Saturday 2 April 2011

Odd One Out

Having gathered an exhausted mutt into the back of the car, following her usual mad dash around the countryside this morning, I was driving the back lanes to get home fairly promptly so as to let her rest in comfort. However, my eye was caught by a patch of brown in the middle of a green field, probably a quarter of a mile away. Slowing up and taking quick glances, I realised it was a herd of fallow deer resting out in the open. Should I stop or should I go?

Of course I stopped, but to get close enough for some kind of shot it would involve parking the car with an exhausted but watered mutt inside (windows cracked open), and then walking zig-zag through fields and along field boundaries to somewhere hidden from their view. Thankfully the wind was in my face all the way, but even though I crept along the last field boundary with utmost stealth, the combined ear/nose power of this little huddle was so sensitive, they clocked me sooner than I thought.

I quickly and quietly laid flat on a conveniently sloped bank under the hedge and observed them as they rose to their feet, the white deer taking the lead. I was further away than I had hoped and I was on the extreme limit of my 400mm lens. I didn't dare move any closer for fear of scaring them off completely. I could have waited longer in the hope that they might just wander in my direction but I was mindful too, of poor mutt waiting in the back of the car. So I grabbed a few more shots and made a quiet departure.

White deer? No, they are not an oddity as we are fortunate to have a healthy population around here.

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