The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dog chases deer on West 7th Street


Deer poop spotted in Dan's back yard early last week.
Ever since a development was built off Rahway Road in Scotch Plains a number of years ago, Plainfield has seen an invasion of deer in residential neighborhoods that has spread down towards Park Avenue and East 7th Street.

But we have not seen them in the West End, until this past Friday.

A pile of poop was spotted in our back yard earlier in the week, and I was pretty sure it was deer poop. (It looks very similar to rabbit doodoo, and we have several rabbits, but the clincher was the size of the pile of droppings, about a hands width.)



TJ poses for the camera.

TJ, the amiable boxer we dog-sit while his human Mom teaches in the Plainfield public schools, was sunning himself with me on the back porch when he decided to take a stroll in the back yard.

When he didn't come back in a couple of minutes, I walked back to see what he was into only to find that he wasn't in the rear yard at all.

Turning to come back to the house I spotted him under the Japanese maple near the patio. Just as I did his ears perked up, the hair on his back stood up, and without a sound he started charging down the side yard toward the front.

'What the hell?', I wondered.

Looking up, I saw that he was about to take after a young buck who was making his way from West 7th Street along our side of the neighbor's fence toward the back yard. This was about 2:30 PM, a most unusual time for deer to be out and about, and we had not previously seen any in the neighborhood.

The deer was as startled as I. Thankfully, TJ is well-behaved and responded (though somewhat reluctantly) to a sharp 'come here' command by stopping in mid-charge and coming -- with a couple of stops and starts -- to my side.

Expecting to go back in the house, he ran up on the porch where he usually waits by the kitchen door.

This day, though, he ran along the wraparound porch to the front, stood with his front paws on the railing panting and huffing and eyeballing the street to make sure the threat to his turf was definitely gone.

Satisfied, he ran into the kitchen and pranced around, proud of himself, until he got a treat.

So, what brings deer this far down? Is it overpopulation or a shortage of grazing areas or both?

Anybody have any insights?


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Probably the same deer I saw a few weeks ago on Coolidge Avenue,2400 block.

Anonymous said...

ah Dan I'm disappointed ...poop ...doo doo....how about scat!..Which I learned when I brought droppings of an unknown source to the vet to find out it was coyote "scat" in my yard! :)Jo-Ann

Anonymous said...

There is a big new development in Watchung just past Route 78 that used to be woods. Some deer could be coming down from there too. And I saw a fawn cross in front of my car on Kenyon near Pemberton about 10am one morning last week. I don't know where it's parents were... BK

J. Plummer said...

We have spotted deer grazing at the Hubbard School (W. Eighth St.) and nearby lawns some nights this summer.

Anonymous said...

Park Avenue is the border line between the East End and the West End. Deer have been seen regularly in the West End of Plainfield since at least 1996.

There have been deer on Parkside Road in the West End of Plainfield since 1996 when one was spotted by my daughter Kendra Marie Hill and her friend Latoya Jones on the lawn of LaToya's house at 417 Parkside Road.

Several years ago, while I was teaching a class at Cedarbrook School on Central Ave.,my students and I spotted a deer on the side- walk running northward on the eastern side of Central Avenue.

Over the past 5 years it has been routine to see deer on Pemberton Avenue in Cedarbrook Park between Park Avenue and Lakeview Terrace.

There are often families of 5 or more deer running back and forth across the road in the Park.

About 2 months ago, I called Union County to request that a sign be posted at the entrances to the Park from Park Avenue and Lakeview
Terrace so that drivers are alerted to the dangers.

At the annual barbecue given by Adrian and Amelia Mapp, I spoke with Freeholder Linda Carter about the signs as well. As of yesterday, there are no signs posted indicating BEWARE OF DEER.

The deer are seen regularly in the yards from Park Avenue to Clinton Avenue on the southernly side of the West End of Plainfield.

I have also seen deer on Clinton Avenue running from South Plainfield into Plainfield.


Lastly, yesterday, Saturday, September 17th, I spotted a pile of
strange looking poop in my front yard. Based on your photo, I recognize it to be the same type which is posted on Clips.

Thank you for helping me to solve the poop mystery.

Ora Bailey Hill

Rob said...

Library Park has deer all the time! Have taken photos of them in my backyard on West 8th ( open yard ).. the one bit of luck I seem to have is they've never noticed my hosta..

Tom said...

I have photos of deer in the area of East Front St. near Terrill Rd from a couple of years ago.

Possibly living in the Milt Campbell field (Tract 19)on East Third and Terrill at the time.

With all of the new construction in the wooded areas, they have no place to go other than to move into inhabited areas.

Rob said...

Oh...and FYI..add this to the Top 10 Stupid Things you should never say -- " The deer have yet to discover my Hosta "... I was wiped out last night..Hosta, Potato Vines, Impatiens, and Tomato plants...they ate everything