Some things cannot wait for the counters to be wiped or the laundry to be started. If a chicken carcass has just been put on to boil it must simply be turned off again. When the moon is climbing over the tree line you cannot waste even thirty seconds tending to the tasks of finishing one day and preparing for another.
So it was that I found myself sitting in (on, really) my driveway at 9:00 tonight trying to shoot the strawberry moon. (I’m not even sorry that I haven’t learned to shoot the moon with this camera yet – July vacation is coming and I swear I’ll figure it out then.) I’ve shot the moon before, and I’ve spent many hours in the past six months crouching and creeping and perching and belly flopping in strange places – none of that is new now. But what was rather amusing tonight was the white-tailed deer that innocently came to eat my flowers during my driveway escapades.
Having grown up “in town” and not being a member of a family that hunts, I am not used to the many sounds that white-tails use to communicate. And I am absolutely not used to hearing the heart-stopping “whoosh” noise they make when startled. I am certain that the flashing lights emitted from my camera as I took several shots in a row caught the attention of the single deer standing in our field.
According to Maine’s IFW website (linked above), “White-tails have keen hearing, made possible by large ears that can rotate toward suspicious sounds. They have wide-set eyes, enabling them to focus on subtle movements, while maintaining an excellent sense of depth perception. White-tails have a very keen sense of smell enabling them to sense danger, even when visibility is poor.”
This certainly explains a few things. One minute I’m sitting on the pavement taking pictures and feeding mosquitos and the next my trusty flight-or-fight system has kicked into overdrive, thanks to the deer’s confusion about what it was that I was up to and the resulting racket. There was enough light for me to see the deer jumping, running, circling back, repeating the entire show. and then finally taking off for the woods. Heart pounding, I decided to retreat to my chicken carcass.