Quarry Park, Monterey, California
They noticed me first. I wasn’t even aware of them until I felt something staring at me and peered into the woods. Three young deer with enormous ears and big black eyes stood frozen like statues looking straight at me. I didn’t want to spook them, so I diverted my attention and looked away, holding the attitude that they were my neighbors and I was there to look after them. If I put myself on their side, they seem to relax and accept me more easily. While my eyes were focused elsewhere, I readied my camera.
The three posed like models, and I snapped away, then noticed a fourth behind a tree and a fifth, six in all. Deer are aware of everything, so how do I want to present myself? The connection I feel with them has nothing to do with thought. It happens in the body, a feeling. The senses inform; feel with the mind is how I think of it. Calm, relaxed, and present is the approach to take with deer. Often they’ll let me hang out and shoot photos or just be in their presence. They’ll even go back to eating as if it’s just another day in the forest.