At Christmas last year, our local gas station gave out calendars with beautiful photos. Each page has a quote, and this month's intrigued me:
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
The does birth their fawns this time of year, and we're always on the lookout for them.
On Friday evening, just as night fell, with a full moon rising, Don came into my studio.
"Con, do you have a pair of binoculars that you can see out of pretty well?", he asked.
"Yeah, that green pair in the kitchen."
"Can you bring it and come to the bedroom?"
If I've learned anything about Don over the years, it's that when asks me something like this in his calmest voice, it's worth paying attention to. He also has very sharp vision, and half of the interesting things I see around here are ones he's spotted first. I didn't waste any time, but grabbed the binoculars and joined him at the bedroom window.
He pointed to an object not far away, between the shop and the bedroom. "Does that look to you like a fawn?" I squinted through the binoculars. It did indeed. It was tiny and brown, with white markings, and it was laying perfectly still. We thought we could even make out a tiny ear.
This would be the second time a doe had dropped her fawn near the house. Last year around this time, we had found a newborn fawn tucked in a tight ball laying on the ground not far from the deck. With the prevalence of coyotes in this area, it seems to us to be a pretty good idea, and we speculate, wishfully, I suppose, that the deer actually sense that their fawns are safer near us.
I went to bed this time dreaming about the fawn, hoping it would still be around in the morning, and visualizing the pictures I would take.
In the morning, it was still there. Don was leaving early to meet a friend, and had to get the pickup out of the shop. I stationed myself at the bedroom window to see if the little thing would be disrupted. When Don drove out, it didn't move.
It was getting lighter, and I held the binoculars up again. A minute later, I was out the door, shaking my head and laughing at the brown and white, fawn shaped rock that lay between the house and the shop.
Sometimes what we look for has a great deal to do with what we see.