Birth of a Fawn

Seeing two deer outside my family room window this morning and writing the post, The View While Tying Flies, I wrote these words: “Both deer were good-sized, but with no fawns. Though it is still early for that, but any day now the does will start dropping their fawns.” Indeed!

I took a short nap a while ago, and was awakened at 5:45 PM by my Cocker Spaniel, Abigail, quietly woofing in the front living room bay window. I knew she saw something, that’s what she does. Before I put my glasses on – I’m near-sighted – I thought it was a turkey or perhaps a hawk on the ground. Correcting my vision with my glasses, I looked out to see a doe bedded down in my yard, under the weeping willow tree. I went upstairs to get a better view, and when I did, something tiny moved next to the doe. It was a fawn! Immediately I went for the camera. My tripod was fortuitously placed beside the bay window, because that is where I setup to shoot most of my flies, on a TV tray, next to the window. I like to use natural daylight, no flash.

After retrieving the camera, I carefully went through the kitchen and dining room to screen my approach. I bent down, mounted the camera on the tripod, moved the tripod into position, turned the camera on, set it to custom timer, and took these photos.

Doe and fawn in my front yard.

Doe and fawn in my front yard. Even at the first, the doe had noticed my movements.

This is a section of the yard that I would have been mowing today, had it not been raining. I’m not sure if they just bedded down there, or whether she actually gave birth in my yard.

The doe obviously is curious by the slight movement she sees in the window.

The doe obviously is curious by the slight movement she sees in the window. Her attention is riveted on me.

The fawn is heading back to its mother.

The fawn is heading back to its mother.

The fawn is barely visible, except for thew tips of its ears.

Bedded down beside its mother, the fawn is barely visible, except for the tips of its ears and top of its head. This is an amazing time of year for the white-tailed deer.

I have plenty of stories garnered over the years of seeing deer with fawns while fishing in late May and early June. One of the best, and I have a 35mm slide photo to remember that fawn – I was using my Olympus OM-1 with a 70-210 zoom lens. Back in the mid-1980’s, I always carried my camera while fishing. That lens will not focus closer than six feet. As I was trying to get shots of a fawn along a creek near out family cabin, the little guy became curious and came right up to me. Initially he got so close that I could not focus the zoom lens. Then he kept coming to me and leaned his head out and sniffed my right leg, leaving a wet spot from his nose on my hip boot.

I’m going to grill a bacon cheeseburger for dinner, and enjoy some of my home-made potato salad as a side. Good thing the gas grill is on the back patio, hopefully I won’t disturb the doe and her youngster.

 

 

 

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Penn’s Creek Angler FlyShop

Last week, I was invited by my friend and fellow fly tier from Delaware, Ohio, Eric Austin, to join him and a group of his friends to stay at a private cabin for some fishing on Penn’s Creek. I’m pleased to say that Eric is one of the contributing tiers for my book in progress, Favorite Fishing Flies – 1892. Eric and I met on-line some years ago when he bought my first DVD,Tying Classic Wet Flies. Since then we’ve been in occasional contact, but more so over the last year during his tying of the flies from Mary Orvis Marbury’s 1892 book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories. It was great to finally meet Eric in person and to fish together to boot.

We had a great time and some good fishing, but I plan to write more about that outing in a separate post. This writing is to publicize a fly shop that has been in business since 2007, but one that I was previously unaware of: Penn’s Creek Angler. Formerly located on Pennsylvania Rt. 45, the Penn’s Creek Angler Fly Shop recently moved into the village of Weikert into the old Weikert Store, right next to the Post Office. It is in a great location near one of the best, if not the best, trout streams in the state of Pennsylvania.

The web site address of Penn’s Creek Angler is:  http://www.pennscreekangler.com/

Here is a photo of the shop:

Penn's Creek Angler Fly Shop, located in the former Weikert Store on Weikert Road.

Penn’s Creek Angler Fly Shop, located in the former Weikert Store on Weikert Road, next to the post office. Ha! The license plate on my car, “The Nymphmobile” is visible in the foreground. See: https://donbastianwetflies.com/2012/02/09/nymphs/

Penn's Creek Angler sign.

Penn’s Creek Angler sign. www.pennscreekangler.com

The phone number at Penn’s Creek Angler is: 570-922-1053.

By the way, the famous Green Drake hatch has started on Penn’s Creek. There were large numbers of duns below Weikert, near the Penn’s Creek Campground, last Saturday afternoon and evening. In fact, one of the locals told us he didn’t think he had ever seen such a heavy, concentrated hatch of duns, occurring in the mid-afternoon, heaviest activity from 2:30 to 3:30 PM. We arrived about 7:00 PM, and my personal view was the density of Green Drake duns was pretty incredible. I’d never seen that many anywhere in my life. I caught an eighteen-inch brown on my BXB Green Drake Dun pattern that evening. More about that and our fishing in another post.

Freshly hatched Green Drake dun.

Freshly hatched Green Drake dun. Photo by Don Bastian. The large Green Drake female duns can have bodies nearly an inch-and-a-half long.

Check the Penn’s Creek Angler Fly Shop website, there is lots of information there, photo galleries, and fishing information. Shop owner Bruce Fisher also has a cabin for rent; it’s located right on the creek.

The View While Tying Flies

Just now as I was sitting at my fly tying table, adding another coat of head cement to eight Carrie Stevens streamer patterns, peripheral vision movement to my left through the large picture window in my family room caught my eye. A deer was walking right down my driveway. This is not unusual, but I must say this was the first deer I have seen here since winter. I knew that they’ve been around because of their tracks. Then I saw a second deer in the field, just off my driveway. Both deer were good-sized, but with no fawns. Though it is still early for that, but any day now the does will start dropping their fawns. I thought I’d take a couple photos. Good thing I cleaned the outside of the window just last week – both these pictures were taken with the zoom up around 20 – 22x, through the window glass, and I rested the camera on the top edge of my high-back antique dry sink for stability.

I know, deer are common, and these photos are nothing unusual. But I thought this was a little serendipity, and I wanted to share it with my readers.Deer in the field 001

Deer in the fiels. My neighbor's house is partially visible in the background. It appears closer than it is due to the compression of the zoom lens.

Deer in the field. My neighbor’s house is partially visible in the background. It appears closer than it is due to the compression of the zoom lens.

Today is going to be a rainy day; what better day to sit, relax, and tie flies. Oh, and enjoy the scenery and wildlife, too.

It is usually important to me to listen to music while I’m tying. When the deer entered stage left, The Platters, The Very Best of CD, was playing. There are so many good songs on there: Only You,The Great Pretender, Twilight Time, Ebb Tide, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, It Isn’t Right, The Mystery of You, (You’ve Got the) Magic Touch, On My Word of Honor, Winner Take All, Heaven On Earth. Oh my gosh, Tony Williams on lead tenor does such a great job of rendering his heart and emotions in his singing. And I love the four-part backup harmony vocals. Just good music. Thirty great songs on this two-CD set. The All-Time Hits of Roy Orbison is up next, ah, more great music by a great musician and song-writer.

Another plus, the rain naturally creates the situation where I am not torn by the pressing need to finish the mowing of my lawn. This is going to be a good day…