Saturday 25 July 2009

Camera Critters #68

When we take the dogs walking I usually take my camera (Canon Ixus 980) It's small enough to go in a pocket or to carry in my free hand ready for action. In the other hand I carry the ball-flinger to keep Jenna-the-Labrador entertained. As Gillian and Paul's dogs are staying with us at the moment it keeps them busy too.
Last Thursday we were strolling along, Barry hauling Dominie, Buddy and Frodo catching up on pee-mails, the Labradors hurling themselves into every puddle and pond they came to and me scanning for activitiy. Then I saw a roe deer; she was in an area where we often see deer. I tried to photograph her but she was some distance away and wary. We would eventually pass the other side of this small area and I was hopeful of seeing her again.
At one of the new ponds, excavated earlier this year when tree harvesting was being carried out, Frodo and the Labradors swam and drank and paddled and played. When Dominie was independent she loved to swim and so Barry lets her roll gently into the pond where she can enjoy the sensation of water on her body, drink some of it and revisit earlier times for a little while. When she's had enough she lies in the sun to rest and lick herself while Buddy and Frodo pace about, sniffing here and there and the Labradors chase the ball.

Barry guides Dominie into the water as Buddy watches. Jenna has collected the ball on this occasion.

Now Tia has the ball. As usual Jenna is wearing her transmitter collar so that we know which direction to worry in when she disappears!
Foxy, Gillian and Paul's fox-red Labrador, learnt long ago that treats were far more satisfying to retrieve than a slobbery ball so stopped trying to keep up with Tia and Jenna. I don't often take titbits out with me now but she still looks hopefully at me, my hands, my pockets. She is slowly realising that she is a retriever and she can sometimes get to the ball before the others, so long as she has a headstart - that is, if I fool the others into going in the wrong direction first. They can never quite believe she has found it and will go on looking until they realise she has it, then Jenna takes it from her! Foxy never objects - she really is a very sweet-tempered dog.

Foxy has the ball. Jenna and Tia haven't realised where I've thrown it and are quartering the ground beyond the pond.
Dominie's pleasures in life include meeting new people and dogs. Most people stop to enquire about the reason for her wheels.Some dogs are spooked by the unfamiliar silhouette she presents but usually the dog greetings follow the routine and etiquette they always have. She particularly likes little dogs and on Thursday she met two out with their humans. One of them was a rescue dog - we meet quite a few of these in our perambulations, from small cross-breeds to retired racing Greyhounds to working breeds that have proved too much for their original owners or breeders. The sky was ever-changing and threatening rain - indeed wehad a torrential downpour later in the evening - so we proceeded on our way. Sure enough, when we reached the opposite side of the stretch where I had spotted the doe, there she was again. Now she was accompanied by a young buck who appeared to have only one antler. Barry took over ball-flinging duties - we knew if Jenna caught sight, sound or scent of the deer she would have been off!
The deer are beyond the pond between the two groups of small trees. Frodo is paddling and slaking his thirst.
Frodo, my velcro dog, accompanied me as I slowly approached the pair, happily paddling and keeping an eye on me. The doe and buck were aware of me but seemed unfazed, looking at me now and again and then resuming their grazing.
He looks at me while she looks in the other direction.Deer slot
Eventually, after I had been watching and photographing and moving closer for about seven minutes, the doe went into cover where she continued to watch me for a while before vanishing.
The buck looked long and hard at me. I wonder what happened to his right antler? Finally he decided that discretion was the better part of valour and left the scene . . . but unhurriedly, at his leisure.
I don't think I'll ever get over my excitement at seeing deer - they are truly beautiful elegant creatures and their ability to melt into the shrubs and trees is amazing.

Next time we'll take Barry's Canon 40D with a telephoto lens and hopefully the photographs will be much better quality. Of course, the mere act of taking it with us will probably guarantee we shan't see any wild animals!
Thank you to Misty Dawn for creating this meme and to Misty and Tammy for hosting it.


  1. My dogs HATES the water!

    I played too :)

  2. What a wonderful day! Playing with the dogs and seeing the deer. I'm with you -- I'll never get over seeing deer in the wild -- elegant for sure! Thanks!

  3. Very interesting post! Wonderful friends!Happy Camera Critters!
    purrs and love from Luxembourg

  4. wow that's a posse of pups you took swimming
    what fun!

    and I love the look the deer is giving you
    no doubt that he's watching you

  5. Hi - what a great walk you had. Love the photo of Foxy swimming with the ball! We wish we could have been there too - JD and Max.

  6. Hi - what a great walk you had. Love the photo of Foxy swimming with the ball! We wish we could have been there too - JD and Max.

  7. Looks like they had tons of fun!

    WOW! What luck to chance upon a doe and buck and not bolting! Very cool captures. What an awesome day!

    Happy weekend! :)

  8. jab: Neat look at the deer of your area. That buck must have been in a fight with a bigger deer.

  9. Those are wonderful photos! I kept studying them and finding new things to look at. Thank you.


  10. Nice shots, I love the deer:)

  11. Great deer captures! Must have been difficult to keep track of all the dogs and take photos at the same time. I'm sure your labs were grateful for a swim.

  12. Wonderful photo story!

  13. Great series of photos and so well told I felt I was right there with you. Love the pups and love the deer. To be around both would be truly wonderful.

  14. Wonderful shots and story about your walk!
    I love the reflections in that pond shot.
    The deer are in mating season there and quite possibly he lost one in a fight. I think he'll lose the other after mating season and regrow both.

    In answer to your question about my ragged moth. It was ragged from being old.

  15. you have such a wonderful dogs enjoying their bath and swim. how cute they are swimming with friends. and you captured a beautiful deer. great post for this entry.

  16. What kind folks you are to leave such nice comments.
    It never occurred to me that the buck might have been in a fight but it makes sense. Every year I hope to find shed antlers but never have done yet . . . one day . . . Quite what I'd do with them I have no idea!

    in the water,
    They are playing so lovely :)
    Wonderful pictures all !!!
    Your dogs are BEAUTY'S ..


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