Another kind of Deer

My husband travels quite a bit for work.  He happened upon a stable one day as he drove to a job that was quite out-of-the-way and almost ditched his truck in excitement.  (He’s amazing – always on the hunt for new photo material for me!)

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King of the paddock

This, my blog friends, is a Reindeer.  He seemed to be the only male in the herd, so although I don’t know much of these guys and their family structure, it appears that one male gets to hang with all the ladies in his sizable herd.

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The Ladies

I did a bit of research on these guys and I’m not sure if they are pregnant yet or just in the beginnings of the mating season.  The male is in molt (the stuff hanging off his antlers in the first shot is what’s sluffed off so far) so I’m guessing mating or babies are soon to come.

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They heard every click of my shutter – amazing hearing as I was a long way away – telephoto lens in full use for these shots!

It surprises me each time I encounter an animal that is not necessarily indigenous to the area we live in.  It’s amazing to see how animals can adapt to their surroundings and thrive when assisted.  I have a feeling these guys would overheat in the summer if it were not for the farmer who likely shears them like sheep to keep them cool.

The only thing that I disliked about this particular adventure was the fact that I got to spend time observing a herd of animals I’ve never seen in person before, but the entire backdrop for this photo shoot?

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Windmills and towers are not included in a Reindeer natural habitat. 😦 Until now, I suppose. 

 

 

The other side of the fence

These sweethearts came right up for a photo.

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The younger, in purple, was carefully watching over the tartan.  She was older and it he seemed to be her son.

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Big brown eyes for both. Calm energy, listening as I told them how magnificent they were.

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And of course, as always, I got a cheeky tongue!

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I was honoured to have been a part of their day.  The younger was engaged in some games with his rival across the fence before we showed up.  There was a lot of stomping and racing going on but it ended in a gentle nose touch across the fence when dad came to settle them down.

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My gentle neighbors

This little family warmed my heart.

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Quiet and gentle above.  Words of wisdom below.

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Mom and dad, or best of friends.

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…this little guy was picking fights across the fence but the two above never left his side.

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Dad standing by, strong and proud; not knowing how beautiful he is as he watches me take his portrait with curiosity.

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Everything can be so simple when you stop to break it down. Protect the ones you love; do not let anyone convince you to be someone you’re not, and above all, love what you have and who you are in the moment. Every moment.

Curiously sweet

Cows are plentiful around here.  There aren’t many big milking or beef farms close by so, thankfully, almost all of the cattle I see are content, happy, naturally fed, bred, and raised.  Although their time may be limited and their fate predetermined, it makes me happy to see that these guys, at least, get to live a healthy, natural life just being a cow in a field with a nice warm barn and regular feedings until their time closes in.

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They are very smart and sweet animals.  If you ever get a chance to make friends with one, it’s something you’ll never forget.  The cow above watched me the entire time I was taking photos.

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This little one was curious but not curious enough to stick around long.  He high-tailed it back to the barn where mama was waiting for him, nervously peeking out at me now and then.

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That white fuzzy belly though.  So cute.  I hope this little one gets to live a long, happy life never knowing what his future may hold.

We fly as One

I’m not sure if this happens everywhere – I suppose it does, if this species of bird is indigenous to the area you live in…or maybe birds do this everywhere and I’ve just never captured it until now.

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It’s a single thought – One bird (who knows which one) seems to be making a decision for the entire flock to fly in a particular direction and they all go as one.  Great masses of these birds will black out the sky – all flying in the same zig-zag patterns like they’re performing some sort of new Olympic sport.  It’s spell binding to watch.

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I wonder if humans act this way and we don’t even know it.  From above, I can only imagine this is what we look like as we traverse from home to work through busy city centres.  Only, we stop for a 7$ coffee along the way.

 

A new friend and a cheeky smile

We were driving along a country dirt road that was covered in a light dusting of snow (first of the year), when we came upon a view I knew I needed to capture.  Sometimes it’s the strangest things that catch my eye.

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I don’t know why I loved this – I usually avoid things like overhead wires and cliché shots of oddly shaped trees (as I have a million of them already) but this, I had to stop for. Something in the asymmetry got me and wouldn’t let go.

Not far into our drive, we came upon a small paddock, a little run-down looking yet it was quite obvious that the animals were well-tended to, and a beauty who must have been used to people stopping to admire her, came trotting up to the fence to say hi.

Dapple Gray Friend on a snowy day
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She was sweet and posed for me as I tried to get her at just the right angle to show her lovely eyes.  She was so sweet – she closed her eyes and kept her ears relaxed and showed me in every way she was okay with being my model for a few shots.

Relaxing in the sun and preparing for her photo session
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Beauty in the snow 3 of 3
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There was another horse with her; a paddock mate who stuck close by her side.  He was completely uninterested in me and my camera and did not even raise his head from the grass he had snuffled the snow away from so he could graze.

I called out to him (I always talk to my animal models) and asked if he would please just lift his gorgeous head for one photo.  Just one smile, is all I asked for.  I was delighted when he responded by raising his head, looked right at me and gave me this:

Cheesy grin for the camera
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Then went right back to his grass.  LOL!

Sometimes (most times) I like animals more than I like people.