Here I am still in Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve. Yesterday I told you what I saw at the beginning of my journey here. What I didn't exactly explain was the reason I came back here. I was on a search for life.
The other times I came here, I didn't see any animals at all. There were tracks all over the place, but I never saw anything alive at all. I didn't even see any birds flying around here. I heard a crow once, and I also heard a few chirps from other birds, but I saw nothing.
I thought this was only a little odd because it was cold and snowy here, so it wasn't unexpected. On this trip I came because the temperature was warmer and the snow was mostly gone. I was hoping to see maybe a small animal like a possum or a raccoon, or anything this time.
As I was walking along the trail, a black squirrel suddenly ran across the path! I lifted my camera as quickly as I could, but I was completely unprepared. The squirrel vanished back into the forest as quickly as it appeared. I thought my search for life was finished. I don't think I have ever been so wrong.
Even though I missed the opportunity to capture the squirrel on camera, I still carefully scanned the forest for more wildlife. The cold wind began to pick up, and my eyes began to sting a little bit. My stinging eyes quickly began to water a little bit, making it difficult for me to see.
As I looked into the distance ahead of me though, I thought I saw something different. I was sure I saw something move. I wiped my eyes the best I could while still looking in the same direction. As things became clearer, I saw what it was that caught my eye.
There was a deer looking back in my direction! It didn't see me any better than I saw it, so it was still there. We both saw each other at the same time, and we were both a little surprised to see one another. I hoped I would be able to get a picture of this!
As I looked a little closer, I saw that there was at least one more deer there with the first one. They were very hard to see even with my eyes now clear, because they were almost the same color as the rest of the forest. I now knew though that I would definitely get my picture of these deer.
Almost as soon as I began, the deer turned and scampered away from me. I was taking these pictures as fast as I could, and only a few turned out well. I didn't even have time to use my technique to get close to deer.
As I watched them running away, I noticed that there were very many more deer than just the two I initially saw. This was a herd of at least ten deer! They were camouflaged very well in the forest. It really was very hard to see them until they moved, and they now seemed to be appearing everywhere.
I took picture after picture, but these deer were weaving in and out of the trees. Because of this, I couldn't capture the huge number of this herd before they vanished as easily as the black squirrel I saw earlier. I did at least get to see the general direction they ran off to, and I was going the same way.
Would I see them again? And if I did, would I get any better photos of this herd? I pondered these two questions as I made my way into the forest after them. This would be the very first time I ever stalked deer like a hunter. I wondered what would happen.