Deer! Yesterday afternoon me and Bort followed some sounds which I thought had been ducks by the pond. We both slowly, quietly step by step made our way towards the pond in hopes to see some wild ducks, but when we got there we saw nothing at all but water. We decided to keep going up through the orchard into the woods to see if it had been wild turkeys instead...
when we got to the edge of a stream and looked up there were three beautiful deer grazing on the mountain WITH a group of about 5 wild turkeys! All together. Which as I took pictures and moved in closer, it dawned on me that we were also now a part of this moment where deer, turkeys and humans were sharing the same space in nature - where nothing much was going to take place that was dangerous to any of us. My mind stood still and raced back in time to wonder if mankind and deer ever used to sit in the same forest casually, before things were hunted to near extinction for sport... before the animals became utterly terrified that all we ever would do were bad things to them. I imagined there was a time when we humans were more likely not to kill them, and they were more likely to trust in that. When the scales tipped, evolution taught them to run from us. Certainly the deer were not running from the turkey. ;)
In these pictures with the pink stars, I have put the pink star mark above each deer standing in the woods frozen... they are extremely difficult to spot unless they are moving and flip up their tail to show the white in warning to other deer nearby that there is serious danger.
You can't see the turkeys in the pictures, but what was really awesome was the turkeys were taking cues from the deer about safety - walking when they walked, relaxing when they relaxed and freezing when a deer walked then suddenly froze to check out the humans.
After what seemed like 10 minutes or more, the deer began moving along the trail together - but not usually walking at the same time. One would go...pause...another would go...pause... and so on, till they were out of sight. When I heard some yipping and howling right then, I though "oh shit, now the coyotes are coming for the turkeys!" and began moving swiftly away. It turned out to just be a neighbor's dog though howling alone at his house. :)