The Case of the Trabuco Canyon Deer: You See What You Seek

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Deer are Here
“I just saw a herd–okay, a small herd–of deer!” I raced in the door breathless, eager to share the news. We’d just moved into our home in rural-but-close Trabuco Canyon two months earlier. My first wildlife sighting right in my own neighborhood thrilled me.

That was in 2007. We saw 95 deer in our community that year, all of them before the October fire.

In 2008, we saw two deer. Only two. Of course, that was the year that my mother died, so I may not have been paying attention to deer. In 2009, we spotted 30, and I was happy to see their numbers increasing.  In 2010, 20 deer crossed our path, and last  year, we saw 25.

So far this year, we’ve seen 54. 

[You might be wondering how I know exactly how many deer we spot every year. I keep a tally on the white board that hangs in our kitchen. Really. And yes, I know they can be a nuisance. But not our deer. Trabuco Canyon deer are well-behaved, foraging in the forest.]

I’m no deer expert, but I do know that my little sample isn’t adequate to lead to sweeping conclusions about the health of the Trabuco Canyon deer. We’re just one household, tracking our deer sightings.

Maybe the deer are increasing.

Or maybe I’ve learned where to look for them. Driving to work along our beautiful, winding, narrow canyon road, sheltered under an arcade of oak, I spot them in the glades beside the road. I see the flash of a rump slipping down a ravine as I round a corner. Once, on a Sunday morning, a deer ran down a steep bank and leaped across the road right in front of us, seemingly flying over the hood of the car. It was close enough to inspire shock and awe.

I have this hunch: What changes from day to day is how devotedly I attend to the deer. When I look, and I mean really look, I always find them.

These deer, they remind me of God like that. 

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB)

I’m sharing today over at Duane’s place:

And with Mary Beth:


And with Jennifer: