I published a similar image several days ago of the mountain cliffs covered in snow. The beauty of this wintry scene does not need words. I was told it does looks like a winter wonderland!
I was photographing this wintery landscape scene just above a frozen mountain stream and didn’t pay much attention to the stream below. After I finished photographing the cliffs I noticed track and holes in the ice in the middle of the river. One of the images below you can see the holes that drew my attention. I first thought river otters and they had punched out these holes in the ice. I slowly returned to my truck, changed lens to a larger telephoto (300mm), and slowly walked back to the bank’s edge. I was keeping an eye on any movement, on the ice, on the bank’s sides, in the stream, with no movement detected. I started looking through my lens and that was when I discovered the cause of the tracks and holes in the ice. A Whitetail Deer had fallen through the ice and had obviously worked very hard to get out. It just stood in the stream with a completely stunned, shocked and bewildered look in its eye as you can see in the close-up image.
It knew the entire time I was there and it never moved more than twenty feet or got out of the water. I thought at first it was trying to escape some type of predators, gone into the water out of panic, but I never found anything else around. The deer did not move much in the 20 or 30 minutes I watched it in the freezing mountain stream. As time went on it became apparent, the deer was in shock, disoriented and probably going into hyperthermia. It had accidentally gone out on the ice and its weight had caused it to fall through. Over a hundred yards of ice the numerous holes were each time it had tried to get out of the freezing water only to fall through again. It was totally soaked, completely exhausted and did not know what had just happened or what to do next! It just stood there up to its belly in frozen mountain stream.
I moved to the truck for just a few minutes and when I returned it was gone. I did not see what finally happen to it but……….I do know what the possibilities were. I will let my very much-appreciated readers come to their own conclusions.
Nature In All Its Beauty & Harshness