Untitled landscape with White-tailed Deer, Oil/canvas, 1893, 12 11/16 x 20 7/16 (33x52cm) Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), (signed Ernest E. Thompson) British, Naturalized U.S. Citizen, 1931, ALL#5015

In the late autumn, prior to the onset of Ontario’s winter snow, three does and one buck—white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)—startled by our presence, race away. Literally bounding off the ground, they can cover up to fifteen feet lateral distance in a single leap. Our glimpse of them will be fleeting as they recede beyond the line of four trees setting a boundary between us and the deer. The tail flagging indicates their perception of danger as well as giving them a means of keeping together by sight as they enter the protective gray brush lining the far end of the field.

In the foreground, standing paper birch (Betula papyrifera) and stumps (the remains of trees perhaps harvested for firewood) stand tall over grasses and forbs holding onto their last bit of color. Middle ground tree trunks appear dark while their upper branches are suggested not by color but by incising an impression of them against the cold gray-white sky of a shadowless day.

Credit Line: Academy for the Love of Learning, Santa Fe, New Mexico. All rights reserved. Reproduction permission.   

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