You should never reach for the camera when three deer jump the road just in front of your car. (Even when you’re not driving.) I mean, what are you thinking – that they’ll pause, look back and smile? Or that there will be a fourth one?
Well there was a fourth one. And by then I had my camera in hand. And I wasn’t driving. And I looked to see her sprint through the view finder. And I then remembered that I had the lens cap on to protect the lens. And no, there was not a fifth one.
This was yesterday. We were driving back from Cedarburg the back-road way and we detoured toward Pike Lake State Forest. Not that we intended to hike there. It was nearly noon and I had to be at work within two hours.
Maybe we should have come here earlier? I ask Ed.
I liked the walk we took this morning, he answered. Sincerely.
He didn’t mean through town, although that stroll was plenty nice. We stopped at the bakery to try their baguette and their chocolate pear croissant. (Any bakery in Madison interested in taking on this combination? It’s a wonderful blend of flavors!)
He was refering to the one after: the one that left us driving, searching for a path, an entrance – anything! -- over at the Cedar Bog, some ten miles north of town. The B&B owners told us we’d find trails there. We found none.
Or maybe we did? There was a wood chip road of sorts, blocked off, but maybe it was meant for visitors? Maybe? Maybe the No Trespassing sign, rusted and bent, was for vehicles? The map indicated this was Nature Conservancy land. I support the Nature Conservancy! As does Ed! We are them and they are us!
We followed the wood chip path through the utter quiet of a forest and a snow-covered marshland. Huge bird prints made us think the wild turkeys preceded us. Hoof marks told us for sure deer had been here too. But we saw neither. I’d like to think we did not disturb them, even as they certainly did not disturb us.
The path ended at a lake – Mud Lake maybe? One of the thousands of Mud Lakes in our state.
Not a soul around. Just three lonely ducks making their way to the island. And us watching. Not even photographing, just watching. Loving every minute of the stillness, the emptiness in this quietest of all seasons.