddity in my already at times peculiar neighborhood. Emblazoned across the part of its body that you would put a saddle if you were a wood elf is the phrase “Do not molest,” above a dollar sign.
I’m a frequent walker along a path through the several park areas that hug Shades Creek; the southern border of my little subdivision. One day the deer was there. No preamble. No explanation. Only the request that you consider the ungulate inviolate.
A storm or high winds put it on its side once in the first few weeks. As you can see in the picture, some Samaritan propped it up with a forked stick and there it has remained. At this point even the local dogs don’t regard it with suspicion.
Just recently someone decorated it with what appear to be Fraser Fir branch antlers for Christmas, marking in my mind the passing of our dear deer as an oddity and ushering it in as a fixture much like the ping pong eyed tree which itself made the leap from weird and funny to landmark when the first neighborhood kid began a sentence “We were down by the face tree…”
Thankfully, as one head scratcher blends into the tapestry another leaps forth to be recognized.
I was on a walk with my eight year old son. For the most part we were aimless, exploring areas along the creek made less snaky by the changing of the season when we passed a house with a display of pumpkins on a stump. This was a few days ago. Let’s call it December 13. My son’s reaction was to yell in the direction of the house, “Hey! It’s the season to be jolly! Not the season to be scary!” and then laugh at his own cleverness as only an eight year old can. My reaction was to wonder what manner of mutant pumpkins survive from late October to mid December. My own home display, consisting of one carved and one uncarved, lasted from the day before Halloween until a week later.
They didn’t cut into any of theirs so you would expect them to last longer than a Jack-o-Lantern, but even my uncarved pumpkin was soft and gooey at the base after a week or so.
As it turns out, once you start seeing pumpkins when you don’t expect them, you can’t stop.
There was one that had the common decency to show signs of decay.
All of the above pumpkins were in front of peoples’ houses or in yards. While the mystery of how these gourds survived as long as they did remains, I can understand the procrastination in throwing them out. It’s a pain in the ass to scoop up the seeds that scatter when the bottom inevitably falls off as you pick up the damn thing and try to get it in a bag. It can be gag inducing to wipe up the slimy tendrils from the floor. What I can’t understand is what would possess someone to carry a pumpkin in decline across a football field sized park and heave it into a slow moving creek. But that did happen.
Someone took that pumpkin from their home across this,
just to throw it in the water. Again, once you see pumpkins where you don’t expect to see pumpkins, you can’t stop.
All of the pictures in this post were taken within the last three days along a two mile stretch of creek. It makes no sense. I considered teenagers because I love blaming most everything on kids on PCP, but we don’t have any. The oldest kid that I know of in the area is eleven and he’s just not the type to steal from peoples’ front porches. And these were not here a week ago. If this is the work of teenagers or pranksters nicking holiday displays to toss them along the creek they fail miserably as mischief makers because a) by waiting until December you aren’t stealing pumpkins so much as aiding in much needed clean up and b) putting pumpkins in the leaves and running off is barely even littering. Couldn’t they think of something else? Didn’t anyone’s dad have a sledgehammer?
I’m at a loss. Druids? Druids on PCP?