When the land presses energy out, it makes a trail. Water can follow that trail, or that trail can be picked up by shrubs and lifted to the air, as in the image below.
This old principle of the earth is called Dicht, or thickening. It is the earth’s way of distilling energy into form, as it does with the saskatoon bush below.
It does the same with these mule deer does.
In their case, because they have great agility of movement and great endurance and strength, the Dichtung (thickening) that the land does to create them is very complex. Still, it is understandable. They are at this distance, because it is as far as they wish to go to be safe, given that this is the sunny slope and the snow is difficult everywhere else. They are on the ridge line, so they can watch both ways, with their escape route open.
I mean, why go to that shadier snow to the north? These does are, in other words, following the same pressure of the land’s forms as creeks, ponds, and bushes do, and the fact that I found them here, by chance, is because I was following the same flows. What’s more, these flows are mapped out across the land by these does.
As anyone who knows this land of volcanic outcrops and sagebrush knows: if you don’t follow the deer trails, you’ll be retracing your steps. Follow the trail.
But it works both ways. Here are the does fifteen minutes later. I’m far below by this time, looking back up the hill. You can see them grazing in a tight group, far tighter than when I first found them. This is the group they made in a defensive posture from me, in a position determined by my presence. It will slowly open out and shift across the grass.
And don’t think they aren’t still watching. Or that I’m not watching, too.
We are all flowing together. None of us are flowing in any direction not given to us by the land. Well, the land and the sun.