I was on my way home from my daily walk this crisp October morning. The sky was a startling blue with the sun burning so brightly it could have been August in Vermont. Only the brisk wind that swirled through the red and orange Autumn leaves reminded me that it was Fall. I wrapped my favorite wooly scarf around my neck, tucking my long hair inside, and instantly felt a welcoming warmth.
Earlier in the week I spotted a group of white-tailed deer and hoped I would see them again today. I never go out walking in the woods without my old Nikon – a rare find at a local tag sale. It was in surprisingly good working condition. Now the walls of my little cabin were strewn with framed black and whites – memories of my treks throughout the changing seasons.
As I made my way down the trail toward my house, I noticed droplets of blood on the dirt – a sign that the white-tailed does were in estrus. By May the fawns would be here. I instinctively patted my belly where my own “Little Bean” was beginning to grow. I was just twelve weeks along with the most precious gift from my husband Jeremy, no doubt the result of his recent shore leave in August. My baby and the fawns would arrive at the same time.
Rounding a bend in the trail I spotted a white-tailed buck and doe under the trees. They were rubbing the sides of their faces together, possibly whispering words of affection. As quietly as possible I slid open the front of my camera case and began snapping photos. When the deer noticed me, they leapt away as gracefully as the falling leaves.
I continued down the path to my cabin which was now in sight. I stopped to pick up a few particularly beautiful maple leaves; even now, nearing the end of their lives, they were perfect creations. I thought again of the fawns and “Little Bean”.
The house was chilly; I lit a fire and prepared myself a cappuccino. I was certain I was able to get a dozen photos of the deer which I would develop later in the afternoon. There was something I needed to do first. After placing my things on the table, I sat down to write to Jeremy. He’ll laugh when he reads that I finally captured the canoodling white-tailed deer. I kissed one of the red leaves and tucked it into his letter. I smiled as I read my closing line: “My darling, be home soon! All our love, Maggie & Little Bean”.
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