Some of the many reasons I prefer the company of myself, my hiking boots, and my letterboxing kit, over that of any other person or activity.

(click the image to see larger pictures)

I found this to be a highly amusing bit of graffiti in a public park……

but…..I didn’t go down the path.  Ah, the power of the demons of our minds.  I knew my serial killer and my untimely rendezvous with death were down that darkened road.

Later, I was off in the ether, walking and talking to myself and thinking, when I saw movement ahead of me, and stopped, thinking it was another hiker.

See the tiny odd shape right in the center of the photo?  That’s not another hiker.  That’s a deer.

And it wasn’t just one deer.  I looked off to my right, and saw another.  And then, behind it, another.  All foraging, quietly looking for food under the melt.  I stood for a few moments, just to watch them, and, because honestly, I’m somewhat wary of large mammals.  You should see me around horses, I get all out of sorts.

But it was cold, so I started walking forward again.  The deer in this photo moved a few steps to the left and away from me, as I took the path that forked to the right.  And just past the fork, I stopped dead again.  There were three more deer, and one was about five feet away from me off to my left.  They all stopped and looked at me, and I just stared at them.  I have never been this close to deer in my whole life.  And here I am, in a fucking city park, for pete’s sake, nearly within petting distance.

I feel sorry for Milwaukeeans who don’t appreciate what’s hidden behind the asphalt of this place.

Again, it was cold, so I started walking forward, as quietly as I could, with my head down, trying not to make eye contact — I don’t know if that makes any difference, but it’s what I do when I’m introducing myself to new dogs, and it seems to work out all right.  And of the — not kidding — nine deer that were all gathered together around that path, only one ran away from me, and then only about twenty feet away.  The rest just watched me for a moment….and then continued grazing.

I felt like I was interrupting a gathering.  A gathering I hadn’t been invited to.  It was a pretty lovely, strange moment.