Thursday, December 10, 2015

Daylight Deer





Whitetail bucks rarely make an appearance around here in the daytime except during the rut, when they throw caution to the wind and chase the does, or when something is wrong, as seemed to be the case this past week. Early in the morning, as sunlight crept over the ground, a four point buck lingered near the tall grass below the house, holding his head high. He didn't seem at all embarrassed that his four antler points were all on one side of his head. Since bucks don't normally shed their antlers until at least January, we envisioned a fierce battle with Four-point on the loosing side, but his carriage seemed to say "you should have seen the other guy".




We just may have seen the other guy a few days later. It was one of those mornings that pose a dilemma for photographers. Fog hung in the valleys and the sunrise could be promising either from a nearby hilltop or down at the lake.




I opted for the hilltop, driving through thick fog in the valley and emerging only at the last rise in the road. 




A misty white blanket lay below. I shot a few pictures, then headed back by the lake, where the fog was too thick to see much of anything.




Returning home without the photo I had hoped for, I found the photo op of the day munching leaves in our yard. A trophy ten point buck was systematically defoliating the tall phlox a few feet from our bedroom window. He lifted his head and looked at me as I drove into the garage, closing the door behind me so as to disturb him as little as possible.

Once inside, I saw that Don had already been clicking away with his camera, and, amazingly, the deer was still enjoying his phlox breakfast.  The animal's reactions seemed slow; he didn't have the wary attentiveness that usually characterizes deer. He turned his head briefly, and deep wounds on the other side of his face seemed to indicate a fight. From the looks of him, he must have taken second. That would certainly explain his malaise.




The deer moved down the smorgasbord line to the Sweet William, a few yards away, and took his time browsing. 




Then he walked, a little unsteadily, past the dog kennel, down the hill and into the woods.

We probably won't see this trophy buck again, but we hope the hearty breakfast gave him a start toward healing, and that he can return to full strength.







20 comments:

Felicia said...

Wow what an amazing experience. beautiful images.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great photos. I always love it when I come upon deer while I am walking in the woods. I'll never one come eat my vegetation in my yard but I wouldn't mind.

ladyfi said...

Wow - amazing shots.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Really great photography, and you are a compelling storyteller!

Marco Luijken said...

Hello Connie,
This is really amazing, what a great shots.
So special these atmospheric images with the fog and the light of the sun. Well done!!

Many greetings,
Marco

Karl Demetz said...

Amazing shots indeed!
The 1st and the 4th are my favorites !

namaki said...

Beautiful light !

BraCom (Bram) said...

Beautiful series and light, very nice mood and deer photos

fredamans said...

I love your deer shots!

eileeninmd said...

Lovely captures of the pretty deer and the foggy scenes. Great post! Have a happy weekend!

Brian King said...

Gorgeous photos - both the deer and landscapes!

Christine said...

Wow! Your photos are stunning! A beautiful view over the fog to the peaks and seeing the buck feast in your garden was a rare treat! So pleased to follow!
Christineandhercamera.blogspot,com

eileeninmd said...

Hello Connie, stopping back to say I loved this deer post and your beautiful photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Stunning photos! I love mist/fog shots!

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Great photos! I especially love the fog from the hilltop shot. Beautiful!

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Handsome animals and the foggy landscapes are gorgeous!

Mary Cromer said...

Oh how Marvelous and so happy those bucks were not taken during the hunting season. I too saw a ten point buck, yet sadly mine was already up into the trees and I got very little of him to share. but may one day at least one.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Great shots of those bucks! I had to build little chicken wire fences around my mountain laurels to keep the deer from eating them.

(Even though mountain laurels are supposed to be mildly poisonous to them, I've found they will eat anything and everything green when the snow is on the ground.)
~

Marie C said...

In the words of L. Frank Baum...there's no place like home! You found what you were looking for in your own back yard! :-) Well, all your photos are just stunning...each place they were taken. Wonderful!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I loved your misty photos and the deer story :) I hope they both recover.