Saturday, November 27 2004
setting: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, New York, USA
Today I spent much more time than anticipated filling in more of the voids in the behind-the-woodstove heat shield using small batches of colored Portland cement. As a medium, I absolutely love Portland cement. When it's wet, it's so easy to work with and form into shapes. Then when it sets it's impressively durable. Now that I know how to color it, I can treat it like molten rock.
I paid another visit to the newly-discovered bluestone mine a quarter mile from the house down the Stick Trail. I picked through the rock there and found a few massive sheets that were thin and light enough to easily tilt up. As I was doing these things, I noticed that Eleanor was investigating something that interested her a little further up the hill. (Sally had abandoned me early in the walk.) So I climbed further up the hill, partly to see if there was any more bluestone up there. That's when I saw it, not more than 50 feet from the mine, a dead deer. It was completely intact (though somewhat bloated) and had a trace of blood running out of its nose. Blood coming out of orifices usually indicates severe internal injuries, the kind that come from bullet gunshot wounds. Since this deer lacked antlers, it was obviously a doe. Whoever had shot it had abandoned it in the woods because he couldn't do anything else with it. Doe season is much shorter and more restricted than buck season and chances are this doe was shot illegally. As for Eleanor, she had no idea what to do with the carcass. There was plenty of perfectly-good deer meat inside, but it was sealed away beneath fur and skin. I'm sure eventually coyotes will show up and know what to do.
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