Thursday, January 2, 2014

Close Encounter of the Best Kind - Oh Deer!

I have been working on another post, about how time slips away, and that even though I had a lot of time off at Christmas I accomplished very little and blah, blah, blah, and then as I was heading down the stairs to the side door of our building on my way home from work today, I saw this....

I froze before he/she had a chance to see me and managed to get my camera out of my purse.  I knew we had deer living in the woods behind our building and have seen one or two from a distance, but never so up-close-and-personal.   In many areas of Ontario the increasing deer population is considered a nuisance, and a danger to motorists, and there have been calls for culls to reduce their numbers.   I can respect that point of view, but I also think they are beautiful, and as corny as it sounds, I was filled with a kind of wonder (and you'll likely never hear me use that phrase again) at seeing one so close that wasn't in an enclosure.

This one was awfully brave/foolhardy to come so close to the building which is normally teeming with students, but as they won't be back til Monday, the deer must have thought it was a perfect opportunity to snack on the tree right outside the door.

 At one point it looked right in the window and I was glad that I was still out of its line of vision.

The best shot I could get through our dirty windows with my crappy zoom lens

He/she finally wandered off into the bushes next to the building so I was able to get outside without scaring it, and to my delight, I saw that it wasn't alone...

We had a mutual stare-down, and I felt compelled to thank them for the visit before they headed towards the trees.  

I resented having to get out of bed early today to go back to work when a number of people in the office took the rest of the week off.   I was also feeling kind of crappy from a cold that I got a couple of days ago, and it was freezing cold outside.   I'm not a religious person by any means, but I do believe that we are where we are at any given time for a reason.  I have always loved animals, and get a particular thrill from observing wild animals in their natural habitat, so I felt like I had been given an amazing gift.  My hands were frozen by the time I got on the bus (you can't shoot photos in mittens), but I smiled all the way home.   Not a bad start to a new year, I'd say.


  1. What a wonderful (in the truest sense of the word: full of wonder) way to start your year! We have so many deer here that they are a hazard and there will eventually be culls, I'm sure, but once in a while I spot them in my neighbourhood and yes, it's an amazing thing to see a wild(ish) animal so close.

    Happy New Year, Shelley!

  2. Shelley-What a splendid way to begin your 2014 blogs! Thank you for sharing your splendid 'gift'!

  3. What lovely photos of your OBDs (obligatory blogger deer). Dad part-owns a deer farm and I would love to visit it this year. Of course they are much better in the wild.

  4. A very good start indeed to the new year, Shelley! Beautiful creatures, and close enough for you to enjoy quietly and privately, how brilliant. And the photos you got are great.
    Funny, isn't it, how an experience like that - which is nothing to do with other people or achievement or acquisition or any of that shit - can be just a perfect little moment of happiness.
    Happy new year to you, let's hope for many more special moments of joy in 2014. xxxxx

  5. How lovely - and I know that feeling of "wonder" -- it doesn't come from the mall : >

  6. What a beautiful surprise Shelley,worth going to the office! Perfect shots!
    Me too I'm in office this morning, not too many people around here - But i got a lift from D this am and finishing early - Not working too hard as well!

    Have a nice weekend and happy New Year again!



  7. I'm a bit teary eyed at this post, go figure:). How very beautiful and special that you saw them. I do think it was a gift from the universe! I remember one of my last years living in San Diego, it was Xmas morning and we were heading out to a family function. I had on a red velvet coat even though it was sunny and warm and I was complaining about how winters in ca suck when out of no where sprints a deer, stops looks right at me and keeps on. It was my Xmas gift.

    Have a killer new year!

  8. A wild and lovely way to start the New Year, Shelley. Your photos are amazing and your mutual stare down with the deer is appreciated here in Denver.

    Hope that you have many moments of 'wonder' in 2014!

  9. What a cool story! You're kind of an animal voyeur - and taking photos, too! - but that sense of wonder and happy surprise can certainly make up for some of the mundane hours we have to spend.

  10. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (translation: waaaaay cool!!!!)

  11. O!!! How deer-vine! Love deer, what a little sweetie! A splendid start to a splendid year to be!

  12. Happy New Year, deer Shelley! Thanks for sharing this incredibly lovely moment with us.

  13. How delightful! Seeing this and actually being able to capture it are two completely different things! I especially love the last photo where the deer are mysteriously veiled by the branches.