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.
Something sure got this big boy’s attention and his nose wanted to investigate. This mule deer buck was hanging out with a few does but also with a couple competitors nearby.
Ungulates like elk and deer and some other mammals do what is called the flehmen response. They lift their lips and open their mouths to take in more of a scent, just as you or I do when taking a big whiff of something.
I don’t know if this guy was smelling the ladies or perhaps it was because I didn’t shower that morning before venturing out. 😀
The rut is almost over but the hormones continue to rage a bit. Bucks are hard at work trying to woo the does, sometimes with little success. Such was the case with this young fellow.
I spotted the buck and doe approaching from one side of my truck and they were moving fast. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him and she raced across the road and toward a distant tree line with him giving pursuit the entire way.
These deer can run 35 mph and I believe they had to have been running every bit of that. I don’t know if he was ever successful in catching his potential mate as they disappeared into the distance. She clearly took the “playing hard to get” to the extreme as fast and far as she ran. 😉