Sunlight streamed through the large broad-based cypress trees as Bud, my husband and I paddled our canoe through the black swamp water. After setting up our tent at the Okefenokee Swamp's Canal Run Shelter we canoed to a nearby prairie. The prairie's shallow pond with large flat lily and lotus leaves is a great place to view wildlife.
A big grayish brown white-tailed buck raised it's head when we eased past a small bush.
We dared not move.
The buck stood frozen in the dark water like a majestic statue. His soft brown eyes regarded us with curiosity.
We gaped in awe.
The antlers on his regal head had five prongs on each beam.
He snorted softly as he lowered and raised his head.
Time passed as we watched wide-eyed.
He raised his front paw and splashed at the water.
We held our breath.
He took a step forward.
More time passed as we stayed still.
Then out of the blue he walked towards me.
Our eyes locked. For a second I panicked. Suddenly I felt an explosion of love. Waves of it. I loved this deer. I wanted him close.
He abruptly turned a few feet ahead of me and began to graze on a lily leaf.
I continued to marvel.
“Where's the camera?” Bud whispered.
Fearing the deer would leave I reluctantly leaned forward and picked up the camera.
The buck continued to observe us as it foraged.
Relieved I hit the shutter and got four pictures.
The deer raised it's head, sniffed the air and looked the other way.
We followed the deers gaze. Three people in two canoes were approaching.
The buck gave a wheezy snort, raised its white tail and bounded off.
I smiled. “We've just received a blessing from the universe.”
“It felt like a dream.”
“Yea, I'm glad you got some photos,” Bud said beaming.