Morning Meeting

As I traversed the trails of Maple Lake on a cold December morning, the tips of my fingers began to feel the coldness in the air. As I started to think cold fingers would be the only thing I would get on my morning search, a slight movement to my right caught my eyes. Fifty feet to my right, a huge buck was eating the remaining berries of a barberry bush. I froze in awe as he slowly turned to look at me. Ever so slowly I focused my camera and snapped a couple of quick photographs.

To my surprise the buck did not run away but instead started to approach me. My heart began to beat faster and I slowly backed away, his antlers looked very intimidating from this short distance. He lowered his head and gave me a hard look. I froze and then he went back to eating his berries. As I took another picture, he looked at me again, raised his front leg and stomped the ground in an effort to startle me. As this happened I took another photograph which you can see below.

Eventually, the buck must have known I was of no harm to him as he let me move closer to him. I stopped taking pictures and just watched this amazing sight; I have never been so close to a buck this large. He finally decided it was time to move on but before he disappeared into the woodland he let me take one last photograph. All the while, during my morning meeting I never felt the coldness in my fingers.

Stomp ISO 400 100mm f6.3 1/100 second Click image for larger view
Ready to Run ISO 400 100mm f6.3 1/200 second Click image for larger view