POTD: Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight
Bozeman, Montana
2011

When I started posting the series of photos of local flowers that ended yesterday, I did so to show why spring in Montana is worth waiting for through a long winter. Well, this is another reason it’s worth waiting for.

I got this image when I was going out to photograph flowers about a month ago. I was walking up the hill behind our house when I heard a snort over near our garage. When I looked over, I saw a mule deer doe bounding off behind the building. I turned to continue up the hill but in the corner of my eye caught a glimpse of the white spots on this little doe. She had done what she was supposed to do when her mother signaled danger–drop to the ground and hide, not moving until it was safe. The problem was she was still mostly on the bare ground next to the garage when she dropped. I went down to where she was and took this photo. She didn’t move a muscle while I was there; even her eye, although wide open, was perfectly still. I quickly went back up the hill so as not to scare her or her mother (who was certainly nearby somewhere) too much. I watched from behind a tree and after a couple of minutes the fawn got up and very cautiously moved down the hill and crawled under a big stand of balsam root plants and lay down again. I’m sure she felt much safer there. I know I couldn’t see her at all.