In his essay In the American West is Hope Possible? Robert Adams writes: “There are so many events that used to bring pleasure and don’t any longer. Encountering animals for example. I remember the joy I knew the first time I saw a cougar, and later the same summer, a marten. And the satisfaction I felt when I realized I was with deer, in rimrock on sunny pines or in a canyon at daybreak. Now if I see deer, as I occasionally do along the Platte, it saddens me. Where are the wretched things to go? – in all directions there are highways, and the risk of attracting guard dogs.”
I felt much the same when visiting my parents this weekend. They live in the southwestern edge of the Salt Lake City valley. I took a drive west of their place and discovered deer in several places in marginal habitat. I also saw several dead deer on the side of the road. It’s neat to see them until you realize the wretched things have no place to go. Anyway, here are a couple of photographs.