I was wandering around the yard checking out the garden to see what was blooming. I had the Canon 7D and the 100 mm macro lens with me. Behind some big rhododendrons there is an empty shaded spot where I am working on some ideas. In the corner of my eye I caught movement and something brown. That neighbor's cat is here, I thought. Then suddenly, this little fellow came rompity-stomping right up to me! He was only about five feet away, almost too close for the lens.
His reaction was a mix of curiosity and wariness. My reaction was f-stop, f-stop! He ran up the bank to the driveway, stopped and stared at me for a moment. Then he scampered back down to get a closer look again. He continued to move around me as if to check me out from every angle. He was a tiny little guy, no taller than a Border Collie. But he was full of spirit, bold and curious. I am probably the first human he's laid eyes on up close.
I admit, I don't really know if I should say "he" or "she." "He" just seems right for some reason.
These are Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) in this part of the state. They are frequent visitors to the garden. The property includes an old deer trail they still use to get from the road down to the shoreline of Skagit Bay. This is the first time I have encountered a fawn on his own without his mother nearby.
I never did see mom. I wondered if she was lurking somewhere getting ready to kick the crap out of me. After I got a few shots, I moved away from that corner of the yard to let him settle down. His mother may have left him there while she went to the beach for some salt. There is a lot of cover in that part of the garden where the visiting deer can feel comfortable.
To paraphrase an old 1950's TV show, "There are 8 million stories in the wildlife garden."
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