A Month of Walking In A Forest Daily

Canada Geese & Sunrise Over River

Looking out from the edge of the forest that I visited most often.

Last month I started each day (except for 3) by walking in a forest. One day as I was walking through the forest far from the path, I noticed a deer about 50 meters away that was eating plants and meandering in my general direction. It hadn’t seen me yet, so I sat down among the ferns (so I couldn’t see it – and there was no way it could see me) and waited to see how close it would get.

About 5 minutes later it was about 10 meters away from me and finally noticed me sitting on the ground. I didn’t move, and stayed there on the ground, mostly looking away from the deer so as not to make it uncomfortable. The deer just stood there staring at me (as they often do) and stomping on the ground occasionally. After a few minutes of me sitting there while the deer stomped, the deer let out a sudden snort. The snort alarmed me, so I quickly stood up. As soon as I stood up the deer took off, making huge bounds through the forest with its white tail in the air, snorting loudly the whole time.

It then started making its way back towards me – probably just to keep me in sight, but by that time I was slightly concerned about its intentions so I walked away in the opposite direction and ended my forest walk for the day. When I got home I read up about deer online and discovered that the behavior I experienced was quite typical of deer.

I live downtown in a city of about a million people, but luckily it only takes me about 5-10 minutes to drive to a ~150 acre forest that contains a lot of wildlife (including that deer) and not many people.

Although I saw deer almost every day, most of my encounters were more peaceful – we’d just look at each other and continue on our separate ways. I usually entered the forest just before sunrise, and spent most of my time off the beaten path, walked very slowly & quietly – sort of trying to merge with the forest. Often I’d sit down on the ground and just observe, which allowed me to see things that I probably otherwise would not have seen (see turkey photo below).

Although the forest wasn’t big, it had a lot of variety (some dense areas, some clearings, some ponds, etc). I’ll let the pictures below tell the rest of the story.

Wet Clearing In A Forest

An unexpected clearing in the forest.

Sunrise On A Less Foggy Morning

Another view from the edge of the forest, on a less foggy day.

Deer In A Forest

Saw these things almost every day.

Early Morning Sun On Tree Trunks

Early morning sun on the tree trunks.

Duckweed Pond In A Forest

A small pond covered in duckweed.

2 Wild Turkeys In A Forest

As I was sitting on the ground leaning against a tree trunk (tree trunks & roots can make surprisingly comfortable chairs) these wild turkeys appeared. At first I thought they were turkey vultures and was excited to see what sort of dead animal they had found. But alas, they were just lowly turkeys.

Walking in the forest was usually relaxing. Overall I enjoyed it, & I’m looking forward to going back to that forest at different times of the year to see how it has changed.

This month (October) my project is to contact authors whose books I’ve read and who I’ve wanted to contact for a long time to ask questions. Details coming soon…

Comments

  1. says

    How amazingly beautiful! Thank you for sharing those photos. Your deer story reminded me of a time in the Army, when, heading back to camp alone, I encountered two deer running in the woods. I could have literally reached out my arm and touched one of the deer as it bounded past me.

    • Justin says

      That sounds like a pretty cool experience too! This past weekend I visited the forest again for the first time since September. It’s very different now of course – all white (covered in snow), and I could walk out onto the frozen river :)

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