Seeking a little more tranquility in his life, urbanite Matthew Clysdale moves crosstown, away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown, into a little apartment right next to Kleinstuck Preserve, 50 acres of lush marsh and towering woodland embedded right in the city - enough to fool anyone into thinking they've moved to the country.
At first, he only uses the preserve as a jogging course, but is slowly drawn in by the calming charm of the marsh, as well as the unexpected discovery of whitetail deer.
Interested in bowhunting, Kleinstuck becomes a perfect place to practice his skills. Instead of the bow, he turns his camera on the deer and discovers a new passion. Putting in hour after hour waiting for deer, a pantheon of wildlife begins to emerge; from thrush to weasel to flying squirrel, he's spellbound by them all - particularly the red-fox.
Eager for a close up, he embarks on a year long journey to find the fox, and peer in on their world. His exploration takes him beyond Kleinstuck into the surrounding woods, where he discovers an entire network of habitat, harboring more wildlife, as well as his next big discovery: a red-tail hawk nest. And the revelations continue: another fox family living at the train tracks, green heron at Kleinstuck Marsh, and the even more obscure privilege of an osprey dining on goldfish in a little neighboring pond.
Matthew's skills and patience payoff with the fox and hawk, as he witnesses some extraordinary moments in the lives of the young kits and fledgling red-tails. But as autumn revolves around, his attention returns to the deer, this time in search of big, rutting bucks, including Karl, a handsome buck living right under his nose in Kleinstuck Preserve. Karl manages to elude Matthew, but sends him in search of other buck, right in the neighborhood where he grew up, surprisingly right on the edge of the downtown.
He connects with the fox one last time, and as the year comes full circle, the dynamism of the wild brings changes and disappointments, some human induced and others played out among the animals. The final discovery ushers in a profound change for the animals of Kleinstuck and the neighborhood, and a surprising reminder of Matthew's own role in the cycle of life.