Red-nosed deer and a Happy New Year

1080_rudolphthered-nosedreindeerlife-sizecardboardstand-upSince it’s the Christmas season, my thoughts turn not to chestnuts roasting on an open fire but to… reindeer. Not native to Ohio, a rare subspecies migrates through the state in the dark hours of December 24 and 25. The migration is small – only eight reindeer most years with nine in years with inclement weather.

During bad winter storms a red-nosed variant shows up. The reindeer are accompanied by a colorfully attired and rather plump herder.

We know very little else about these special deer. They keep warm in the standard ways – a dense coat of insulating, hollow hair and by drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate and eating sugar cookies.

A few lucky Ohioans, generally under the age of eight, have been lucky enough to see them fly through moonlit skies. Since they are wingless, how they do so remains a mystery.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, folks! Perhaps if you stand outside on a clear night, you’ll be one of the lucky few. And even if you don’t see flying reindeer, you might feel eight-years-old again for a fleeting moment and all will be well with the world.