I think to myself, 'This is a good place for deer.'
I turn and see them. A doe and two fawns look at me, the smallest fawn has spots.
Surprisingly, buck fever isn't setting in and I think clearly. I snap a photo, aware that the shutter speed is too slow. So I extend a tripod leg to stabilize the camera. Too slow again. I adjust the ISO to 1600, adjust the shutter speed, and start taking photos.
The deer remain frozen as if they are posing.
Finally, the doe turns and walks into the Souhegan, body lengthening as she springs once, twice to the other side. The fawns follow.
I walk directly towards where I saw the deer, through the river and upstream on the far bank. I cross again and I look through the field to see a different deer making its way from right to left in the waist-deep grass. The doe moves slowly from the woods to the river, looking at me.
I set the tripod down and snap photos until I see her pass. Without thinking, I try to escape an angry bumble bee buzzing around my head, and I startle the doe. I see the doe spring urgently upstream along the far bank away from me. With more care, I could have stalked her and made a better shot.
After crossing the river again, I walk through the waist-deep grass, through the edge of the cornfield and see the cellar hole for my great-grandparent's house. The light isn't interesting, but I take a photo and walk down into the river again to see the waterfall under Warwick Mills.
The fog continues. The skies are dark, heavy. Today is day three of a five-day weekend and I walk home as the dark edges of lonliness press inward.