One morning I went out early for a walk. It was a cool and foggy dawn breaking into a sunny September day. I began my regular route and had not yet walked for more than 3 minutes before I was silently surprised by the sight of a young whitetail buck. He was casually grazing on the grass of my neighbor’s front yard. I stopped abruptly and stood staring and gawking in amazement. He raised his head with equal alertness and stared back. For a spec of time we stood and stared quietly in the fog. I was locked into looking but my senses called upon my mind to keep walking. Just as suddenly as I’d seen the deer a primal feeling of fear swept over me. It was very early in the morning. I saw no other people or cars on the street. I was by myself. And so I moved on. The young adult deer went back to his breakfast.
This was not the first time I had seen deer. I live in a suburban wooded area where they are commonplace. But that morning in September was the only time I was alone and on the same level as the deer. It was mating season and he easily could have charged and killed me. I had to fully respect the deer’s presence. In that moment I had to recognize his right to exist as a living being, not as nature sideshow or a garden nuisance.
I present to you my inspiration for this month: The Whitetail Suburban Deer. They eat our gardens and trash. They jump out in front of our cars.
They have also learned to live with us. Enjoy more artwork here!