Saturday 25 October 2008

The Rut

It's that time of year again when the fallow deer are up to their mischief in Challock Forest, the "Rut". Dad is up early to take a trio of Lady photographers (Big Canon EOS's and/or Nikons - huge 400mm lenses, enough to make Dad feel quite out-done) into Challock Forest to try their luck at deer photography.

It's the perfect morning for it. It's windless and the sky is clear. There's frost on the grass and Dad has to scrape ice off the windscreen. Dad and his women meet at 06:30 while it's still pitch-dark, and admire the stars while everyone turns up. They walk in the dusk, from the Jacket's Field entrance, down to the "sledged dog bend" before turning in to the forest proper. This gives everyone the chance to hear the grunts and bellows of the boys.

As the sun comes up they are walking in through the birch, towards the main rutting stand, and it goes like a dream. The sun beams in, the deer do their stuff and everyone is awe-struck by the event and the atmosphere. They all get good views and sights and sounds, but that perfect combination of the right light, a photograph-able deer, and no trees in the way eludes the cameras.

No bad thing in our opinion. Dad has been going there for years and has yet to capture the perfect Challock Forest fallow deer shot. It's one of the things that keeps him coming back year after year to try.

With dad back and breakfast taken, we are all off for our walk round Rec and Cemetery, where we link up with Sis' Ellie and walk round together. I have a good old sniff at the base of the tree where I KILLED MY SQUIRREL (ooh - sorry - did I say that a bit loud?)

Dad disappears up to the allotment, then we all get an "old git's lie down" in the afternoon. Party tonight - Mum's got a gang of work mates coming round to eat, drink and watch Sex and the City. Diamond is here, and there's plenty of meat. What can go wrong?


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