HARVARD -- It was a stag-gering evening for Didi Chadran of Harvard Saturday night. His camera in hand, Chadran was able to capture a stunning sight -- a male deer was momentarily caught in the headlights at Chadran's Stow Road driveway.
Chadran and wife Paige O'Brien were returning from a half-day 9th birthday celebration for their younger son, Bodhi, who was born the day before Halloween and has had his birthday trumped by Mother Nature for two years in a row.
"Superstorm Sandy prevented us from celebrating at the time, as had the freak snowstorm the year earlier," said Chadran. "So we were determined to mark the occasion properly this time around."
The couple took Bodhi and a classmate out to play at Coco Key, followed by pizza and ice cream in Leominster. "Curiously, by the time we rounded the corner into our driveway at about 10:00, we had already had close encounters with what appeared to be a coyote and then what we believe was a fox, both on Still River Road," said Chadran.
"I had just joked to Paige that we should brace ourselves for the certain panoply of fauna along our driveway when we came headlights-to-antlers upon this big stag," said Chadran.
"We halted the car cold, and we watched warily from the car as he observed us, transfixed," said Chadran, who recalled scrambling for his camera with him in the car. "I snapped my first picture from the passenger seat through the windshield, then asked Paige to inch up slowly as I continued to shoot through my now opened window"
"The buck let us approach to within about 10 feet before he calmly turned away into some brush in front of our neighbor's house," said Chadran. "In all the excitement, I only managed to snap five photos. I should have peeled off 20 shots, given the cooperativeness of my subject, but I was ultimately very glad to have had our good digital camera on hand for the encounter."