My community is a busy suburb pretending to be a sleepy farm hamlet. It really was a sleepy farm hamlet until the housing boom of the mid 1960's. My parents bought their house in 1968, and we watched the house being built in what had once been woods. My father actually took us hiking in the woods once, so that we would appreciate the beautiful surroundings of our new home.
You can still see remnants of the sleepy farm hamlet throughout the area. Most of the farms are gone, of course, but there are a few famstands/"agritainment" businesses around.
For example, immediately behind my house there's an 18-acre plot of undeveloped woodlands. When my neighbors sold their house, they advertised that their backyard bordered on an "18 acre nature preserve". It's a long, thin strip of land that separates one housing development from another. Originally it was supposed to be part of a road that was planned in the late 1960's but never built. And now it's a landlocked strip that cannot be successfully developed -- no one has figured out how to comply with the local zoning laws for this strip of land and still make a profit. I'm not sure who owns it now, but they must be using it as a tax write-off.
Down the street, across from the synagogue, there is a real nature preserve, a small park owned by the town. Follow either of the trails into the woods, and you will come to a small pond. When I was there the other day, I saw two large turtles -- they must have been at least 18 inches long -- swimming in the pond.
Over the years we've seen many small animals -- possums, raccoons, bats, chipmunks, foxes. Whatever you'd expect to find in the woods of Long Island.
But not deer.
I was told that there were deer in the woods before all the houses were built, but that the deer moved east as our community grew and developed.
Apparently they are back.
The other day, I ran an errand very early in the morning. Came home about 8:00 AM. As I was driving up the street towards my house, I saw "something" in the middle of the road. As I got a little closer, I realized that "something" was...three deer.
Yes, three deer standing in the middle of the road, right in front of my house.
I wish I'd been able to take a picture, but as soon as they saw my car, they ran down my next-door neighbor's driveway and into the woods behind our houses.
Deer...in my back yard...
life in and around NYC is insane
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