Deer in the Fields


Yes, this is just a picture of a deer in a field behind my backyard upstate, but the story of how I got this is much more exciting. I was thinking about writing a fiction piece related to the picture, but there’s no need. I’m going to just tell you guys exactly what happened.


Deer in the Fields

I’m with my uncle, taking pictures of the trails we’re walking on, looking for butterflies floating over the tall grasses that hide the yellow and white wildflowers.

We stop briefly to talk about how people subconsciously love the idea of being in fields. My uncle tells me that people will say they love being in open fields and meadows, but they aren’t sure why. The reason, he says, is because they aren’t looking close enough. When you stop and really look closely, you see tiny flowers and on those flowers, tiny insects, all hidden underneath the tall grasses that bigger insects use to rest on. Slithering through the grass are snakes, and watching from their perches located on or close to the treeline are hawks and other birds of prey, like turkey vultures. Chipmunks stay close to the rock wall that divides my property from someone else’s, calling the wall home, along with the rotten tree trunks still standing upright and filled with holes, like windows on a sky scraper. Life, my uncle continues to stress, can be found in all corners of the world, and it’s all beautiful.

Butterflies, as expected, are prevalent in the field, so we follow them around, hoping for the “perfect shot.” I already have the “perfect shot” hanging on the door leading to my basement. It’s a picture of a bumble bee and a tiger swallowtail collecting the nectar of a wild thistle plant. We both hoped to get a shot similar to that, but the butterflies were filled with energy and it was still early in the morning, so we couldn’t keep up.

We take a quick break and talk more about random things and I notice what looks  like a bird flapping its wings on the ground no less than a hundred yards away. I tell my uncle and he goes to investigate. The “wings” I saw turned out to be the ears of a deer, resting in the bed it made from the matted down grass. I wondered how it couldn’t see us considering how close we were and how loud we were, but then we realized the wind was blowing favorably towards us and loud enough to dull out the noise we were making.

My uncle saw this as an opportunity to see how close we could get and I quickly imagined how easily we could have downed it if we were into hunting. Each step we took created tons of noise. We had to maneuver through vines and shrubs, and as we did this, we inevitably broke sticks and made enough noise to spook it if the odds were in the deer’s favor. Next thing we know, we’re no less than fifteen yards away from a full grown doe, still completely unaware of our presence. I take out my camera, which only had a 35mm lens attached, and manage to take a clear picture. I knew I would have to crop it later, but I was still amazed at how close I was.

The deer finally heard us when my uncle took a picture with his camera and darted off. We were ready to head back when my uncle, this time, spotted another deer (the deer in the picture above). To make a long story short, we crept up on it the same way, wondering how it missed its buddy run off. Again, we took pictures and my uncle let me do the honors of seeing how close I could get.

I managed to get within the same distance as the last one, but this deer considered standing its ground, and rightfully so. The deer flapped its ears and grunted, while slowly coming closer to me. I slowly backed off, but it kept coming. The thought of being in serious trouble for pushing my luck entered my mind and I looked back at my uncle, who reassured me that I was doing the right thing. The second I turned my head back to the deer, it grunted loudly, figuratively giving me a heart attack, and it darted off in the opposite direction.

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