This weekend was the spring deer count at Homestead National Monument, an activity performed to understand deer population changes in the area as the prairie restoration continues. The overall property is just larger than the 160 acres of the original homestead, so the counting process is simply a bunch of folks walking in line across the prairie and counting deer as they try to escape. There are attempts to categorize what’s seen (buck, doe, fawn) but the deer are usually moving pretty fast, bucks have dropped their antlers and fawns usually have lost their spots. Most people just see a flash of white from the rear end of a running deer! Still, it was a great day and fun to be out walking across the prairie.
As with most landscapes, this one changes all the time, at least what you observe changes. The creek that runs along the woods is typical for this area and a place I photographed a lot while there in 2010. On this day, however, as I walked across the bridge, there was just something that caught my eye about the scene.
Don’t know if it was the way the sun was sparkling on the little ripples or how the sky was reflected so blue against the browns and yellows of the winter woods, or just the trees silhouetted in the light. Whatever it was suddenly I saw the creek in a new way and was able to capture that in an image. That “thing” that interrupted my thoughts was probably similar to what attracted the original homesteader to this place and kept that family there for several decades.
Pays to keep your eyes and mind open.