The buck stopped about two blocks from here, at a wild apple tree near the corner of Fifth Ave and Fifth Street. The buck was locking horns and fighting with another buck, as good male friends do.
They saw me and the smaller buck slowly backed away. The larger buck did not seem too concerned with me, especially since I was then squatting and looking off to the side to avoid looking suspicious. The buck then occupied himself trying to eat from an apple tree, with frequent glances in my direction.
It probably would have ended there. I wanted to get closer to the buck, but he was on the verge of bolting. He could not get any of the high apples and was about to give up. Then Sam showed up. Sam and the buck are friends; they rub noses in the morning. I called Sam, who showed up and purred while I petted him. (I refer to Sam the cat, BTW, not Sam Ramji the human.) The buck watched intently for several minutes. I inched closer and went for my closest buckshot yet.
Then I very slowly got up and pulled down an apple branch, rich with 4 apples, from the top of the tree. I held it out to the buck, with the cellphone cam in the other hand. Mmmmmmmm....
The buck had made the very brave move of coming out from behind the tree to check out the apple branch. The buck was healthy, and not starving or desperate. He was just brave, as far as he knew. In fact, that tree would have been little help against a hunter, and the buck was a much greater threat to me than the reverse. He slowly approached and then started eating.
After this, I fed him more apples, then slowly walked away. It followed me until it saw a paved road and cars, then walked away while still looking over its shoulder at me. I wonder if I will ever have a buck eating out of my hand again.
In other news involving my wondrous 1.3 megapixel camera, I hiked to Chief Ouray Mine on Wednesday.
The weather remains remarkable for late October. Snow on the mountains, but most days are sunny, warm, and dry. Great hiking weather. David Leland and Adrienne Dorig (and their much better camera) were here for a long weekend, so more pix of my Colorado trip should be forthcoming.