Niece makes photo debut with ‘Uni Horn’ deer

The week after Christmas, according to a longstanding family tradition, a herd of Holyokes (and Urquharts, and others) headed to Sugarloaf for a ski vacation we’ve always called “Snow Camp.”

As “Snow Camps” go, this one was epic: Sugarloaf received more than 40 inches of the white stuff in the 10 days before we arrived (and was in the midst of getting a foot of it when we drove into the western mountains) and the skiing was fantastic.

But skiing’s not the only reason we head to the woods for a week each year. We eat a lot, too … and read. Some of the younger set plays video games. Others assemble puzzles. We play board games and bingo.

And this year, we took photos.

At least my niece, Alyssa, did.

‘Uni Horn’ checks out the photographer near Stratton, Maine, recently. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Urquhart)

For Christmas this year she was happy to receive a new camera, which she quickly put to good use. Sometimes she took photos of family members. But her best shots may have come during a couple of photo excursions with her dad, Carl.

Carl had a bit of inside information: He had been in the Sugarloaf region for work a couple weeks earlier, and had happened upon a large herd of deer that a landowner had taken to feeding twice a day.

If you’re expecting me to join the fray and turn this blog post into further debate on the controversial subject of winter deer-feeding, you’re out of luck.

I just wanted you to see a cool photo of some Maine deer.

Alyssa and Carl joined the deer for supper one night, then returned for breakfast the next morning. One of her photos was so striking, I had to use it in the paper — you may have seen it in black-and-white in our weekend editions.

Her photo, which I’ll share here in color, shows a part of that deer herd. It also focuses on the star of the show, a one-antlered critter I’ve taken to calling “Uni Horn.”

This is Alyssa’s outdoor photography debut, and I’m proud of the shot she took.

I’m equally proud to share that shot with you.


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John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.