Slowing Down

The deer are back. They always stop me in my tracks, making me take a deep, wonder-filled breath.

I am sitting at my desk, fingers poised to write and – as I often do when I sit in this spot – I glance up to look out the window. I am immediately soothed by the sight of some snowflakes that are gently falling to the earth. Unless it’s summer and the gardens are at stake, rain tends to get my spirits down, whereas a soft snowfall always lifts my spirits and makes me feel glad that I am alive to witness such beauty. I also have a lovely view of the river – just metres away – as well as a view of the impossibly-steep, high slope on the far side, covered in trees that always seem to defy gravity by growing on what appears – from here – to be a 90-degree angle (in reality, it’s probably closer to 75 degrees).

The lone deer is quite a distance away. I don’t keep my binoculars up here so I can’t see too much detail. It appears to be a good size and it appears to be alone. I can’t see whether it has antlers or not. I watch for quite awhile because where you spot one, you tend to see more if you are patient enough.

It takes several minutes but sure enough, I spot another deer, halfway down the slope and heading in the direction of the first deer. My husband is always a little in awe of how I can spot wildlife, but truth be told, at this time of the year, the deer are hard to miss. The trees – I would wager over half are hardwood – are bare of leaves and with snow on the ground, the deer stand out in sharp contrast.

In the summer, I only spot the tawny colour of the deer if they venture all the way down the slope, to drink from the river. It gives me a thrill, every time.

I live in a rural area and some folks around here make ends meet by hunting deer and filling their freezers for the year when they can. While I do not hunt, I can find no fault with this. Country folk live in synchronisation with nature and with the circle of life and no one takes more than they need (I suppose local hunting laws help with that). Nonetheless, I find myself feeling very glad that at this time of the year, when the deer are so easy to spot, hunting is not permitted.

They’re safe today, to go about the business of just being alive…

Patti Moore Wilson/©


Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

24 thoughts on “Slowing Down”

  1. The natural world should stop everyone in their tracks! (They could be deer tracks 😊 sorry, wasn’t meaning to be funny). I don’t have a window at my desk but I know exactly what you write about here. Some things in the natural world just take your breath away! 🙋‍♂️

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  2. Patti, we have our share of deer around here in the suburbs, and while we each try to stay in our lanes sometimes they pop out when we least expect it. It is an uneasy alliance, but I always look on in wonder when they appear. Beautiful at any time of year. I wish I could pick them all up and take them to a safer location, but I have to settle for just trying to be respectful of them when I come upon them.

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    1. Oh as beautiful as they are, it’s harder to appreciate the deer in the suburbs, Bruce 😕💕 I understand your ‘uneasy alliance’. In my province, we have deer/moose fences all along all of our main highways, with frequent openings where the bigger animals can get IN to the wooded areas, but not out. It really seems to help; I rarely see dead deer along the highway anymore. Yes, we humans have a way of taking up every possible spare space and there are no longer any easy solutions for our wildlife 🤷‍♀️😕💕

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  3. I agree with Bruce. In rural areas here, even with only one road that travels through forested land the deer and so many other animals have no choice but to attempt to cross and things don’t always work out well for either party. As a child we owned property on a lake and if I was lucky when out roaming the forest I might spot a deer, which was awesome. Too soon though they were overrun by people building along the lake front. Enjoy your views Patti!

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    1. That must have been amazing, Deb… And it must be really difficult to see how much things have changed there since you were little… I live in a rural area too and yes, while the place where I always spot the deer is safe and people free (as in, impassable), the roads are never far away and oh, we people just keep taking up more and more space 😕
      So grateful that you enjoy my views, Deb…🙂💕🙏

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  4. I get your wonder-filled breath. They really are amazing creatures. I grew up in a very rural area where lots of folks hunted. I hunted for a while as a kid until I realized that a.) I wasn’t much of a hunter, and b.) I had more fun eyeing them through a camera lens than a rifle scope. Like you, I don’t have any issues with hunters, but am very glad that the deer can roam free without too much worry (except for running out and getting hit by cars) at this time of the year. And yes, I bet it is amazing to look up and see them watching in on you. Certainly a nice break from sitting at your desk!! Ha, ha.

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    1. One side of my family were hunters and the other were photographers (going back to my great grandfather) so I really appreciated this comment, Brian 🙂 Alas, the roads are never safe for them, but I actually tried to hike along that side of the river with my daughter, last summer, and I am pleased to say, it is completely impassable: I have no idea how they navigate in there, which is a good thing 🙂 They are very safe – there, at least – and I get to see them whenever I am attentive enough 🙂


  5. A beautiful picture in words. I can imagine the snowfall, gentle, soft and silent. Nature’s confetti and every flake unique. There aren’t any deer here but seeing them up close in Japan – the ones that bow to you when you feed them a wafer was really special. It is nice to hear the hunters in your area take no more than necessary from the wild herds.

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Amanda 🙂 I’ve never seen a deer bow but that must be a very beautiful sight to see. I wish I could say we are noble for protecting our herds but I suspect it has more to do with a strictly-enforced hunting season. Humans aren’t really all that great at taking only what they absolutely need 😕

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  6. I never tire of spotting deer. I can drive up to the mountains for a day hike and not spot one. And then find one in the backyard nibbling my wife’s roses even though we live in a settled neighborhood. They don’t need much greenbelt to thrive!

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      1. Some of our neighbors put up wire netting to keep the deer out of their gardens, so that drives more to our house. We are too lazy to take preventative measures even if we wanted to.

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  7. How lovely! I wish I could look out my window and see deer. Right now I do have a collection of small birds that are slowing tearing apart the screen of my window to use for nesting material. It started with a tiny hole two years ago, and they return each year to pull off more and more. As we don’t open that window, I’m happy to watch them. Someday I’ll have to replace it, but for now it’s an enjoyable distraction.

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    1. What a lovely comment, Bridgette 🙂 It’s a wonderful way to spend your time, watching animals just ‘being’ 🙂 And aren’t they smart, returning to that screen year after year! I love watching birds, too, and look so forward to their return in the spring (only the hardiest of birds actually stick around here, all winter 🙂). They’ll likely be back in another month, tops. Oh, you’ve given me something to look forward to!

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