The Deer Who Smiled at Me in Yosemite

It’s a risky move, publishing this post. You might figure out just how silly I really am. How silly?


Here it goes. This is a portrait of Buckminster, the mule deer I befriended in the Half Dome Village campground during my trip to Yosemite last year. No sooner had my friend Judy and I settled in than this seriously tame creature showed up a few tents down. Mesmerized by my first wildlife encounter in the park, I scurried back to my heated tent (yes, that’s an oxymoron) to retrieve my camera.

On my way back, I encountered another creature – a Yosemite staff person – and I grabbed the opportunity to ask her about the deer.

“Oh yeah, he hangs around here a lot. Not sure why. You’d think he’d be with a herd somewhere.”

To which I said, “Not allowed to play any reindeer games?”

I got a blank expression.

“Ah, okay,” I continued. “So, if he hangs out here a lot has anyone named him?”

“No,” she said.

“Oh, cool,” I said, “I proclaim he shall be known as Buckminster henceforth!”

To which she said, “….,” and then resumed walking. Away from me. Faster than before.

Which was fine with me, because what I really wanted to do was photograph Buckminster rather than talk to a normal human being. So I scurried back to where he was before and proceeded to take some pretty darn close-up portraits. I might add that during our photo session I called him by his newly appointed name…

“Hi Buckminster, let me introduce myself. My name is Susan.”

And just like that! He smiled for the camera. I kid you not, you can see it for yourself below… 

Clearly, I think my work is done here. 

So what about you? Have you ever named a wild animal? I’d love to know in the comments below… 

Photo Credits:The Naming of Buckminster by Susan J. Preston, Yosemite National Park © 2019, all rights reserved
Technical: Fuji XT-2 | Forthcoming


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Invincible Dawn

Invincible Dawn

Whatever calls to you now. Whatever sings for your attention or knocks on your door, turn toward it. Run with wings flapping pulling the light within you forward….

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