The Curious Deer

The power had been out for over 24 hours, and without my usual electronic distractions I was feeling rather bored and restless. I grabbed my Filsons and my Nikon and headed out the door. Walking through the woods in the snow has always been one of my favorite parts of winter, and fortunately my corner of suburbia is adjacent to a decent stretch of forest. As I made my way through the treeline I noticed there were deer prints everywhere. I followed the tracks as long as I could, taking some iPhone panos along the way.

An hour later I spotted about seven of them from a distance. They quickly sprinted off through the trees and it was amazing to see how nimbly and quietly they moved through the snow. It dawned on me that since I was trudging along in heavy boots I had little chance of catching up to them, let alone having them hold still long enough for a photo. However, after another half hour of hiking I somehow managed to stumble onto them once again, and was startled to find them grazing only a stone’s throw away. I froze; they froze; and I just kept thinking don’t mess this up as I slowly brought my camera to bear and started shooting.

It was only a few seconds before they all turned tail and bolted. All except for one. This last deer ignored the herd as they bounded away, and turned towards me to observe this new stranger in the forest. I snapped this photo as we stared at each other for a long moment, our mutual curiosity hanging between us.

The Tree That Came in from the Cold

If Starbucks is already hawking their gingerbread and eggnog lattes and CVS is sporting candy cane decorations behind their checkout counter, it’s certainly not too early to post a Christmas photo, right? The truth is, I’ve come around to the viewpoint that we should start celebrating Christmas (or whatever holiday near the winter solstice is relevant to those of your religious persuasion) as early as possible. I think people like to rush into the holiday spirit because it insulates them from the grim onset of winter. That and it sells more lattes. In any case, we should enjoy it, because after the holiday charm expires on New Year’s Day, we’ve still got a few more cold, dark months before we see trees this green again.

BSA in the Backyard

BSA was at one point the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Founded in England in 1861, the acronym stands for “Birmingham Small Arms” Company, as they produced firearms in addition to vehicles. However, the brand eventually became defunct in the early 70’s as its market share was eroded by European competitors and the rise of less maintenance-intensive Japanese imports in the United States. This motorcycle is evidently their B44 Victor Special model, which was a popular export to the US between 1968 and 1970. For as long as I can remember it was stored in my parents’ basement, until this summer when it was finally sold. It sits here waiting for the buyer to pick it up, and I thought such a classic looking bike certainly deserved a parting shot as it leaned against the woodpile.

A Feast for Bees

It’s springtime and all the bees are famished. I was walking around with my camera a few days ago and was struck by the outrageously brilliant colors on all the perennials that had popped up; I got in close to this one for a shot and noticed it was a focal point for what seemed like a small flock of bees. It got me thinking – if this plant look this great to me, how incredible must it look to them? These flowers are their sole objective in life, the goal for their entire existence. In whatever spectrum they see the world, the sight of this flower must unleash the equivalent of a massive dopamine rush in their tiny brains. While I was taking this photo I’d guess there were about half a dozen bees buzzing around my head. This would ordinarily have caused me some concern, but I felt sure they were all too focused on the surrounding flora to even notice me.