The Discovery

A couple of years ago when I visiting my dad, my mom came into the room and with a hushed voice announced that the twins were here. She then lead me to the window and pointed out at the two baby deer asleep in the back yard. I had just taken my T-5 out the box a few days prior and I decided that this would be my best opportunity to try it out. Being familiar with the behavior of the local deer population I opted to “trust stalk” them. I snuck out the other side of the house with my T-5 in hand and slowly walked along the side of the house. Even though they were only a few weeks old their keen instincts and finely tuned senses told them that they were no longer alone. Fortunately for me their natural reaction was to freeze in place and try to be as invisible as possible. I made a point to not look at them and sat down in the grass nearby. I would occasionally speak in a soft tone and purposefully let the know I where I was. The idea is not to act like a predator. A predator would try to sneak in on them so by not sneaking I was avoiding the flight or flight response. Eventually I just laid back in grass and pretended to be napping myself. I could see them out of the corner of my eye. They would perk up their ears and zone right in on me. The flick of a tail would let me know that they had relaxed again and would work my way a little closer. Eventually I got in range for framing I wanted and slowly rolled over on my stomach. I raised the viewfinder to my eye and engaged some of the marksmanship skills that I had developed as a hunter. I turned my camera on and the click from the power switch was all it took to bring them to full alert. They got up but didn’t run. Instead they they separated from each other a little and waited to see if I would chase them. When I didn’t they hesitated. The one in the feature image decided that if he stomped his foot that I just might be intimidated enough to leave. When I didn’t they decided to move into the shadows under a thick hemlock tree. They never did get close enough for me to say that I fully gained their trust but they did eventually come back into grass after I left them alone.

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Little Blessings pt 2

Yesterday I wrote about finding little blessings I notice when I am able to wander off the beaten path. Sometimes the little blessings wander out to find you. This little fawn would come into my dad’s yard and bed down every day a couple of years ago. I don’t own a lens any larger than 300 mm so that means I have to get close. For this little guy that meant slowly stepping out into the yard and allowing him to think that he was well hidden in the grass. It seemed to take forever to gain his confidence as I stretched out in the grass near to him and pretended to be ready for a nap myself. The trick is to make it seem natural to be there. Moving cautiously but trying not to look like a stalker. Whitetail deer communicate with tail movements. Most people know that a raised tail means danger but few know that a low quick wagging if a deer’s tail means that all is well. Learning what tale the tail is telling takes a little practice. Using my flattened hand to mimic a mother doe at ease and crawling around like I was grazing eventually paid off as the fawn began to relax. I followed suit and laid down fully about twenty feet (approximately 6 meters) away. I purposely began to breathe slowly and rhythmically as if falling asleep. The little fawn curled up and soon he was in dream land. I hope to get more wildlife photography to share with you as time goes on. My mountains hold many such little blessings.

MOMMY KISSES

Sometimes everything just works for you. The image here was taken after a long day of finding absolutely nothing interesting to photograph. I had finally decided to call it a day. The sun was high in sky, the light was too harsh and I was frustrated. I gathered my gear up. Got in my truck and headed home in defeat. As I left the woods and back onto the pavement I caught motion in the stream just below the road. The doe and her twin fawns were splashing around and playing in the water. I stopped the truck and placed the camera on the hood and zoomed in as tight as I could. Just as I snapped the shutter the baby fawn reached up and gave mommy a kiss.