It’s morning in a Virginia mountain forest. I’m awake at 6 a.m. listening to the sounds outside my tent. Melodic trills. Whining whistles. Urgent notes increasing from loud to piercing. Hollow pecking. Raucous scolding calls. Buzzing that whooshes past my ear. One propeller in the distance. I can just barely make out the hum of cars on a highway. Sharp Percussive hits rustle leaves on the forest floor. These sounds I recognize. I greet the birds by name whose voices are familiar. I rejoice that i didn’t set up my tarp under the tree that’s dropping nuts. I drift back into half sleep.
And then theres a stomping sound. It startles me. I sit up. What’s that? I lift the bottom edge of my tarp and look out. 20 yards away I make out a movement. My eyes sort out a rusty brown shape . Long thin legs lift up then beat the ground. I discern a head lowering then snapping up. Its a deer! And its regarding ME – or at least the unrecognized and threatening shape of my tarp. It makes sense that a blue and yellow triangle would not be in the memory base of a young deer.
My head is out. We look at each other. I don’t budge. The deer stomps her warning rhythm six or eight more times, then shakes her head and snorts a sneezing barking sound. I don’t leave. She does; hooves pounding out a last percussive phrase through the trees.
I want front row seats for more of this Morning Awakening symphony ! I pull my mat and sleeping bag out the door of my tarp and sit watching and listening, my senses bathed and nourished in Nature’s living art gallery