Kind of a fun shot from this past weekend. The morning was largely cloudy so light was minimal as the sun began to rise. On the horizon, a sliver of clear sky was glowing orange. On top of the hill, I seemed to have gotten the attention of two mule deer. Thankfully, both sat still long enough for me to grab a shot and, best of all, provided a mirror of each other bookending the rising sun.
On their way to the impressive racks they will be wearing later this year, the white-tailed deer and mule deer bucks are beginning to regrow their antlers.
Judging by the base of the growth on these two, they will almost certainly be contenders come the fall when the rut kicks in and the hormones are raging.
Right now the deer look pretty scraggly and aren’t particularly photogenic as they begin shedding their winter coats for thinner, cooler summer coverings. Come the fall, they will be far more handsome and impressive.
Kind of a pretty shot from last weekend of this pretty lady. I loved the way the rising sun illuminated the lingering leaves on the trees behind her.
I caught this pretty white-tailed deer doe and her yearling off guard this past weekend.
I was in my usual hiding spot, pretty well concealed as I monitored a bald eagle nest. As I sat there, I saw the two of them approach, entirely oblivious to my presence. It was just one of those nice moments I experience when I am in the field. A quiet, chilly morning along the river with the only sounds being of the water and birds.
The pair of deer walked along lazily and I enjoyed soaking in the scene. As they got close, I quietly, slowly lifted my camera. That movement was just enough to get mama’s attention as you can see in this image. Needless to say, once she realized I was there, she didn’t linger long.
The winter here along the Colorado Front Range has been relatively mild and dry. That finally started to change a bit over the past couple of weeks. While wildlife is largely built to withstand most anything Mother Nature throws out there, I suspect even they don’t care too much for the extremes.
This past Sunday morning, temperatures had dropped to 9 degrees below zero and it was pretty miserable out there. This pair of mule deer does decided that rather than foraging, they would conserve their energy and warmth and just huddle up and stay warm.
The other night I was updating my store and came across this shot from last November that I have never shared. This guy was not one of the bigger white-tails but he was a good looking fellow and that beautiful morning light lit him up nicely. Taken as the rut was starting to wind down, he was closely watching a doe behind me, deciding if she was open to his affection. 😉
I’m not so sure I would be keen on eating dried grass for breakfast but, of course, that is what makes for a good meal for deer. This young mule deer buck was hanging out with several other deer, eating their way along through a field.
The soft, early morning light really provided for a nice glow and helped light up his eye nicely. He is still sporting his small antlers but those will be falling off any day now. In a few years, he will be in competition for the love of the ladies.
Well, this was one big boy and he was making sure no competitors got too close to his ladies. Taken at the end of November just as the rut was wrapping up, the bucks still had those hormones raging and were not ready to go quietly into the winter.
One last “top shots” video recapping my 2020 photo year. Today, I look back at some of the mammals that I photographed. From the tiny American pika to the massive moose, I was fortunate to spend time with some pretty amazing creatures. Two new animals that I had never photographed were highlights including a suburban bobcat family and the wild #horses of Sand Wash Basin. All images taken here in Colorado.
This poor guy looked like he was having a bit of a rough day.
One of his antlers was already broken off and then he had a magpie on his back. Kind of a fun shot though and it shows a common interaction between the two species.
Birds will oftentimes “catch a ride” on the back of ungulates like deer and bison. They aren’t being lazy though. In fact, they do this in a search for food, picking ticks and other bugs off the deer.
This benefits both species and is a symbiotic relationship. The birds get a meal while the deer gets itself rid of the insects that could cause discomfort and even infection.