On the Origin of Species

I was at Poverty Point yesterday.   The clouds were dark and low but comforting in some way instead of threatening.  I was alone, climbing the stairs to the top of Mound A.  It was quiet and empty and peaceful.  There’s just so much space there.

Later, I wandered around the base of the mound, staring up at the top which appeared to nearly touch the gray sky.  Then I heard a noise, a quick and unfamiliar noise.  Something heavy.  I immediately thought … bear.  I turned around but saw nothing.  I waited.  Then, from my left, a large doe suddenly appeared, ran across my path, maybe 20 yards away, then disappeared into the woods.  She sounded like the low rumble of thunder, her hooves pounding across the soft ground, my heart pounding in my chest.

I had just been at the top of the mound and I had walked nearly all the way around it.  Where did she come from?  Where had she been hiding?  It was like she emerged from the mound itself, rose out of the ground, fully formed and on the run.

I don’t know.  Maybe she had.

Maybe that’s why the mounds were built in the first place.

The steps at the top of Mound A, Poverty Point.

About Jenny Ellerbe

I am a photographer living, and working, in northeastern Louisiana.
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2 Responses to On the Origin of Species

  1. Charlotte says:

    A deer, just like this one, appeared one early morning at my campsite–north rim of the grand canyon. Somehow he was bounding, almost flying, through thick forest. Chased by a cougar that came through a split second later. Suddenly gone and quiet. It all lasted a couple of seconds. The vision has lasted all my life. Spirit species. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. What an awesome event to have experienced, especially in that setting. Gotta get OUT more often.

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