His Majesty

I spotted him through the window just as I took my first sip of coffee. He was only 40 yards away. Two minutes passed before I snapped out of my reverie. That’s when I realized that I could take action.

The Nikon was already standing by. I learned decades ago that an empty camera is nothing more than the world’s most expensive paperweight. This kind of work required a telephoto lens. My latest addition, a 300mm manual-focus, was made for the job.

I didn’t bother with a jacket. I made my way out and started toward him, letting an old oak screen me for part of the distance.

He may have glimpsed me, but I know he didn’t catch my scent. That’s because he remained as still as a statue. The wind was in my face with the light behind me. I inched forward and stopped. It was still too far to make a proper portrait.

Getting close enough to fill the frame with the majesty of this eight-point buck seemed like the sporting thing to do. I pressed on. Little by little, the distance closed.

Then he looked right at me, letting me know that he’d allow me a few seconds to take care of business.

I took my shot. Four sharp frames, to be exact. Then it was over.

It’s the best two and a half minutes I’ve spent in my backyard in a very long time.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.