A N.H. naturalist reveals a world few know about
After growing up on a farm in Peterborough, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas thought she knew what there was to know about deer - they were "essentially loners who got into your garden if they could and lifted up their white tails when they ran. Farm lore held that they were venison waiting to be harvested."
Then came the year that there were no acorns in New Hampshire and Thomas decided to feed the deer to help them survive. Soon she had 30 coming to her fields for corn and over a 12-month period the best-selling naturalist ("The Hidden Life of Dogs," "Tribe of Tiger") began to take note of how the deer behaved. You can read the rich result in "The Hidden Life of Deer" [HarperCollins, 2009, $24.99].
The book, due to be released in September, details how Thomas' preconceptions about deer are overturned by her observations and replaced with an awe and fascination with the creature's vast hidden world. She writes: "We enter a world as different from ours as it's possible to be, the world to which we once belonged, a world we normally don't notice but which is all around us."
Deer, she adds, have much to show us and you'll find they do indeed.
This article appears in the December 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine