Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Buck

We surprised this roe buck as we came round a corner on the path below the steep shilloe slopes of Arnside Knott.  He gave me a long stare and enough time to fumble with the lens cap to take his photograph.  Undaunted he walked leisurely upslope, turning to watch me, and stopping higher up to scratch his head on a dead yew branch.  And to finish his performance, he barked loudly several times before disappearing into cover.

He's just completing the moult from his duller summer coat into the brighter orange colours for the breeding season.  He has four points on his antlers, one more than is usual.

Whenever I see the deer of the Knott, which is most days, I do wonder how they cope with the number of people and particularly the dogs.  Do they recognise particular people and dogs?  It may be fanciful, but they seem to know that Gus is no threat.  He's never been a deer chaser, though many dogs are, and I have often seen dogs (with no owners in sight) high on the shilloe slopes following the deer trails.

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