Spring Beauties and the Silent Sunset

| 7 images

A couple weeks back, as spring was just getting under way, and a varietous smattering of different shades and tones of green scattered the landscape, I decided to head out to Cherry Creek and see what creatures were about. I was originally hoping for some birds, but the birds have been on and off this spring…one day they are there in droves, the next not a bird to be seen. After hanging out at the pond for a while, photographing a couple of Gadwall (a rather boring looking duck until you get a close up look, then they show off a variety of patterns, subtle color shading, and a truly amazing wing spread:)

Gadwall Banking

I decided to pack it in and head back home. The light was soon to be fading, the sun was setting behind the thin veneer of the overcast sky. It was nice and quiet, however, there was very little wind, and the light, despite being of a fainter quality, was soft and diffuse (which I love.)

On the way, I noticed a couple of deer laying out in a field, so I pulled over, grabbed my big lens, and trotted out into the field. The deer looked quite content, and there were quite a number more of them than I had originally seen, and I didn’t want to disturb them. I sat down in the field where I was and started to grab some shots with them behind some bushes. I was getting some interesting shots of the deer with blurry foregrounds and the dried up twigs of some past plant, when they all started to get up, one by one, and headed across the field I was sitting in. One by one, they noticed this odd looking creature with a big snout, and in their curiosity, decided to come in for a closer look. Some for a MUCH closer look! At a mere 15-20 feet out these were some of the closest deer have been. One in particular, the young beauty in the first photo here, showed an incredible amount of curiosity, and got so close I couldn’t even focus my lens.

If it hadn’t been for a buck that came prancing up with the velvet-covered stubs of his new antlers, she might well have come right up for a kiss. 😉 The buck, however, pranced up…gave me this lazy glance, then glanced at the young doe and gave her a huff and a snort, then a quick, short stomp, and the two bounced off towards the other side of the field. I guess he was telling her to leave the poor little human creature alone? Well, a couple of minutes later she was back, not to be deterred from her investigation into the strange long-snouted creature sitting there in the field. 😀 She kept waving her head back and forth, sniffed the air, and repeatedly got within my minimum focus distance before getting a little too shy and pranced off a short distance again.

This was one of those rare moments of quiet, serene communion with nature. There was little wind, the light was incredibly soft, the colors were amazing. The deer were beautiful. The contrast of various spring greens, and the grays and browns of the still waning winter, were simply amazing.