Saturday, 26 August 2017

DEEP IN THE FOREST

Whenever I see the wild deer I am always reminded of the Goddess Sadbh [Sive] for these to me are her special creatures, that is if any animals can be deemed  ‘special’. Sadbh is I think a most likeable personage, so very nimble and lithe in her cloak of green as she fits through the woodlands nurturing the wildlife that share her home.



Many of Ireland’s wild Fallow  Deer escaped in the early 20th century from private park lands and supplemented the old wild herds introduced by the Norman's soon after their arrival in 1169. 
They are now our most widespread species of deer and are found in most woodlands countrywide, both hill and lowland.



One of their favourite foods are the wild Bilberries that grow on the mountainsides, intermingled with the heather blossom. I was told as a young lad that where you see bilberries there are deer - perhaps they help to spread the seeds after digesting the berries.



The bilberries are a lot smaller than blueberries
but just as tasty especially as they are free!



These lads have a very keen sense of smell and are acutely aware of any foreign sound. One has to tread very warily making as little noise as possible to photograph them, otherwise they are off as quick as lightening, deep into the forest and you will not see them again.

I was very fortunate in being able to photograph the deer that you see here, that the wind was on my face and that even though they were perhaps aware of my presence I kept very still and managed to blend in with the trees.




22 comments:

  1. They are such beautiful creatures aren't they? We have them round us and occasionally see one in our fields

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    1. Totally agree with you Pat for the deer are delightful creatures, thank you for the comment.

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  2. ... and then here I come, friend Heron ... barreling down the road in my car in order to get to work in time ... and then I hit one of them ... cost me $4000 and cost the deer its life ... tears ... ya ... meouw ... Love, cat.

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    1. Ha! As they say that's the way the cookie crumbles Cat, so next time leave yourself with plenty of time and drive slower eh ?

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  3. They do surprisingly well here in South Cambridgeshire where there are few woods and the land is intensively farmed to within an inch of its life. It's not an unusual sight to see a herd of twenty or thirty moving across the distant fields (on one occasion I counted around 140!). Mostly they have reverted to their natural dark colour though sometimes one spots a white individual - even more like an ancient goddess.

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    1. Hello John thank you for commenting. I do occasionally see a white one but never when my camera is with me unfortunately - somebody's law that is :-)

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  4. Hi Mel - delightful creatures ... and so lovely the way they appear and quietly blend in to the landscape ... there are certainly a lot around - cheers Hilary

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  5. We often see deer when we are out walking or cycling but we are rarely quick enough to get a photo. The hunting season starts here soon, I hope they run fast and hide.

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    1. Thank you Sue I understand your sympathies with the deer however, the hunt is necessary so as to reduce the numbers of deer and venison is a delicious winter meal.

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  6. We have deer living near us and the come through the yard from time to time. So delicate looking.

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    1. Hello Janet !
      The deer are very much the ballet dancers of the forest aren't they.

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  7. We have plenty of them on the Islands of course but, fortunately, I don't see any here because I like my garden!

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    1. Ah' well Graham am sure that they get plenty of nourishment elsewhere, without eating your shrubs and flowers... of course if you were to plant beets then they might make a visit or three :-)
      Many thanks for commenting.

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  8. JACK L said :
    You managed to take some really good pictures of the Irish deer, and if they are like the ones here they are very elusive with all senses of sight, sound and smell so acute. Apparently deer are said to be colour-blind, (I can't confirm this though)... I wonder if the deer population is growing in rural Ireland? They are excellent foragers and will not hesitate to enjoy a farmers field of hay or grain..they love flax.!! Winters here are very harsh and can cause significant deer 'die off' and we still have natural predators like coyotes and wolves who use the advantage of high snowfall amounts.
    Thanks also for the reference to the Goddess Sadbh. I will think of her the next time that I visit the woods on our place. Very well done to get so close to taking some great pics Mel..well done indeed! Thank you !

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    1. Many thanks Jack for your interesting comment especially about your own native deer in Manitoba.

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  9. There's something unique about this animal, the grace and elegance is wonderful to see.

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    1. Thanks Blogoratti: I am always entranced by the mere sight of them.

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  10. I'm impressed that you could take that lovely picture Mel!! They bounce up and gallop away as soon as I breathe, lovely creatures.. So fascinating is the nature when the light is changing into autumn mood, I actually love autumn, the dark smell, the dusky light, the turning of flourishing bloom to sleeping creation. Life levels down. But I don't know the bilberries...lingonberries however.. Thank you for the post!!!

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  11. Oh on approaching deer it is about stepping quietly, standing still so that you blend with the trees, not getting too near and using the right length of lens. Just practise that's all Solveig and thank you for the comment.

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    1. I'll practise on berries, they move more slowly.....

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