On Saturday morning I took a hike looking for signs of spring. The crisp pre-dawn air bit at my hands as if to remind me that this winter was less than a distant memory. With each step I sunk into the saturated earth rich with autumnal leaves discarded and relegated to the decomposers of the world. There is a smell to early spring, and while it is mid-May, the late snow and unseasonable cold conspired to stretch winter beyond its normal limits.
So as I walked, I watched for the signs. Migratory birds sang throughout the leafless forest as crows mobbed an owl pair looking for shelter. The animals were on the move. Herds of deer froze as I crossed their paths. Stealthy in wolf country, they seemed more like pets than something wild and untamed. I would stop, stare into their obsidian eyes and project their thoughts into my own. Nearly 20 deer later, I challenged myself to see them in a different way. The sunrise bathed their weathered bodies from behind, so I chose to capture the dawn of spring juxtaposed by broken bodies that struggled to survive this winter.
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