Some moments just remain with you. This was such a moment. It was early morning, November 24th, 2016, cameras in hand that we decided to take a leisurely walk on one of the many trails where we had camped that Thanksgiving week at the Old Forge Campground in Old Forge, NY. There had been a steady snowfall the night before and the ground was covered with a fresh 12-inch blanket of powdered snow. We didn’t get far down the trail before we encountered a young female deer. Emma saw her first and stopped in her tracks staring as this beautiful creature meandering toward us as it nibbled on some of the snow laden limbs that hung low over the trail. We didn’t know what Emma’s or the doe’s reaction would be, so I held Emma’s leash tight and knelt beside her talking softly as the deer continued its slow and steady walk towards us. We were amazed at how still Emma stood, her eyes and that of the does fixed upon each other even as Audrey began taking photographs. It was quite an amazing experience – being under the gaze of this doe, trusting as she came closer and closer. Ultimately, Emma couldn’t contain herself, and in her joyful way began whimpering and fidgeting wanting to jump up and play with her new-found friend. Even with all this activity the doe no more than 10 feet away remained calm, watching intently. After about a minute of checking us out she slowly turned and began walking away occasionally looking back at us.
As the doe and we headed our different ways this beautiful winter morning we kept glancing back at her as the distance between us grew. We couldn’t help but smile as she disappeared in the trees knowing we had just encountered a very special moment in nature between this doe, Emma and us.
For more of our break with tradition this Thanksgiving weekend, visit our post “Our Decision On What to Do About Thanksgiving – Part 2”.