Birth of a Fawn – II

I can’t believe my run of luck, simply being in the right place at the right time. I know this is supposed to be a fly tying and fly fishing oriented blog, but yesterday and again today, I can’t help it. I was sitting at my dining room table, packaging up the boxes for five Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Sets, (gotta take care of business), and I looked out the window to see a deer in my neighbor’s yard, about 150 yards away. It was a doe, and she was standing, but bent over, and held that position for a couple minutes. I thought, “That’s odd.” As I watched, she raised her head and then I saw it – something was on the ground beneath her – a newborn fawn! Unlike yesterday, where the doe and fawn had merely bedded in my front yard (I just went out and checked for evidence of birth and found none),  this doe gave birth on the spot where she stood in Jim’s yard. My neighbor mowed that grass on Memorial Day, so the freshly-clipped lawn provided me with a perfect view. The doe was licking, licking, cleaning off her fawn. In a couple of the photos, the fawn appears almost black; I suppose that’s the mixture of blood and fluids coating the fawn at birth after exiting its mother’s womb.

I grabbed my camera, and rested it on the patio railing, but even then, zoomed out to 24x magnification, the camera still trembled from the touch of my finger on the shutter button. Even at a shutter speed of 1/640, I still wanted to eliminate camera shake. I said to myself, “I gotta get the tripod.” Then I remembered that I had an extra tripod on the patio, right beside the door. It was leftover from a yard sale last summer. I got it for free, figuring I could use an extra tripod. So I hastily set up the tripod, mounted the camera, set the custom timer, and took these photos.

The doe is licking her newborn fawn, right on mowed grass in my neighbor's yard..

The doe appears attentive to something across St. Michael’s Road. She gave birth to the fawn right on mowed grass in my neighbor’s yard, barely forty feet from the paved road.

The doe is licking and cleaning the fawn.

The doe is licking and cleaning the fawn. The appears to be sitting on its hindquarters with its nose pointed up into the air. Notice how dark (wet) it is.

 

The natural cleaning process continues...

Nature’s cleaning process continues…

After several minutes,a car came up, traveling north on St. Michael's Road.

After several minutes, a car came up the road, traveling north on St. Michael’s Road. The vegetation along the road and my neighbor’s barn acted as a sound-proof barrier, screening its approach. When the car passed the barn and the doe at about forty feet, the sudden sound of the car startled doe and she wheeled about one-hundred eighty degrees. She knocked the fawn over in the process. The fawn is out of sight, but lying in a slight depression in the yard. She struck the fawn so quickly with her hind hooves that I was concerned she may have knocked it out, or worse.

After the alarm of a passing car, the doe is checking on her youngster.

After the alarm of a passing car, the doe is checking on her youngster.

The fawn had stood up, appearing unscathed.

The fawn stood up, apparently unscathed. The doe saw my movements on the patio and was checking me out.

One last

One last look and a pause; five minutes later they were gone.

Another good day! I suppose next I’ll be seeing a wild turkey with poults, or maybe even a black bear sow with cubs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.