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.