30 x 18 in / 76.2 x 45.7 cm
The north in autumn may be my favourite location and time of year for hiking. As beautiful as the summer is with its warmth and stillness, I find the fall invigorating. I feel more awake in the crisp fall air. The breezes that come with the season bring so much movement and sound to enjoy. I love the rustling sound that the trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) makes all year round, and at this time of year the other trees join in. Even the grasses, like the clusters of taller grass (Agrostis scabra) in the foreground of this painting, move and sway with the wind. As if all this colour and sound weren’t enough beauty to take in, these white-tailed deer came out into the open to feed on the shorter grasses in the clearing. Their resources diminish as winter approaches, and this relatively damp land at the edge of a marsh provided some grass that was still green and tender enough for them.
For us, this clearing offered a delightful view as the deer stepped out to eat. Two of them were clearly older and more accustomed to coming across people. The little one was not so sure. Those bright eyes and large ears focused in on these strange new intruders. Here in the nature preserve, the deer are protected. In time, the little one will learn that we mean them no harm. For now, though, I can enjoy the magic of an encounter with these deer, looking into the long-lashed eyes of this adorable creature.