Category Archives: Deer

Great Blue Heron’s Guest…Swimming Deer?

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White Tail Deer Swimming – babsjeheron

The subtle shift in the tilt of the Great Blue Heron’s head alerted me to an unseen presence.

Great blue heron watching deer across the cove.

Great Blue Heron peering across the cove – babsjeheron

The Great Blue Heron perched, stationary and gazing off to the east under half-closed eyes, and I sensed that she was going to go to sleep standing there.
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It was mid-morning, her early fishing and feeding done. The log next to the blooming pickerel weed made a quiet resting place.
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She was unmoving, serene, a study in tranquility, and those qualities were once again contagious – I felt the peacefulness of the space we share, as I always do in the presence of Herons.
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Deer viewed through leaves of blind.

Looking through leaves of my natural cover hide/blind – babsjeheron

Half an hour elapsed when a shift in the tilt of her head signaled that she was alert and watching something on the opposite shore. Lulled into a sense of complacency, I thought that it was probably just the Irish Setter I had noticed ambling along when I paddled into the cove that morning.
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The Heron stiffened upright suddenly, as though coiled for action. Something, intuition perhaps, told me it wasn’t an Irish Setter at all. Maybe the Fox I’d photographed there a few years earlier was back!

Deer along the banks of the cove, directly across from the great blue heron.

Deer along the banks of the cove, directly across from the Great Blue Heron – babsjeheron

Holding my breath, I stared through the lens directly into the eyes of – not an Irish Setter nor a Fox – a large, mature Deer, a first-ever Deer sighting in the cove.

For forty-five minutes, the three of us shared the lower cove. The Deer watched the Heron during breaks in munching tender leafy bushes, but didn’t seem aware of me. The Heron also didn’t pay any attention to me, but watched the Deer intently, at one point flying about ten feet for a closer look.
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And me? I watched both Deer and Heron with my heart on my sleeve.

Time stood still as I put the camera down and peered through my higher-magnification binoculars. I soaked in those enormous soulful eyes, the tickly-looking whiskers, and the adorable ears that seemed to swivel with their own sense of direction, the better to hear us with as the children’s fable says.
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The encounter ended as all such wildlife-human encounters should end, utterly without drama: nobody spooked or flushed anybody.

The Deer finished munching greens, turned and sauntered softly back into the woods.

The Great Blue Heron stared after the Deer for a long while, and then once again took up her perch on the log.

And I, still wordless from the wonder of what had just unfolded, paddled on to the next lake, smiling all the way.

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Fast forward ten months

Silent as a whisper, the Deer
Poem by Babsje

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.

Today
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

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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

A glimpse through trees – could it be the White-tailed Deer? – babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White Tail Deer Entering the Water Alongside the Dock – babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White Tail Deer Swimming – babsjeheron

White Tail Deer Approaching the Shore - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White Tail Deer Approaching the Shore – babsjeheron

White Tail Deer Climbing out of Water - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White Tail Deer Climbing out of Water – babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

.White Tail Deer Vanishing into the Woods – babsjeheron

Fast forward four more months.

White Tail Deer Doe with Fawn - babsjeheron © 2014 - 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White Tail Deer Doe with Fawn – babsjeheron


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Between the first Deer encounter and the second one ten months later, the Polar Vortex had brought devastating, vicious cold.

Seeing a Deer swimming after the killing colds of winter was thrilling.

Viewing the photos on download was heartwarming: the Deer was the same one I had seen one day that previous summer. She had survived that harsh winter, and she had apparently given birth in the interim.

Four months later, the last photo of that Doe with her Fawn, brings great joy.

Great joy.

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This post is prompted by Cee Neuner and Debbie Smyth and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Going Wide. Here’s the wide shot of the swimming Deer:

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White-Tail Deer swimming, the long view – babsjeheron

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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Greatest Love of All. The Fawn is the future of the Deer.
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.Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!

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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 165: Going Wide .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 165: Going Wide .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 165: Going Wide .

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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 165: Going Wide .
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Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and they need your love.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
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Natick Town Hall
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Five Crows Gallery in Natick
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Audubon Sanctuary
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Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, White Tailed Deer
Read the rest of this entry

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.

Today
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 (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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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.

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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. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

White Tail Deer, Swimming Deer, Kayaking

Hide and Seek – Daily Prompt: What a Twist and Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual POV

The subtle shift in the tilt of her head alerted me to an unseen presence.

Great blue heron watching deer across the cove.

Great blue heron peering across the cove.

The great blue heron perched in a resting posture, stationary and gazing off to the east under half-closed eyes, and I sensed that she was going to go to sleep standing there.

Secure along the shore of the cove, hidden in a blind of natural cover where she couldn’t see me nestled there amid thick layers of leaves and branches, I had settled in for the morning’s photo session.  

It was mid-morning, her early fishing and feeding were done, and the log next to the blooming pickerel weed made a secluded and quiet resting place.

She was unmoving and serene, a study in tranquility, and those qualities were once again contagious that morning – I felt the peacefulness of the space we share, as I always do in the presence of herons.

At left, the great blue heron perches on a log. The heron had been resting in this position for a long time, but then the subtle shift of her head, at right, signaled that she was suddenly watching something new across the cove.

At left, the great blue heron perches on a log deep in the secluded cove. She had been resting in this position for a long time, until a subtle shift of her head, at right, signaled a sudden watchfulness.

Half an hour had elapsed while we both rested there in the cove, when a subtle but unmistakable shift in the tilt of her head signaled that she was alert and watching something on the opposite shore. Lulled into a sense of complacency, I thought to myself that it was probably just the Irish Setter I had noticed ambling along the trail when I paddled into the cove that morning.

Deer viewed through leaves of blind.

Looking through leaves of my natural cover hide/blind.

The heron stiffened upright suddenly, as though coiled for action. Something, intuition perhaps, told me it wasn’t an Irish Setter at all. Maybe the fox I’d photographed there a few years earlier was back! Their coats were a similar color.

Hastily, I turned around in the leafy hide, pushed aside branches, thrust the camera into the leaves and fired off a few shots. I’m a staunch proponent of photographing from the seclusion of a blind or hide for the good of the wildlife, and you can see in this photo the unusual point-of-view that happens when elements of a “natural cover” hide get into the shot.

Deer along the banks of the cove, directly across from the great blue heron.

Deer along the banks of the cove, directly across from the great blue heron.

Gingerly, I readjusted the leaves and branches of my make-shift hide to free the camera lens, moving excruciatingly slowly to not alert the animal to my presence there in the cove. Holding my breath, I leaned outward just a bit more and stared through the lens directly into the eyes of – not an Irish Setter nor a fox – a large, mature deer, a first-ever deer sighting in the cove.

For forty-five minutes that morning, the three of us – great blue heron, white-tailed deer, and human – shared the lower cove. The deer watched the heron durng brief breaks in munching tender leafy bushes along the shore, but didn’t seem at all aware of me. The heron also didn’t pay any attention to me, but watched the deer intently, at one point flying about ten feet for a closer view of Bambi.

And me? I watched both deer and heron with my heart on my sleeve. This was the closest ever I’d been to a wild deer. Time stood still as I put the camera down and peered through my higher-magnification binoculars. I soaked in those enormous soulful eyes, the tickly-looking whiskers, and the adorable ears that seemed to swivel with their own sense of direction, the better to hear us with as the children’s fable says.

The encounter ended as all such wildlife-human encounters should end, utterly without drama: nobody spooked or flushed anybody.

The deer finished munching his greens, turned and sauntered softly back into the woods.

The great blue heron stared after the deer for a long while, and then once again took up her perch on the log.

And I, still wordless from the wonder of what had just unfolded, paddled on to the next lake, smiling all the way.

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Thanks to Michelle W. and WordPress for the Daily Prompt nudge, and also thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual POV prompt.

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(This took place August 14, 2013)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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