Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23: Young deer

The highlight of a bird walk I led this morning on Ragged Mountain wasn't a bird, although there were several cool birds--singing wood thrush, singing rose-breasted grosbeak, singing towhee, woodcocks flushed from a nest, a bluebird in a nest cavity, several warblers... As we walked up the woods road, a deer stepped out in front of us and looked our way. I thought at first it was a big doe, warm brown in her new summer coat. But looking through my binoculars, I could see it had little velvety nubs of horns: a young buck. His big ears swiveled as he tried to figure out what we were. We must have been downwind, because he began to slowly walk toward us, seemingly curious. We held still and watched, but not silently. He flicked his white tail but didn't bolt. Eventually he must have decided we were beneath his notice, and he melted into the woods. We never heard a sound, even as we walked past where he had entered the shelter of green leaves.
More aware than we
of all those birds in the leaves--
young deer, still fearless.

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