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After the last week of beyond unseasonably warm weather here in Southern Ontario (daily highs of 20°C) it’s hard to think that I captured this image just a week ago today. The temperature was a crisp -5 & we had about 5cm of fresh snow blanketing everything in the morning, the first snowfall of the season. The first snow always brings a new level of excitement in the air. Knowing this I set out early in hopes of an encounter just like you see here. A big beautiful 10pt buck amidst our short lived winter wonderland. Our meeting came very early & was brief but magical. It would be my only encounter on this morning. I clocked over 10km in search of more forest friends on this day, what sticks with me the most is watching the forest transform before my very eyes. In the 7 hours spent in the bush it went from a pristine winter wonderland to absolutely zero evidence it ever snowed that much. Had anyone slept in past lunch hour, you’d have never known a flake of snow was on the ground. I look forward to more snow days this winter (yes you heard correct, I love winter & snow) and since I can’t travel for my career the way I’m used to I will continue on with my friends of the (local) forest project. It’s been an absolute pleasure rediscovering my own backyard all these years later. It’s truly amazing how much wildlife literally lives right under our noses. . You just have to put in a little time & have a little patience.. and the secrets of the forest will slowly reveal themselves to you.
Original caption, Instagram @davesandford - Fall 2020