Everything seems to have settled down after the establishment of the leks during the rutting season in October. The men have been sorted from the boys, and the boys now seem a little lost and confused. The females calmly graze by their designated protective fellows, and their babies by their side look like they are to getting as much of the grass as they can whilst there is still some sugar in it to help them grow strong for winter.
I got to the park early this morning, before the golfers arrived to chase me off the course, so I could get a proper glance at the red deer in the early hours. As I arrived the sun was just starting to reflect like gold dust in the sky, with the misty morning dew seeping away after the bitter evening before. The light of a new day warmed the backs of the red deer, as it did it warm my face, so I smiled and peddled on to see what was occurring within their groups today.
Firstly I was greeted by two rather troublesome teenagers, loitering by a fence and clearly up to no good. One glared cautiously as I edged closer, as if he was keeping for any authority that may catch them. The other in the meantime was up to the dirty work, making rather a mess of the fence post, vigorously rubbing his antlers against the wood with every intention of grating it to a toothpick. It was clear that the testosterone filled season was not enough for these two who just weren’t satisfied, needing to find something to do other than behaving themselves!
After leaving Kevin and Perry to their fence post I peddled on to find a much more civilised section of the park on the edge of the golf course. There stood three does with a fawn from this year, protected by an older and grand male with what I assumed to be his young disciple. Between them they did not seem too worried about my presence as I crept to a nearby tree where I sat and watched. As I crouched there it was the most peaceful I had been all morning, with the golden light slowly sweeping across the green, and the deer enjoying the fresh due sweetened grass. The squirrels were dancing around the trees, scurrying to gather all the horse chestnuts they could find. The odd Magpie was hopping around, dancing and chattering to himself looking for mischief to get up to. I on the other hand was as motionless as I could be, taking it all in and soaking up every bit of this magical moment that I could
Unfortunately my peace was short lived. They were there! Golfers! No time to dawdle but to scarper home for breakfast – and quickly.