Last Friday I woke to a fresh layer of snow, undisturbed by wind, so I headed out to Hartwood Acres. It was still dark when I got there, so I sat in my car for a few minutes, eating a granola bar and sipping my chai. One person beat me out of the car and onto the trail, but he was out for a run, so I felt no particular hurry. As light began to appear, I began walking, stopping first at two lovely skeleton trees.
I took Trail 1, and found myself looking out on a neighboring farm, so idyllic in the morning hush. I had been walking along with my new wide angle lens, but stopped to change it for the above shot.
When I unzipped my bag, I scared a few deer and I froze, just enjoying watching them. Three trotted up the hill to the left of the trail on the photo above, and you can see one crossing the trail at a run. I assumed I had scared it, and stood still so as not to bother them any further. Then I saw something that surprised me - a coyote ran across the trail after the deer! The two animals looped to my left, and I spun around to watch the chase, which ended with the deer hightailing it through the forest behind me, and the coyote retracing its steps in a semicircle on my left, and crossing back over the trail to where it originally appeared, disappearing into the brush. My blood was pumping with the thrill of watching such an exciting moment before me. I had see the coyote’s tracks on the way up the trail, but I never guessed I would see one in action. I was so sorry I had the wrong lens on, which made the deer and coyote seem like little dots in the distance. They were in fact just about 200 yards away.
By the time I got back to the paved trail, the sun was cresting the hills, bathing everything in a golden light. It was such a beautiful sight, especially after the dreary days that seem endless sometimes here in the winter.