Saturday, August 28, 2010

Change is in the Air




As the sweltering summer weather gives way to cooler August nights, seasonal change slowly creeps over the countryside.  The change is quite evident in the local whitetail deer herd as their thin red summer coat is nearly gone; replaced by a soft velvety nap of new winter hair.

Now, instead of spending all of their time in the meadows feeding the young bucks are beginning to exhibit the very early onset of rutting behaviour.  The rut is still two and one half months away but already this buck is displaying the lip-curl or flehmen response.   


Although their antlers are still in velvet it does not stop two young bucks from engaging in a friendly sparring match.


In an unusual move this buck strikes his opponent with a downward swing of his front leg.  Striking each other with legs and hooves is quite common among deer as they jockey for herd status but this is the first time I have observed a buck landing leg strikes during a sparring match.

15 comments:

Robin said...

Wonderful shots!
Sorry I didn't comment to your last post. I was at a loss for words about how I felt about it! I still feel the same way. Anyway.
Love your header shot of these two. Simply beautiful

Robin said...

PS: I wish everybody would shoot deer the way you do! Far more satisfing if you ask me.

Montanagirl said...

LOVE your header shot! And the other photos are superb as well. You do such a great job with your photography.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

These are so wonderful images of such handsome deer~

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

That seems so early for all this behavior.Great captures of the action.
Blessings,Ruth

Nikki-ann said...

Stunning shots. I love coming to see these photos :)

Noner said...

What great photos. I'd love to see something like that in person. I miss seeing deer somtimes.

Random Animals

Quantum Tiger said...

Love the headkick! Great series

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I know that they need the winter coat, but I'm always a little sad to see the golden coat disappear.

This is a much happier post than last week's Coy. Hard to believe how some can be so heartless.

mrsnesbitt said...

There is definately a nip in the air here in North Yorkshire, UK! We live in the countryside too and it is a joy to witness nature in it's glory! Love it!

My CC is rather rural too! lol!

Brad Myers said...

Good morning Coy, I have been watching I just have not had time to comment much. A great encounter here aand fantastic photos as always.

Grat photos, were these in Pa or the big meadows of SNP?

I will be at the rut in Bennezette and making an early two day trip to SNP the week after. I will drop you a message to see if will will be getting to shoot together after work today.

I hope all is well, take care Brad.

cat said...

Amazing shots! You have captured them so beautifully.

oldmanlincoln said...

Nice shots, Coy. I like them. And am glad nobody is taking pot shots at them.

HANNIBAL said...

I've never seen that either! I was also shocked that they are sparring with their velvet, but I guess that just shows that they are close to velvet shed and the antlers are almost dead.
Cool post Coy!

Brad Myers said...

Coy, I love the new header it gets a guy ready for the season.