Sunday 4 October 2009

Didn't want to play.

Dad's back to the forest this morning, leaving a bleary eyed Mum to luxuriate under the duvet, and armed once again with the new lens, but this time, despite his best efforts, the deer do not want to play. These very long distance shots are the best he could do today.
First up a decent sized buck with partly palmated antlers, may be 6-7 years old but here, anyway, well away from the rutting stands, so maybe a "chancer" for later in the season - he'll have to bide his time while the big boys exhaust themselves. The Master-Buck, holding the stand will get so focussed on the job, he'll not even stop to eat, drink or sleep for the days he's in charge, so he can get pretty exhausted and will then get barged off the stand by the next pretender.
He'll go and have a serious lie-down and get back into eating and drinking to get his condition back up for the winter. His mission is to service as many does as he can while he's top dog, and once he's kicked off he can think about next year. Some, when they are 8-9 over-do it and simply go off and die of exhaustion. Our fine head of antlers in the hall were from a white-phase buck who died of, we believe, natural causes in the 2005 rut, probably in just such circumstances.
The second pic, again, at a fair distance, is of doe on the left, and her young male fawn on the right (probably born last spring). It's entertaining to watch these guys around the rutting stand. The big old bucks are stomping around and grunting and roaring in a bass-y male, testosterone charged way, with the younger bucks circling outside the stand waiting their chance. Then like bored children at a show that's mainly for the grown-ups, running around play-charging each other and bleating like little lambs or goat-kids are these year old fawns, with their Mums trying to keep them out of harm's way.
Hope you're weekend is going OK

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