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One Winter Moment In Nature

by: Jessie Opfer

The air was crisp, probably 50 degrees. I had not checked the weather app on my phone since the morning. It had not been considerably windy, but there was a breeze, one that was almost blocked by the trees and valleys along Four Mile Creek. It was one of those days where you could feel spring coming watching the sun glimmer, even though it is still very much winter. Whether these warm days are normal or not, they are refreshing.

Four Mile Creek in February. Photo courtesy Jessie Opfer.

Near an opening by the creek, trees had fallen in the path. The ground was soft but not muddy, providing an extra cushion for my feet to press onto the ground. The only sound was that of water running, the distant sound of cars and some rustling to my left. Through the brown and gray of the brush and trees, two eyes locked with mine—a deer. She was hard to make out but it was not hard to miss our eye contact. It really is like they say when you’re driving: if there is one, there are more. Two more came into my sight, still almost disguised by the landscape. 

They would take a few steps, as if hesitant to get further away from me—always turning back to lock eye contact again. They seem to be accustomed to photographs, one seemed to be posing for my photos. I guess the digitization of our world impacts them too.

A deer in the woods by Four Mile Creek, with Shadowy Hills Drive in the background. The road leads to Yager Stadium. Photo courtesy Jessie Opfer.

A bird began to sing as I watched the deer like a television show. The tune was the same pattern over and over again with pauses in between as if it was staring at sheet music. The bird brought me a sense of familiarity, it was a chirping tune I hear every summer at my grandparents as we watch the animals that exist on their land—the same as the deer.

Between my presence and the bird's song, the deer started to stray away. They were heading toward a road. Maybe they know their fate could be decided at that yellow dotted line.

Jessie Opfer is a second-year journalism and political science double major from Sandusky, Ohio. She is an assistant editor for The Miami Student Magazine, and has worked on nature stories for the publication. This piece was originally an assignment for a class on nature writing.

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