Approaching our chosen walk location this morning, the blackening sky made a dramatic backdrop to the old pheasant cover strip running down the side of the field, just as the last blast of sun lit up the few remains of maize stalks. No longer much use to conceal the ambling birds, the maize now serves only to provide the odd choice seed and a convenient location for game feeders. Drawn by this dramatic contrast, I stopped the car to catch a few shots, whilst in the back, mutt squeaked in anticipation of a dash through this strip for the forbidden quarry.
As expected, the rain quickly moved across and the sun dramatically disappeared, forcing us to be imprisoned in the car for as long as the deluge gave sentence. After a snug 20 minutes for me and an exceedingly patient wait for mutt, it was clear the rain wasn't going to allow a weather parole. Feeling defeated, I decided to move the car to a stopping place at the other end of the walk offering a footpath with a modicum of cover, so as to at least get the daily exercise under way.
Poor mutt, she was going to have to be patient for some while longer. For as we made our way back down the lane,
I was presented with a dirt flinging deer derby as a herd of fallow deer raced away over the crest of the hill.
With no apparent antlered leader or matriarch, I watched for twenty minutes or so, as this herd of young deer ran aimlessly from one end of the field to the other, twice contemplating the dare of a mass lane crossing. Thinking better of it, the herd, ranging from melanisitc to menil, appeared to gather around the single white deer as if by some form of magnetic attraction.
After catching their breath for one more moment, the secret nudge was given and, with the now familiar sight of flashing rumps, off they shot again - all thirty-eight of them.