Long Time No See


Nature Close to Home and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Dave Woehr shares monthly naturalist stories.

LEBANON, OH -- When I moved to Lebanon nearly 20 years ago I felt like I was living right on the edge of the country. Since then there has been a lot of local growth and development taking place. New subdivisions and businesses keep popping up along with their accompanying road incursions and widenings. These expansions are taking place at the expense of natural habitat which is cleared to make room for “progress.” And, although this loss of habitat is subtle and gradual, it is nevertheless a loss.

Our wildlife populations notice the habitat loss much quicker than we do. If they can’t adjust to the new environs they move on to where the living is more to their liking. I have noticed changes in wildlife patterns right here in my own yard as well as in the City of Lebanon and elsewhere in Warren County. The most noteworthy example of this is the decline in the area deer population. That’s fine for the local farmers and gardeners that had problems with deer feeding on their flowers and vegetables. I had that problem in my yard for years because there was a herd of about a dozen deer living in the woods right behind my house. But several years ago they just vanished. Until this week I hadn’t seen a deer near my house for two or three years.

Then, to my surprise yesterday I spotted a lone doe in the vicinity for the first time in ages - a beautiful graceful doe checking to see if it was safe to return to her old stomping grounds. She watched me at close range showing little fear. As she posed, I snapped several pictures. I felt like saying, “Long time no see” and “Welcome back.” I hope she has returned to live in the woods behind my house as long as she doesn’t bring a dozen of her closest friends with her.

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