This brilliant, crisp, promise-of-fall day brought with it a gift. Concentrating on spiffing up a photo my favorite client had taken for her blog, I almost missed it. First, it stopped me cold. Then sent me scrambling upstairs for my camera and wishing I had the lenses and skill of fine nature photographers like Julie and Mary.
Just beyond the support for my tiny deck, right by my neighbor's hydrangea bush, there he was. And I recognized him from last spring! Sadly, it wasn't his gentle eyes or fine young antlers but his lame right foreleg that gave him away. Last time he wandered through our puny excuse for woods his antlers were furry and rounded, but now he has a couple of points on each side. When I first saw him last spring I didn't expect he would survive since walking was so difficult for him. When he touched his right front hoof to the ground, it was as if he was permanently en pointe. It looked painful and awkward and I just wanted to run out and hug him or somehow make it right.
So today when he wandered by again, I was delighted to see he is still here. I drew the curtains back from the sliding door and then stood still - he was looking right at me, measuring the threat. Soon enough he went back to eating low-hanging leaves from the trees and even wandered in and out of sunlight for my enjoyment.
This is one of the delights of working at home, looking out a window. With townhouses all around I'm amazed at how much wildlife comes through the few feet of trees and tiny stream that separate one group from another. Usually it's robins, blue jays, squirrels, and Scamp, the resident rabbit. Today it was the gift of seeing a special fellow again.