oh deer!

1.27.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut
Haley Farm State Park ~ 1.27.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Not too long ago my friend Kathy, over at Lake Superior Spirit, looked around her little house in the snowy Michigan woods for colorful or meaningful objects to take outside and put in different places in the snow for a photo shoot. She suggested I might try it sometime.

Well, sad to say, it hasn’t been snowing much here in southeastern Connecticut since the winter of 2011, which was the snowiest winter we ever had. But I decided to carefully pack up the most meaningful of my objects, a large doe figurine, and head out to hunt for a little patch of relatively unspoiled snow.
1.27.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We wound up at Haley Farm State Park and chose a few spots on a crumbling, lovely old stone wall. For the first picture, which is my favorite, I positioned my doe on a stone that had fallen in front of the wall. For the second spot I put her up on top of the wall so she was a little above the camera. Tim suggested the third setting, placing her on the ground in front of the wall. The little birds came from home, too, as they are usually perched with the doe on a special shelf in my room.
1.27.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

It was fun, Kathy! Then something wonderful happened after we had packed up my precious doe and her little bird friends. A few people came along with their dogs, who were off-leash. Some of my readers may know that I’ve been afraid of large dogs ever since one bit me when I was a toddler. But I watch Cesar Millan on the Dog Whisperer all the time, trying to understand dog behavior and overcome my deeply entrenched fears.

1.27.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

With my deer totem safely in my bag and my husband by my side I watched in awe as three dogs, who seemed to belong to several different couples, greeted each other and asked each other to play. All agreed and a fast game of chase ensued! I suppose dog owners see this kind of thing all the time but for me it was amazing. The dogs were running like the wind, making huge circles around a tree, and barking for the joy and thrill of being alive. Their energy was boundless, and they whooshed close by us several times. I wasn’t afraid! I could interpret their behavior correctly! Tim took the camera and tried to get a few pictures. I will never forget this experience!

1.27.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

34 thoughts on “oh deer!”

  1. What a realistic deer you have! Kathy comes up with some amazing ideas, doesn’t she? Who would think that such a simple idea could produce these beautiful and life-like photos.

    Do you think that this experience with the dogs may have helped you to overcome your fears for good Barbara? I’m not saying dogs don’t bite, but the majority are just as you described these three, they are fun loving and friendly! You know how often I share stories about birds, about feeding them, then writing about them and sharing photos…. I used to suffer from ornithophobia, a fear of birds! Fears can leave you when you least expect them to. πŸ™‚

    1. I agree, Joanne, there is no end to the many delightful ideas bubbling up to the surface from Kathy’s creative mind. I am looking at all the objects in my house in a new light these days…

      I don’t have the feeling my fear of large dogs is gone for good – it feels like a baby step. Normally when a large dog appears on the horizon I start clinging to and hiding behind my unfortunate companion. This time I stood there calmly, but right beside Tim. If I had been by myself I probably would have freaked out and climbed up onto the stone wall, just in case. Who knows? Fears are funny things – that’s wonderful you overcame your fear of birds! And we get the added benefit of enjoying your gorgeous pictures of them!

    1. Thank you, Adrian, and welcome to my blog! Now I am thinking my doe looks even better outdoors than she does on my shelf. πŸ™‚

  2. Good for you Barbara ! Good that you took Kathy suggestion to do some creative photography, these are beautiful, I didn’t know I was looking at a figurine at first.

    Dogs are wonderful energetic creatures, playful, as well as faithful. I am glad you took a breath, a moment to experience them from a different space.

    1. Thank you, Jeff! I like the phrase you used, about experiencing the sudden appearance of three playful dogs “from a different space.” The pictures you sometimes post of Muffin and Riley always warm my heart because somehow you manage to capture the sprightly, amiable energy they emanate – I hope I get to meet them someday.

    1. You’re welcome, Stephanie. I love the phrase you used, too, about being “willing to look past the past.” Cesar Millan is always saying how dogs never hang on to the past – I wish it was easier for some of us humans! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Bente! And of course you are so lucky to have plenty of snow and hundreds of real deer to photograph. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Jane! Oh dear, deer can be such a nuisance at times – I hope your birds are managing to get some seeds for themselves between deer gulps…

    1. Thank you, Hanneke. The most beautiful moments often seem to happen unexpectedly when we’re busy doing something else…

  3. Barbara, this is so cool that you did this! I love the way you positioned the doe and the little birds in various places outside. Wasn’t it fun? The third photo is so realistic you’d swear it was actually there curled up against the rocks. But I am most impressed that you were able to release some of your dog fears and not be afraid. This is something really special. Glad you will remember this day for a long time to come.

    1. Thank you, Kathy, for stopping by and for leaving so many kind words! Now that Blizzard Charlotte/Nemo has done her/his worst I can stop complaining about the lack of snow this year! Our governor has banned all travel this morning and so I will wait a little before escorting another object outside to be photographed. I’m grateful for Tim’s suggestion to put the doe in that third setting – he is a most valuable creative assistant. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, there are definitely different kinds of running. πŸ™‚ Once when I was delivering newspapers on foot years ago a dog came charging at me out of nowhere, growling ferociously. Somehow I managed to get my wits about me and faced him, feigning bravery and authority, and pointed my finger to where he was coming from and sternly told him to GO HOME! And he did! Phew!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Barbara. It’s filled with fun and joy. I love what you did with the deer. I might have to give this a try, too. You and Kathy seemed to have so much fun with it. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Robin! It will be fun to see what you come up with for an outdoor photo-shoot out there in the bogs. πŸ™‚ Now that I have more snow than I ever bargained for many roads are still impassable so I may have to wait to get out there and take advantage of it.

  5. The doe looked so real, until I read your words later. How pleasing it is to do such a thing, lovely idea. Kathy angel’s wings touch everyone’s soul. Life seems much wonderful. I admire that you tried to overcome the fear of dogs. You know, I’m afraid of driving since I met with a small accident 6 yrs back. I haven’t tried driving at all since then! Jesus!

    1. Thank you, Sonali! Life is wonderful, isn’t it? Especially when we are living in the moment and appreciating the simplest of things. Dogs and spiders are the biggest fears I have, and I definitely have a fear of large groups of people. I can understand how an auto accident would make you wary of driving afterward. I’m a very jittery driver. Do you need to drive or do you have plenty of public transportation where you are living now?

  6. You vanished. I was subscribed to your blog and stopped getting updates. I clicked on your blog and it said you’d vanished and now I have re-found you via a link from someone else’s blog. Glad I re-found you.

    1. I’m glad you re-found me, too! When I first started self-hosting with a new URL I was having problems with subscriptions for months – so sorry you got lost in the shuffle. Around that same period of time I was having trouble leaving comments on BlogSpot blogs, too. Let’s hope things stay sorted out now!

  7. What a charming idea! I like the one with the doe down in front of the wall – it looks like she is resting in front of a little ‘cave’ made from the roots of an enormous tree. What lovely models the birds are, too. And, yes, it is always a wonderful site to see animals at their free-est. I love to watch horses running in a field. Thanks for sharing! (I’m catching up, as usual. πŸ™‚ )

    1. Thank you, Diane – I’m happy you liked the setting and the birds, too! (My daughter objects to the number of bird ornaments I hang or perch on our Christmas tree, but they look so appropriate in all settings to me, especially on an evergreen tree!) I love to watch horses, too, but to me they are a little intimidating up close. I give them the same wide berth I’d give a lion, tiger or other big cat, although I think they are also beautiful! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Val! So happy you enjoyed them, too. πŸ™‚ I’m already starting to think about a springtime outing for a different indoor object.

    1. It was kind of amazing because the doe looks pretty lifelike in the house, but in a natural setting her gentle light became even brighter…

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