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annuala: (tulips)
I took my usual walk yesterday morning, after the rain passed off. Nearing the halfway mark, there's a big meadow, once used by a local farmer for pasturage and hay-cutting. Now it's being overtaken by low shrubs, at least where it meets the woods. It's up a little rise, over a bridge that passes over the culvert installed to let a stream continue its run down to the bay. As I crested the rise, I saw a reddish-brown back, and I stopped.

The doe lifted her head from her browsing; she had a mouthful of leaves from one of those shrubs, in which she was standing chest-high. She looked in my direction without a reaction at first, then it was like a double-take in an old movie: she went stiff and her broad ears snapped forward. I stayed very still; so did she. We stood like that for at least ten or fifteen seconds, which can seem like an eternity if you're standing that still. I noticed a car coming towards me, and I glanced to see if the doe had noticed it. Not so much; she was totally focused on me as a potential threat.

I reckoned I'd better move, or she'd be even more startled by the car. So I did, just a little bit. She gave the sneeze alarm call (it really does sound like a sneeze, not a snort), and bounded off into the trees.

I don't usually get to see deer up quite that close; we couldn't have been much more than four or so metres (15 feet) apart. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me, but it probably wouldn't have helped, anyway; the moment I so much as twitched, she was gone. She was lovely to see, though. :-)


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September 2015

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