Silent as a Whisper, the Deer

What of last summer’s doe
Who watched from the shore
The heron preening,
Ears attuned for movement,
Then ambled off into the ferns?

That was long ago –
Before that bad winter
Took so much.

She bowed to nibble
Columbine and hosta
On the far shore.

And swam home.

In less than a minute
Water sluiced from her shoulders
Her heavy udders,
Then she was gone
Silent as a whisper

© Babsje (


© Babsje (


© Babsje (


© Babsje (



Thanks to Danielle H and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Between. Between last summer and this one, the Polar Vortex brought devastating, vicious cold. Seeing a deer swimming while kayaking last Saturday was a thrilling experience. Viewing the photos on download was especially heartwarming: the deer was the same one I had seen one day last summer, meaning she had survived that winter, and she had apparently given birth this spring.


A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2014 Babsje. (

White Tail Deer, Swimming Deer, Kayaking

Posted on June 24, 2014, in Art, Audubon, Deer, Kayaking, Nature, Photo Essay, Photography, Photography challenge, Poetry, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. They are lovely to see, but out here they have become a major nuisance because of their growing numbers and no predators.

    • Yes, they are lovely. We don’t have them in sufficient numbers here to be a nuisance, the main predators here would be coyote and automobiles, sadly.

  2. I’ve seen deer swimming a few times, but always when I’ve had a fly rod in my hands, not a camera. Great shots!

    • So glad you like them, thanks for the kind words. Looks like you will need to find or invent a fly-rod-mount for a small point & shoot. (Just kidding, or maybe not. I’m sure you don’t want to risk one of your Canons mid-stream.)

      • I have a point and shoot that I keep in the pocket of my waders, but I forget that it’s there, or by the time I fumble around to get to it, what I wanted to photograph is gone.

        • Totally understand that. Plus, with something like seeing a deer swimming – that is such an unexpected and amazing sight, that instinct would be to just stare and gape in awe first, and only belatedly remember the camera. That’s what happened this time for me. I saw the deer on the shore nibbling the flowers, the deer saw me, and she bolted into the thicket. I was sure my best shot would be a butt shot because I sat there open-mouthed for too long staring after her. Only after a few minutes did I guess she was heading for the shore downstream and got into position BUT I never would have guessed that she would ford the channel by that dock. Pure luck, magic.

  3. WOW! That must have been amazing to see when you were on the water. I wondered had you even encountered that before. A special event.

    • Hi Margaret – yes, it was a wow moment, jaw-dropping. I had only ever seen a deer once at the lake, but it wasn’t swimming then. I feel very fortunate to have witnessed this one swimming, they are such strong swimmers to keep their heads and shoulders up out of the water, and she crossed the channel unless than a minute. Thanks for your kind comment.

  4. Fantastic sight! 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind comment, Jo! So glad you like this one. It was definitely a fantastic sight to behold there on the water that morning. I’ve never seen that before in the wild, only in (other people’s) photos. Probably a once in a lifetime encounter for me.

  5. Nicely done babsje! a special moment captured beautifully with photos and a passionate description as well

    • Many thanks for your kind compliment, Nick. I’m so glad you like this one. And you’re right, it was definitely a special, and unexpected, moment, probably a once in a lifetime experience for me.

  6. What a wonderful opportunity to see such a wonderful creature doing something one does not see that often. 😉

  7. We have few Deer here. Would love to see one swimming! Right place,right time! Great shots Babsje!

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