“What would you say?” I asked my daughter on our way out of the woods. “Was this walk mostly about chipmunks or deer?”

“Chipmunks, probably,” she answered.

But three deer, resting and grazing, were the first things we saw — after the monarch mudskipping in the parking lot. Later, we heard the snorty scream of a deer warning call, followed by some banging sounds, and then a young buck running through the woods across the creek from us. Could he have been clashing antlers with another deer? Or did he get stuck in a tight spot somewhere? Strange. We back tracked to see if we could get another look at him, and though we did see him we didn’t get any pics. Still another young deer bid us goodbye as we left the woods, too. They were surely out and about.

The chipmunks were definitely impossible to ignore, however! They scampered everywhere and chirped till the woods rang with it, warning everyone that we were intruding. The little guy pictured in the log was close enough to his safety zone to indulge his curiosity about us somewhat before disappearing inside.

The other story, for me, was the busyness and color of the woods. It shows up especially in the stream/bridge pictures. It’s difficult to find a single area of the scene that isn’t already brimfull of other outlines. It reminds me of those art class exercises where you are instructed to fill every space with a different pattern.

Not a ton of color this fall — mostly yellows and rust colors. It’s been dry. But it’s enough to tint the sunlight, giving it a beautiful burnished glow before it hits the ground.