Living with the deer...
To the Editor:
My wife, two dogs and I live in a very old house, high on a hill and deep in the woods. We love to walk on the greenways and through the pastures, observing the changing seasons, the intricacy and rich colors of flowering shrubs, and of course the birds and the deer in their natural settings. In the off-season, it is so quiet I can hear the creaking limbs of the trees, and I revel in my unique community, where four-legged neighbors outnumber the two-legged ones.
In my first two years on the island, I got Lyme disease both years. The first time, especially, it was a trial by furious fire. But Linda at the Medical Center worked her magic, and I quickly recovered without lasting effects. I learned to be a smarter consumer of nature — covering my limbs, staying on the beaten path, checking for ticks, and avoiding the deep trails on the hottest days. Under this new regime, Lyme has so far left me alone.
I know how terrible this disease can be, but I am not an advocate of eradicating the island’s deer population. Deer (seen primarily by year-rounders) are magnificent creatures — graceful, athletic, imposing, inspiring. They are part of what makes Block Island that special place that we all cherish. I keenly remember the fevers and the aches of Lyme disease, but I feel I have no moral right to kill off the island’s deer. Instead, I am learning to live safely close to them. If we can act to protect the mighty whale in his distant, briny deep, surely we can also live amicably and respectfully with our four-legged neighbors on this most favored isle.
Off Center Road
... or without them
To the Editor:
I would like to add my voice to that of those who have written to The Block Island Times regarding the deer population. Said population is a scourge in three ways: 1) It carries the deer tick and the danger of Lyme disease (as is the case with many residents, my wife and I have had the disease, and the health of a friend was so compromised by it as to have to leave her beloved island; 2) it is the scourge of gardeners; 3) and although such incidents are not at such a proportion as to constitute a crisis, I have twice clipped a deer that darted in front of my car and have heard say of others experiencing the same.
From an ecological perspective the balance of nature is inoperative.
The white-tailed deer are not a species native to Block Island. They were brought here; and unless the recreational hunter be considered such, they have no natural predator.
Thus their number. It is time to drastically reduce that number: it is virtually impossible to eliminate all.
However, the fewer the better.
Lives will be saved
To the Editor:
Thanks to 29 faithful Block Islanders, we gathered 26 blood donations at our last blood drive. The crew that came out was pleased with that total.
Our next drive is Thursday, Jan. 3 and there will be plenty of notice and reminders. Many thanks.
Peter Greenman, Coordinator
Rhode Island Blood Center