Heavy fog gives the illusion of stillness. All morning we have been shrouded in this gauzy veil, but it is lifting. Coffee consumption is always a time for gentle awakening with my husband. As we sit on the porch-sipping coffee, we hear the world revving up for the day: a myriad of birds are singing, big trucks break the natural sound as they rumble passed and then if we listen really closely, the chorus is held together by the light rhythm of the cicada in stereo.
“Take your flip flops off,” my husband calls gently from the settee.
What about the red ants? That thought is quickly forgotten as I tread quietly, the newly groomed field thick and green in most spots. My eyes are mostly, looking forward, yet the thoughts of stinging ants or glass and sharp metal buried in the field avert me periodically from the sight ahead. I hug closely to the picket fence of the garden and slowly move behind the thicket of golden rod that looms way above my head. I peer around to take a look. My bright tie-dyed sleeping tee and fleece pants to match seem to scream, “Look at me. I’m right here!” I feel like I should be crawling on my elbows in the cool grass to approach under cover.
Their brown coat blends in with the taller grass in the field that hasn’t been mowed all summer. Perhaps that is why they like to visit. The old apple orchard with twisted branches, low to the ground and heavy with new little apples provides shelter and food. The doe pushes off her front legs and stands tall on her hind legs until she knocks off a few pieces of fruit. Her two spotted babies, always near, touch noses as they wait in the tall grass. I creep closer and then a few steps more. Suddenly, the deer’s ears go down. I’m close enough. She continues to munch, then begins to move to my right away from the tree. She takes some steps, watching me intently, then a couple more with her eyes now always on me. Her sole responsibility is to her children. She prances off into the long grass, but waits for her young to follow. Ever vigilant, the mother and her babies head in the direction of the stream.
My daughter thinks that the three live somewhere on our five acres. Somehow, it is a comfort to me to know that we can co-exist on the same land. I just hope that my little quest for “the perfect shot” did not dissuade her from returning and breach the mother's trust. Will I be able to honor her, next time from the porch with my camera safely tucked in the dark recesses of my house? I don’t know. I just don’t know.