Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Deer reader


When I left you and the birds last I was headed to the back regions of Kensington Metropark in search of deer. It’s almost guaranteed to find one or two back there if you’re quiet. If you’re not quiet you won’t see any. But they’ll be watching you.

This little guy was the one that got my attention by his incessant whining as I was walking through the woods.

As I worked my way toward the back a woman coming the other way said she had seen two beautiful does in the furthest back corner of the longest loop. Since I was headed that direction anyway I smiled my thanks. I knew they wouldn’t still be there when I arrived, but I also knew there were some back there.

This guy chimed in, so I had to stop and feed them for awhile.


On the way I had a few birds begging for treats, so I stopped and tossed them a few peanuts. I was busy doing that when a guy came up the path. He apologized for interrupting my bird photo shoot. I said no problem, there would be lots of opportunities to get more pictures.

This one was quite insistent too.

We talked for awhile. He said there was a thicket to the right around the next corner where he often saw multiple pairs of cardinals. I thanked him and got back to work shooting my birds.

I had only seen a couple of deer far off in the woods so far, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see many more. But a whole lot of cardinals? That would be fun!

She was pretty far away, but I was glad to see at least one deer that morning.

And then I rounded the corner, and saw the guy down at the end of a long slope, taking pictures with his phone of several deer that were standing around quite close to him. I stopped so as to not startle them.

There was a group of about six does hanging out together.

At first they were focused on him, hoping for a handout. Then they noticed me.

She decided to smell the air to see if I was a threat.

The guy moved on and now I was the main attraction.

There was a buck too, but he wasn’t interested in me.

I know they wanted something to eat, but all I had was seed for the birds. Not nearly enough to feed the herd. I moved on trying not to startle them, until I came to the thicket around another corner, quite a ways from the herd of dear, where the cardinals lived.

She could flip one ear back to listen for things behind her, while keeping one ear and her eyes focused on me.

There was only one that I saw that morning, but he delighted me by flying up to a sunlit branch.

He was posing for me.

I had the camera up to my eyes, trying to figure out the best shot when I heard footsteps. I thought maybe another person was coming along the trail so I pulled off a few shots of the cardinal, knowing he’d fly away.

And then I lowered the camera and glanced back to see who was coming.

The whole herd was coming down the trail, following me.

I guess they hadn’t given up on me. I felt even worse that I had nothing to give them. One in particular was out front. I thought he was a youngster, less wary, perhaps more hungry.

She was asking with her eyes. I imagine some people do feed them, but I don’t think very many people walk this far back in the woods.

I stood and watched them as they gave up on me and wandered a bit looking for something to eat.

I’m sorry, girl. I hope you made it through this cold snap out there.

Then I moved as swiftly as I could away, climbing a hill and making a couple turns as soon as I could to put some space between me and them. I found myself next to another thicket that had all sorts of birds, including a cardinal couple.

They were interested in me but not interested in getting too close. In fact, Ms. Cardinal took great delight in not giving me a clear shot to a great image.

Yep, that branch across her face was deliberate on her part.

She flitted from here to there.

She moved and her face was showing, but now the branches covered up her beautiful body.

Always making sure there were twigs and branches between her and me…

Different branch, same story.

…while making sure she showed enough of her beautiful colors to keep me intrigued.

She had a lot of spots to hide, but she couldn’t hide her beauty.

She let me chase her down the trail, always keeping something between us.

Yep, she won the game, bet she’s still smiling.

After awhile I just gave up and went on down the trail. It was getting late and I was a long way from the car.

My artsy fartsy picture of the day

But there were a whole lot of birds waiting for me, so it wasn’t a fast trip back to the car.

“Hey lady!”

No, they dropped out of trees and flew around my head as I walked, landing on my camera lens if I ignored them.

Missed the bird, but I liked the image anyway.

They were everywhere. I was surprised because usually that far back in the woods, where fewer people walk, the birds are not as eager to engage.

Such cute little ones.

As I got closer to the parking lot the birds because more assertive. I emptied my pocket of seed, sharing some with a squirrel or two along the way.

Pretty sure he knew I had seed in my pocket.

Eventually I made it out of there, completely stripped of all treats, but with a full card of wonderful images, and great memories.

Getting his own lunch.

Even though I didn’t gain an audience with the Queen of the Boardwalk.

Looking for lunch in their refridge.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

45 thoughts on “Deer reader

  1. Talk about hitting the jackpot!! The deer, the cardinals–even that little teaser with the tree branches, but I laughed at the squirrel. He looks like he’s asking if you heard the latest from his distant cousin, Phil. Great photos, Dawn.


  2. “Deer reader” that was cute. What a stunning day out!! and more gorgeous photos! You have the best adventures!

    So what should we feed deer? They walk behind my house, sometimes when I’m out there and they stand and look and hope for a bite to eat, but I don’t put anything out because I don’t know what’s good or what harms them. I’m told lots of human food harms them. I’ve looked online and found so many commercial products for deer food … who’s to know what’s ok for them?
    Dawn-readers … (and Dawn) … help me. 🙂


    • Sometimes, here at home, we buy a big bag of carrots from the gas station or convenience store. They sell those for the hunters. We put a half bag of carrots in the backyard. Sometimes that’s gone in one night. But mostly we don’t because there’s a disease that is transmitted between deer, from nose to nose contact. At the park I don’t think I would have been able to carry enough carrots bac there!


  3. What a splendid day! Beautiful photos and so much life even in the cold of winter. Your post was a such a delight. That squirrel does resemble a groundhog, and at first glance, that’s what I thought it was.


  4. Now that is what I would call a perfect walk! Such beautiful images and fun commentary. Thanks for sharing. I agree with Laurie – that squirrel does look like a groundhog…


  5. A wonderful walk in the woods, Dawn! All those amazing birds and deer. The sunlight really helps with the sharpness. I’m amazed at how “tame” the deer seem to be. Great close-ups! They seem to find food. Our neighbors have bird feeders that the deer can reach and she also puts out alfalfa. We get a wonderful deer parade and bird show almost every day.


    • Here at home the deer raid the birdfeeders too. Can’t imagine that’s enough to keep them going though. They’re munching on shrubs now. That part isn’t so good, but on the other hand, it’s cold out and they’re hungry, so what are you going to do?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I always really enjoy “our” walks, Dawn. I especially enjoy that I’m in where it’s warm, although it would be nice to have a bird or two land on my hand. I used to enjoy when the deer would visit my yard in the southern part of the state – until they started eating my bushes, then I was less hospitable. We have some that visit our yard around here too, but I’ve never seen them, only the evidence they leave behind.


    • Glad you came along, Carol! Here at home they’re eating our bushes too, and yesterday I scared off a herd of 5 from eating the new this year hemlock tree we planted last summer. I know it’s about the only green thing out there, but I really want it to grow up into a real tree. Of course they’ll be back. It’s a love/hate relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Dawn,

    This visit was extra magical. We know you are the pied piper of birds….now you need to add deer to your talents. Your trips to the “bird park” always amaze me, but this one was something else! As always, thank you for sharing your adventures with us! 😊


    • I love sharing my adventures with all of you! I don’t think I want to be the pied piper of deer…that was sort of intimidating, though they were very cautious and didn’t get as close as it seems. I had a long lens. I think they WOULD have if I had had anything good to eat on me, and if I had stood still. But they were plenty close enough as it was.


  8. What a splendid outing! Seeing all those hungry critters makes me want to drop everything and go outside with bags of food for them. I’ll bet next time, you’ll be taking something extra for the deer, right?!


  9. Dawn, Gorgeous photos and excellent story telling! Thank you for sharing your walk.


  10. These are such stunning shots, Dawn. You are an incredible photographer!


  11. Oh my, what a treasure you came upon…


  12. Wow – you captured so many awesome photos, even the artsy ones are great! I think what I admire the most about your shots is that they capture the animal’s and birds’ personalities so well. It must’ve been fairly nice weather temp wise. It looks like there was standing water with the cranes. Nice job, Dawn! And you say you’re not a perfectionist 😉


    • It was in the teens when I went into the woods. I was in there a long time, I think it was almost 30 when I came back to the car. Yes, the birds and deer definitely had personalities. I can still see the eyes of the little deer that was the bravest, coming the closest to me, head stretched out, eyes asking for food. It was so sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow…how do you keep your hands warm when it’s so cold?
        Aw, that cute little deer trusted you, that’s sweet and sad at the same time. Somehow the deer seem to find what they need to eat to survive in the wild – when they rely on humans for food they can struggle when the food source dries up. 🤗


  13. Your photos bring so much joy. Thanks for sharing


  14. The cardinals are so pretty, aren’t they? Sad for the deer!


  15. What a nice outing! What fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a special, special place. What a true gift to be able to share space and interact so closely with other species.


  17. GREAT STORY! GREAT PHOTOS! Even SANDHILL CRANES! Man, that was terrific!!!


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