Posts

July

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A group of deer with hinds and a growing calf from this year stand in the grass on a hillside above some bracken, looking to their right at something. The deer seem to like the bracken, perhaps as it can provide good cover and grows high and over very large areas, allowing them to travel safely across the moor.



A hind and a calf stop walking through bracken whilst she looks at something to their right. The bracken is so high even though it is quite early in the growing season, that the calf is almost hidden from view. There are many large areas of bracken on the hillsides on the moor, providing corridors of travel under cover, especially for the smaller herd members.



A hind stands in an elevated position above a calf, both looking out from the bracken at something. The height of the bracken obscures everything but their necks and heads. If they were to lie down, perhaps in a grassy clearing in the bracken they could hide from view. The bracken may grow to over two metres later in the…

June

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The story begins this month with the hinds, often found away from the rest of the herd. They seem to still be looking for safe places in the woodland areas, often though quite close to the path above on the edge. Thankfully most humans stay up on the edge, so they are not too concerned at seeing one looking at them from above!



Grass and bracken seem quite popular areas to lurk in, eating grass and waiting... This one seems to have moulted more of her winter coat, so appearing much smoother. Unshed thicker winter fur can give a very shaggy and unkempt appearance, but this hind looks a lot more presentable than the previous one.



A very careful hind and calf walking through the heather and cotton grass on the moor, close to but now moving away from the secret woodland areas. She may have just bought her new born calf up from the woods, to introduce it to the rest of the herd. The red coat and white spots of the calf evolved for camouflage, although here on the moorland the redness in th…

May

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It's May and the weather can get hot and sunny. On the warmer days, stags may shelter from the heat and casual observation or disturbance by hunkering down behind features such as dry stone walls.



These antlers are well on the way to an impressive set. It takes a lot of energy and therefore food to re-grow antlers every year, so the stags must spend a lot of time grazing and then digesting their food. They may appear lazy, but in all likelihood these stags will be ruminating, digesting a full stomach of grass or other grazed or browsed plant material.



Here is a stag who has only recently shed his antlers, and has only the pedicles and the very beginnings of antler growth to display. Growing antlers is a time and energy consuming task, and begins again each year as soon as the previous years antlers are shed.



What does a stag do when feeling argumentative, if he has no antlers for the moment? Two stags here seem to be squaring up, but with only pedicles and the smallest bud of an…