Simona D'Auria

Making friend with a deer on an unusually cold July

Summer interruption from Dalarna to the north of Sweden, finding magic moments in the nature, making contact with a beautiful deer
Portrait of a roe deer on a summer evening
A portrait of Tiril when he was a young buck

Hello my dear friends!

With this post, I would like to share with you the story of a summer precious encounter with a deer.

It has been a cold, windy and rainy July so far, from Dalarna up to the north of Sweden.

We have been blessed with a week of warm weather at the beginning of the month, but then the temperatures have dropped drastically reaching also 10 degrees on the coldest days and going no more than 20 degrees on the warmest ones. Rain would fall almost every day eventually, often overnight and in the early morning, leaving cool air throughout the day.

I must say, although I am usually heat intolerant and I quite enjoy cool weather, I’m missing summer. I have hated it when I was living in the city, could not stand the sultriness, walking on hot concrete streets among the car traffic and the stuffy tall skyscrapers of the City of London! But since I moved out in the nature I discovered that I actually enjoy a lot a proper summer and to a certain extent even hot temperatures!

I was getting used to a 20 minutes walk into the forest after a day of work to reach the nearest forest lake where I would take a swim under the setting sun! Beautiful!

Then, back home, I would prepare dinner and set the table outside in the conservatory enjoying the fresh air of the summer evenings.

I would wake up and have breakfast under the sun among singing birds and blooming flowers!

Being able to work sitting outside, to have long hiking excursions until late evening, to walk barefoot in the garden.

In short, just enjoying an usual Swedish summer in the nature …

Forest lake on a summer day
Stunning light by the forest lake on a summer day

Unfortunately, it has been almost two weeks now from my last swim, and I could hardly enjoy the conservatory.

I went back working on my desk inside looking out of the window and watching the capricious weather changing a thousand times on the same day. Clouds, rain, sun altogether! Strong cool winds and lapses of warm and stillness. Totally unpredictable!

Only one thing still reminded you of summer… the thousands of hateful, always hungry, annoying mosquitoes that turn a walk in the woods into a nightmare! Those are still there… 🥴

Anyhow! As usual, if you live in the nature, there’s a lot you can enjoy, you just need to get out there regardless of the weather.

And as usual again, to me it’s always a matter of finding the magic in what I happen to see.

It might be sun rays vibrating on the surface of the water after it has rained, dancing with the clouds and the trees reflection in an upside down lake scene.

Reflection of the sun in blue waters
White sun reflected on blue waters

The thousands tones and shades of intense green that you can spot in the renewed forests under one of the clearest, sharpest light you can experience. Bees and butterflies in ecstasy jumping from one flower to the other, frogs crossing your way on the forest path near a pond, or … the encounter with a roe deer! 🦌

I was heading to the forest near home when I met her for the first time …

She was timidly approaching a clearing in the woods covered with tasty fresh leaves that had grown after the rains of these days. I froze, not sure what to do and afraid to frighten her, causing her stress and losing that precious moment at the same time. Then, I found a place where I could hide, just a couple of steps from where I was standing and I crawled into it.

I know roe deer don’t have an exceptional eyesight but on the other hand their sense of smell is very sharp. So, I grasped a bunch of grass and let it go to check the direction of the wind and I confirmed that luckily I ended up in an upwind location. With a bit of luck, she would not smell the soap I had just used to wash my face before leaving.

She checked the area attentively and once confirmed that nobody was around she entered the clearing and started enjoying the fresh leaves with a certain appetite!

I watched her for a long time inside that little bush, my legs badly hurting due to the unnatural position I had forced them into. I couldn’t move though, I did not want to, I was not too far from one of my favourite animals! I could not leave and above all I did not want to scare her and ruin her dinner!

After I while that I was observing her, I noticed the roundness of her belly that initially just confirmed to me that she had a good appetite, but still … that belly was too big, too round, and what about its hanging shape? Of course she was pregnant! Likely of two little fawns as roe deer usually give birth to two fawns of opposite sex!

Suddenly, one of my legs had a kind of a spasm, the pain was unbearable and I moved it abruptly making a lot of noise.

She stopped eating, raised her head, and started checking the surroundings guardedly. She was now wary and she started to make a strange sound that I later learned it was a kind of a cry of alarm that deer make when they feel they are in danger, often to alert the others.

A pregnant doe deer in a green meadow
Juni is pregnant

She had spotted me! I thought I ruined everything …

I froze again, half of my body still hidden behind the bush, the other half exposed. I dropped the camera, the long black lens would surely scare her, I tilted down my head slightly to avoid eye contact and I slowly got on my knees first, then I sat on the ground, trying to be as still as I could, and I waited …

Much to my surprise, she did not run away! She just stop there, looking towards me first with a wary look then with a more relaxed one.

I tried to act as spontaneous as I could, and I took my camera again. I managed to take just a few more shots, did not want to misuse her availability. She offered me a few profile views and eventually even what I interpreted as a timid smile!

A roe deer eating in a summer green meadow
Tiril loves fresh green leaves

I cannot explain the joy I felt, knowing that I managed to make a respectful contact with this timid, beautiful animal, to be tolerated by her. A precious moment! There is something special in being allowed to stay not too far from her, a wild animal, seeing that you’r not causing any stress.

It’s an extremely humble experience, she is the one who decides what you are allowed to do in her presence!

I slowly moved back to my hidden place, gathered the things I had scattered around and headed away.


I have returned to that place every day, back in my hidden place and then slowly exposing myself to her, my head always down. I know that deers are mostly crepuscular animals, they like to look for food during the most peaceful times of the day. So, I looked for her at dawn and sunset and I was so happy to see her back, I found her there almost every day.

It meant first of all that I did not spoiled her feeding place, that she was not afraid of being there, and that she had quite a fixed schedule!

Afterwards, I haven’t seen her for a while, and I guessed that it was because she had given birth and that she was taking care of her fawns. I was sure though that she would return one day… And she did.


But I’ll stop here for today and I’ll tell you more next time.


Till then, I wish you a beautiful summer time!


Take good care of you,




Simona D'Auria

Hi! My name is Simona and I am a photographer and an illustrator in love with the natural world.

I live in Sweden in a small village on the forest hills, where I moved a few years ago leaving behind the busy city of London to pursue my artistic activity. ​This has been a long time dream that I eventually managed to fulfil. I have never regretted it!​​

Nature is my only place to be, hiking my way to explore it and photography is one of the means I use to record the fantastic stories I am so lucky to witness during my excursions. Many of these stories also turn into graphics or illustrations.