On a much-needed hike in the fresh snow, I followed deer tracks until I met their makers: a buck and doe Whitetail hiding in the woods. I watched them and they watched me. I shot a few photos. I walked a bit closer to the deer. I shot a few photos. And so on. The buck, more wary than the doe, took off down the bank of a shallow gully and watched from the other side. The doe stayed put though she twitched with each click of my camera’s shutter. A gust of wind arose blowing the snow off bare tree branches above, falling in a sudden and brief blizzard, looking like fog. I recorded a few more image frames. I approached a bit more. The doe gave me one last look and followed her mate deeper into the brush. Lifted, I turned back and away from the Whitetails and, slogging through the snow and frigid evening air, headed to the edge of the wood, returning to a noisier world.
This morning, venturing outdoors, I encountered a small herd of Whitetail Deer enjoying breakfast at the end of our neighbors’ drive. They were a bit wary of my presence but I was able to get my camera, shoot several photos of them, and move much closer to the group than I would have expected. Many consider them pests coming, as they do, into lawns and gardens to graze. I consider the deer beautiful and feel a bit sorry for their plight — they come into unsafe areas seeking food because we humans continue to remove their woodlands to build houses, shopping centers, and parking lots. So, my dear deer, enjoy your breakfast and have a safe day!
This morning I had a little extra time so I paid an early visit to the Strongsville (Ohio) Wildlife Area of Cleveland Metroparks. The air was unmoving and chilly but the morning light was warm. On the lake floated ducks and wading along the far shore was the resident Great Egret. I’d seen the big white bird there before and was hoping to spy it once again. I shot a good many images of the bird as it waded along the shallows, striking into the water now and again, feeding on small aquatic creatures. A hawk landed high in a neighboring tree and, after sitting there for a bit, took off. I don’t know if it was the raptor’s activity or if the egret spotted me but it sprang into flight. I squeezed off a few shots as the bird slowly flew farther along the shoreline; shown here is the best of the bunch. A little farther down the road I encountered a young buck Whitetail Deer who was apparently waiting to cross. I stopped to allow it to make up its mind. On the seat beside me was my trusty camera so, as the deer started moving, I fired off a few shots; unlike the other kind of shots, the youngster has been preserved by mine. It was a happy morning.
UPDATE: One week after I made the photo of the deer, I noted Cleveland Metroparks had closed the section of parkway where the encounter took place. The road block signs didn’t say it but it looked like the area was closed for wildlife “management.” Too bad the only way they seem to be able to manage wildlife involves rifles.