As evening approached, something nudged me to look out the window. Sure enough, there in the misty field, a deer foraged. Grabbing my camera, I tiptoed outside, easing the door open and then closed.  

I rounded the corner stealthily, but as I had sensed its presence, so it sensed mine. It raised its head. Our eyes locked. We both stood still. My hands froze around my camera, stopping its ascent.

Time seemed to stop and swell, to ripen, as we stared at each other. I felt the weight of the camera in my hands, the hard ridged plastic of the telephoto lens against my motionless fingers. The catbirds sang back and forth in the nearby trees, and a woodpecker drummed. From far away, I heard the faint whine of a lawnmower. Still, we held each other’s eyes.

A minute passed.

Then another.

Finally, one of the deer’s ears twitched. It took a big step backward, easing out of the thicket of shrubs. I held my breath, remaining still, my camera clenched by my side. Motionless.

DSC_1032.jpgThe deer suddenly exhaled a loud warning “Huff!”, turned and bounded across the field, its white flag of a tail flying high. I quickly raised my camera and snapped a few pictures, expecting it to disappear into the trees. Instead, to my surprise, it stopped at the edge of the field, turned and looked back at me. I froze, camera raised to my eye, as it stared at me.DSC_1035 (1).jpg

After a long minute, I retreated around the corner of the house. Perhaps if I left, I thought, the deer might return to peacefully eat the shrubs. I stood for a moment or two on the front deck, then carefully peeked around the corner. The deer was still standing there, silently staring in my direction.

Once again, our eyes met.

As I backed away slowly, I wondered just who was observing whom.


20 thoughts on “Observation

  1. Jaana says:

    Your photos with the built-in suspense really drew me to the story this morning. I was left wondering what the deer would say if we could understand its language?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patty McLaughlin says:

    Molly, I love the way you caught the white tail – it looks so full!

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine says:

    Such a small moment told bit by bit and in such a suspenseful manner indeed. I was riveted and felt every movement. As I scrolled down I was hoping you would eventually capture a photo. Wow! You certainly captured more than a great photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda Potts says:

    Oh! That deer is just barely done being a fawn. I am imagining my 11-year-old, suddenly in deer form, frightened and curious in equal measure, wanting to know and wanting to go, observing and being observed. These long moments you describe are magical and your telling of them adds wonder to my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sara Royston says:

    Love this! The description was perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your photos are amazing and really make this small moment memorable. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. margaretsmn says:

    Your deer looks young with a few fading spots in its fur. What a lovely encounter. I think there is a poem there. I am amazed at how deer will stare. They mesmerize. I found a poem on my blog from a lake visit in 2015 about a similar encounter: https://reflectionsontheteche.com/2015/06/19/i-am-a-watcher/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Debbie Lynn says:

    Thanks for your post…you inspired me for this week’s post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmmmm. Who was observing whom with mutual affection?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. By the way, school must be over and you snapping pictures morning, noon, and night!

    Liked by 1 person

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