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  • Writer's pictureJulia Preminger Photography

Encounter with Deer on a Frosty Catskills Morning

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Catskill Mountains. It's the night of the new moon in November. I've had a glimpse through my window of a crystalline black sky splashed with starry light. Now the dawn is coming and something is calling me to go outside and greet the day. It's the second night of temperatures cold enough to blanket the landscape with hoar frost. The eastern sky is gleaming gently as I head down to the lake shore. The landscape is breathing and vibrating with intelligence as the light softly increases—a completely enchanting and mesmerizing scene.

(🙏Please scroll down for amazing video of my meeting with the deer. 🙏)

I spend some time photographing the almost motionless mist floating over the dark water, the frost covering every plant as far as the eye can see—the frost that hides dark shadows, softens textures all around, and lights up the hillside.

I am greedy to absorb the whole thing, not to miss any precious detail as I sense time running out with the rise of the sun. In a few moments this whole magical scene will disappear when the sun clears the eastern horizon, just as Cinderella’s exquisite gown turned to rags at the stroke of midnight.

As I head back up the hill through stands of frost-covered, gone-to-seed goldenrod and asters I encounter a White-tailed doe and her fawn affectionately grooming each other on the path before me. I start photographing. They look at me fearlessly. The doe starts to walk towards me with her fawn in tow. My heart almost stops. I can feel her in my heart, her trust, her love. I am stunned and breathless. Just before they reach me, she turns into the mass of goldenrod and asters which is tall enough to hide her completely when she grazes. Every now and then her head pops up from the sea of frosty plants in a most endearing manner. (My ramble continues below the video.🥰)

Eventually the two of them wandered off into the tall wildflowers, the sun melted the frost, and I made my way home—not without taking a few more photographs of the glorious morning but that will have to wait for another day. 🥰

Thanks for reading my ramble. I hope you enjoyed it. I would love it if you would ...

Footage used in this video is available exclusively on Pond5: 1 2 3

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