I was on a morning walk today [Monday], heading east down Idyllbrook, past Delano. It was just after 8 a.m. and I sleepily stepped to the side as someone slowly pulled out of their driveway in an SUV and headed to work.

I looked past the SUV and saw, a few houses down, a deer in the road, a mature female, I think. Anthropomorphizing the scenario, I saw the deer head back toward Strawberry Creek and safety. Two adolescent deer emerged onto Idyllbrook from a yard on the right, seeming to follow their mom.

But then, what appeared to be a mature male deer emerged (no antlers, though). The male stayed on the street, ignoring the female who was heading toward safety. He led the younger ones toward the end of Idyllbrook. The female saw them and decided to follow, albeit reluctantly.

At the end of Idyllbrook, Idyllwild Pines has a fenced easement on its property so kids can pass through as they walk to school. The four deer entered the easement and I followed cautiously from a distance. I realized, with some anxiety, that if they didn’t jump the easement fence, they would emerge on Highway 74 in the midst of the school drop-off frenzy that takes place most weekday mornings.

As I got about halfway down the easement, I saw that the four deer had indeed emerged onto the hubbub of the highway, and had enough good sense to stay on the side of the road only to immediately retreat, running through Idyllwild Pines (where it is unfenced) and back toward the creek, and hopefully to the safety of the hills behind the county park.

I breathed a sigh of relief that they had avoided the worst of the highway. And I felt the twinge of joy when I realized that some of the kids and parents must have been able to witness the deer in the middle of this most unlikely of places.

Kent Weishaus