Well, this is a first...the morning after the night before blog post! It's now 7.30am on Easter Sunday morning, and I do feel somewhat the worse for wear...plenty of fluids, I think!
To be clear, I both took the photo and started this blog post yesterday, which means it's well within the long standing rules of the 5-oh 1-a-Day blog (which I'm making up as I go along, obviously).
We had friends round last night for deer stalking and a barbecue.
When I say deer stalking, I don't mean deer hunting, no siree, Bob. That kind of thing is really not my bag, baby...we were simply trying to catch sight of one.
One of our friends told me he had never seen a deer in the wild. I boldly claimed that we see them all the time, and told him that if he were to come over for a barbecue, we could go over the woods and see if we can spot the deer that live over there.
I love the woods up at the top of the hill. In the photo above, there is a large stand of sycamore trees. They're tall and slender, and when their foliage comes in, it's all up at the top of the tree. The wood becomes a calm, natural cathedral, with the leafy canopy creating a green ceiling over the large, airy interior, warmly suffused with dappled sunlight...it's a beautiful, atmospheric space.
I'll endeavour to get back up there in a few weeks and try to capture the feel of it.
We didn't see the deer up there...but after spending 20 minutes feeding carrots to Ol'e Blue Eyes (now re-christened Frankie), as we wandered down the path towards home, we spotted fresh roe deer prints in the soft mud.
Sure enough, two minutes later, we saw two deer lying down in the wood, 20yds off the path. They lay there stock still looking at us for a minute or two, before hesitantly getting to their feet. After a moment they started to trot, and then run, as they took a wide path around towards where we were coming from. This is their standard strategy for avoiding predators, and why you can pass them by a dozen times and never see them.
They know what they're doing!
It's surprising how often your experience reflects your expectations of it...funny how sometimes, when you throw a bold claim out there, the universe responds to your confidence by making it happen.