I had a day off yesterday (vive St-Jean-Baptiste!), and my younger son wanted to go for a bike ride to the 'Snail Tunnel', which runs under Hwy 403 just before Wilson St.
We left the house and rode up the Radial Trail, which crosses the south end of Chedoke Golf Course and meanders up the escarpment to Ancaster and, ultimately, toward Brantford.
About fifteen minutes into the trip, we were cruising (okay, I exaggerate: it's almost all uphill and I'm out of shape, so it's more accurate to say we were tottering) along an unpaved trail lined with buttercups and wild daisies, when my son yelled, "A deer!"
I hit the brakes and we ground to a dusty stop. Sure enough, a young deer stood maybe fifteen feet away from us in a small clearing among the trees. It regarded us solemnly, ears perked, and sniffed the air with gentle bobs of its shiny snout.
We stood still on our seats, scarcely daring to breathe, and it meandered toward us, sniffing a tuft of grass here, nibbling on a leaf there, until it stood about ten feet away and munched on what looked like a tasty briar.
Soon a second deer walked into the clearing, munching coyly. An unspoken dialogue seemed to pass among the two deer, and after casting a final look at us to ensure we weren't doing anything dodgy, they strolled back into the brush.
The whole exchange lasted for maybe a minute and a half, plenty of time to take all kinds of photographs.
(Did I bring my camera? I did not, so for those in the "pics or it didn't happen" camp, I have nothing to offer but my solemn vow that it really did happen.)
This is why I love Hamilton so much. We live close enough to the core to ride a bike to work, walk to most local destinations, and enjoy a fun urban environment; but we also live close enough to the woods that we can see wild deer a fifteen minute ride from our house.
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