White-tailed Deer: Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve), Wells, Maine, USA — I don’t get much chance to practice wildlife photography in Southern Maine…I am apparently just not in the right places at the right time…but on this day I noticed a group of people staring intently out under the trees of the old orchard at Laudholm and one using his phone in camera mode, and took a little detour from my chosen path to see what they were seeing. This large fawn, already loosing its spots, was enjoying the fallen apples at the back of clearing under the apple trees, and waited patiently as I took a few photos…maneuvering to get a line of sight through the foreground brush along the trail. Such a treat! OM Systems OM-1 with the ED 100-400mm zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro. ISO 640 @ f6.3 @ 1/640th.
Mule Deer: South Valley Park, Denver, Colorado, USA, July 2023 — We went for a hike yesterday, early, at South Valley Park, about 30 minutes from my daughter’s home in Centennial. Early is relative. Toddlers in tow. We were not completely out of the car yet (it takes a while when traveling with two in car seats), when my daughter, who was suiting up in the baby carrier, cried out “look Everleigh, look!” and pointed over my shoulder. This buck Mule Deer had just crossed the parking lot and was, at that moment, running up the stairs in the trail above. I managed a few shots as it headed off the trail toward greener pastures up the canyon. Not a big “rack” (set of antlers) by Mule Deer standards…and still, from the look of it, in “velvet”…still growing. Everleigh did get to see the “reindeer” and this photo is for her. 🙂 OM Systems OM-1 with 100-400mm zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my animals modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro. ISO 200 @ f6.3 @ 1/640th.
Sambar Deer: Rathambore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India, March 2023 — Again, Rathambore National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife besides the tigers. These are the large forest deer of India and southeast Asia…the Sambar. We came on this small group late in the afternoon at the end of our third unsuccessful tiger drive. They almost made up for it 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 469 and 390mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th to 1/800th.
Grey Langur and Spotted Deer: Rathambore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India, March 2023 — The Grey Langurs were common along the stream by the road that goes by the temple inside Rathambore. along with birds and other wildlife, like this Spotted Deer that photobombed my monkey shot. Actually I could not resist the contrast when the deer walked behind the monkey. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 320mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Deer and Antelope of Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, March 2023 — We can’t leave Keoladeo without showing off the ungulates. We have here the Chital or Spotted Deer, a group of females and a single male; then two shots of female Nilgai, one shot of a male Nilgai or Blue Bull, a male Sambar Deer, another male Nilgai, a family of Sambar, and what might be another Blue Bull and his harem. All taken with the Sony Rx10iv at or near 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos.
“If your eye is generous, then your whole being is full of light!” Jesus
We first saw these two fawns and their mother on the shaded, thickety side of the tour loop at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro New Mexico early one morning last week. They are Mule Deer, heaver, with bigger ears than the Eastern White-tailed Deer of our Maine forests, more at home in the sage scrub, pinion-juniper and ponderosa forest of the west. We stopped just down the road for a field of geese and cranes, and were surprised when the deer crossed the road behind us and came up the sunny side into the field where we were standing. They were headed for the green fodder the geese were enjoying. On their way they passed through a field of corn which the refuge personnel had knocked down for the cranes and geese. The field was pretty well picked over, which explains why the cranes and geese were not using it, and it barely slowed the deer, but the early morning light turned the corn to gold, and brought up the warm hues in the young deer’s hides. Irresistible.
We have an instinctive attraction for the young of all species (well, mammals at lest…most do not find the young of insects and snakes particularity likable). Dogs, cats, deer, raccoons, even hamsters and mice once they get their hair…the young all tug at something inside us. I would like to think it is the remnant of, or evidence of, our original assignment on this earth…that it brings out not only the parental instinct, but the caregiver purpose that is part of our inheritance as human beings. The young are innocent and vulnerable. For the most part it brings out the best in us…we respond with love, which overflows, given half a chance, to care. We respond with a generosity that touches all that is deep within us. This is good. If the eye is even that generous, then there is still some light in us.
A place like Bosque del Apache opens people’s eyes. I have seen it happen over and over. Whether it is the spectacle of the geese and cranes, or the warm light on deer fawns, Bosque wakens the generosity in most of us. This is a good thing. May you find something today to increase the generosity of your eye…so that you may be filled with light. Happy Sunday!
The Deer in Southern Maine are emerging from the deeper woods where they wintered and are being seen everywhere along the roads at night. They are somewhat of a hazard, truth to be told. This young doe was feeding in a small paddock on a horse farm near the ocean the other day as I went by. I managed to stop the car, get the window down, my camera out of its case and turned on, and get off a few shots before she decided that I was taking too much interest and jumped the paddock fence to go back into the thicket behind.
Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. Program with -1/3 EV exposure compensation. 1/500th @ ISO 200 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.
The herd of Mule Deer at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge seems to be doing well. They are not as tame as the White-tailed Deer at Lighthouse State Park in Cape May New Jersey, which will calmly graze withing feet of your, but they don’t spook when you stop on the road to take photos. I regret not getting out of the car for this and the rest of the photos I took of this group, since there is some heat distortion from heated air escaping from the open car window. Still it is rare to see the buck. 🙂
Sony HX400V at 1200mm equivalent. Shutter preferred. 1/640th @ ISO 160 @ f6.3. Processed, and cropped slightly in Lightroom on my Windows tablet.
When you manage the landscape for birds, of course manage the landscape for all kinds of wildlife. At Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge they manage for the Snow Geese and Cranes, but the refuge is also home to a sizable herd of elk, coyote, mountain lion, and lots and lots of Mule Deer. The Mule Deer is the counterpart to our Eastern White-tailed Deer, and is in all ways similar except one. Mule Deer are relativity easy to see in their habitat. White-tailed Deer, in most places, are very elusive. This young deer was a cross a dyke from the tour road, and even given that it feels safe on the refuge where hunting is at least predictable, it was still remarkably unconcerned with our presence in our cars just a stones-throw away. 🙂
Sony HX400V. 1200mm equivalent field of view. Shutter preferred. 1/640th @ ISO 160 @ f6.3. Processed in Lightroom on my Lenovo Miix 2 Windows tablet.
I got out early only one morning in Cape May, but that morning I was early enough to catch the White-tailed Deer still browsing along the boardwalk behind the Hawk Watch Platform at Lighthouse State Park. They have been clearing non-native brush and created a small opening on one side of the boardwalk. A doe and two fawns, of different ages, were feeding there. The deer at the State Park are well used to humans on the boardwalk. I stood there in the open watching them continue to feed, unconcerned. In fact, the younger of the two fawns stopped feeding long enough to come over to the boardwalk for a closer look at me. He got close enough so that I could have petted his nose. 🙂
It as really early and the light under the dense canopy was dim enough so that even at ISO 1600 I had to dial the shutter speed down to dangerously low levels, but I managed a few acceptable shots. Sony HX400V at 560 mm equivalent field of view. Shutter preferred. 1/160th @ ISO 1600 @ f6.3. Processed in Snapseed.