When Lander photographer Nick Knoke rose early on a recent winter morning to catch the sunrise over Red Butte — a prominent geographic feature west of town — he didn’t expect company.
But after hiking up the ridge on a frozen crust of snow, he said, he realized he wasn’t alone; a band of mule deer had also gathered on the shoulder.
“I saw first light on Red Butte, and noticed the deer just down the ridge from me; it felt like we all watched the sunrise together,” Knoke told WyoFile in an email.
After taking in the show, the deer went on their way, Knoke wrote. “And I headed back down to my car, and headed back down to Lander to start my day.”