I’m a complete scaredy cat, so there’s quite an array of nighttime noises that make me sit bolt upright when I’m in bed. Only a few catch my undivided attention in a good way, though. The quiet sounds sneaking through my window right now are of that good variety, the kind that has me rushing outside, or to open the nearest window and turn my ear out into the darkness.
There are several Great Horned Owls calling back and forth in the woods behind the apartments. One is close, perhaps in the treetops just beyond the next building. The others–at least one or two more, but maybe three–are spread far and wide throughout those woods. Their calls are nothing more than a muttering that I have to strain to catch.
Even as I finished setting up this blog, I found myself in the path of a great nature moment. I was sitting on the front porch, typing and formatting away as dusk settled in around me, when a motion dead-ahead of me caught my eye. There was a doe white-tailed deer crossing the lawn with careful, tentative steps. I was pleased, but not surprised; I’d encountered deer in the evening a few times before.
As she ventured further forward, though, a fawn crept into view from behind a tree. It was delicate, splotched with white dots and probably no higher than my knee. I’d only ever seen fawns in the wild once before, and they had been nearly full-grown. This beautiful, improbable little thing seemed almost as though it could curl itself up in a pillowcase.
I couldn’t help myself–I reached for the phone. It was a silly decision, since I knew the camera zoom wouldn’t be enough to get a remotely decent picture, but I did it all the same. The wicker seat creaked when I shifted, loud enough that both bodies froze and both heads swung my way. After assessing me for a moment, they continued on with a new touch of hurry. Suddenly, a second fawn came lurching out of the woods and after its family. Twins! I watched them finish the crossing together, headed off to some quieter place.
It felt like a special gift to share a moment with such a delightful family. It was especially nice that going for the camera didn’t ruin things. Some moments are better savored than captured. Maybe those three will cross my path again some other evening. If not, though, this is a memory I will be perfectly content with.