The Seasons Outside My Back Door: Week 4 January 2016


muntjac deerIt was while I was eating my lunch that I looked up and saw them. A movement, the other side of the chicken enclosure. And then I heard a duck's alarm call. But instead of running outside in alarm; shouting, screaming, clapping my hands, I ran for my camera. You see, it wasn't a fox. Or foxes. It was a muntjac deer. Two of them. Funny things. They make me think of pigs. Stunted creatures. Lovely looking but in an odd way. I was delighted to see them.

They were having a munch on the grass. Cue excitement of being unable to find my zoom lens and the dog jumping around me as I ran from room to room looking for it. I found some shoes, not the right shoes, my good shoes, and quietly slipped outside the back door. Leaving the dog inside looking forlornly from the window. 

I bobbed down and ran towards the first object, a fence, blocking the line of sight between me and the deer. Click, click went my camera. But I was too far away. All I could get was a shadowy outline of a head. So I ran through the gate, ducking down low and hid behind the shed. Click, click, went my camera again. Could I get closer? I think so. But dammit, there was a stream in the way. Leaping over it, my good shoes sinking into the soft bank on the other side, I almost lost my balance and fell into a growth of early nettles (that wouldn't have been the first time) but I scrambled up the bank, pulling myself up with the green buttercup plants that were starting to grow as I did so. 

Then I was under the sycamores, once again using a tree to block their line of sight towards me. I paused. Click, click. Just in case they ran away. Then, finally, I was but five metres away hiding behind the tree house tree. They saw me, looked straight at me, but paused for a while, allowing me to take dozens of photographs. Then they'd had enough posing for the camera and ran, continuing their journey looking for lovely things to munch.

That was the highlight of my week outdoors. The buzzard is also back. Sitting down the field on the fence. There was a scrap a few days ago between him and some rather loud crows. I tell you, it's all happening here in the countryside.

muntjac deer