Cool Down

In a mountain park outside of Denver, there’s a secluded cave hollowed out of granite rock. The July heat in Colorado sometimes soars to triple digits and this cave, hidden in the shelter of ponderosa pine and aspen, offers a cool refuge from the blistering sun at high altitude. Look what sauntered inside that cave to cool off.

Can you see it? (Hint: look to the corner)

There’s a pair of something sticking up!

Those ears look hot!


I looked at that cave and saw the tips of some very pink ears emerging. The veins on those ears were visible and the back of those ears were bare without hair. Deer use their ears to help cool themselves in hot temperatures. In cold weather, their winter fur helps keep body heat inside. What’s so amazing about a deer’s ear is that it can rotate forward and backward and side to side as it tunes into sound, including ultra-high-frequencies that humans can not hear. This mule deer’s soft brown eyes spotted me only after its large ears detected my presence.

The whole encounter brought a warm effervescence to my recall. “My ears are hot!” announced one of my children when I cranked the car heater on a snowy winter’s day many years ago while shuttling our vehicle to and from elementary school. I promptly reduced the thermostat knowing that some beings have extraordinary sensitivities. Unfortunately, climatically astute ears were never on my list of personally acquired virtues.

I shivered woefully and acknowledged the giftedness of my child and those who possess the knack to chill out when necessary. Some creatures have innate inclinations when things get hot.

And you have to admit, we’ve seen a lot of heat this summer in a multitude of ways.

Therefore, I implore finding a cool glade, or swath of shade, to restore the weary mind, body, and/or soul during these dog—I mean deer—I mean dear days of summer.

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
—Henry James

Thanks for stopping by.