Thursday, June 6, 2019

First Fawn

The morning of May 30 was gray and soggy in the Big Woods following the 2 ½ inches of rain that had fallen in the previous few days; more was both threatening and forecast for the afternoon. In spite of the dripping leaves and the prospect of getting thoroughly soaked if a hard rain began, I was slowly walking along a trail through the woods. 

I’d been looking at the view, such as it was, through the trees into the valley below when there was a faint whimpering sound from the other side of the trail. And there, less than 50 feet away stood a white-tail doe that I’d never noticed. She didn’t run as I stood looking at her and then I saw movement near her feet – it was a fawn, the first I’d seen in 2019.

The fawn staggered, on shaking legs, toward its mother as she turned to walk away. When the fawn drew near, the doe gave a gentle kick toward the fawn with her rear foot as if to say “Don’t follow me. Get Down!”

The doe took another step, the fawn made another wavering approach and received another gentle kick

With that, the doe gave a snort and bounded away as the fawn crumpled to the ground. A fawn’s spotted coat is excellent camouflage; even from a mere 25 feet away it’s difficult to quickly pick out a fawn on the leaf-covered ground –

As fawns do, this fawn remained immobile as I slowly circled around it, taking photographs from a distance. That immobility is a defensive mechanism, for with those shaking legs young fawns couldn’t outrun even the slowest predator.

Although I’d initially thought the fawn might be a newborn, it was perfectly dry so it must have been at least a few hours old, perhaps as much as a day. In another day or two the fawn will be up and running whenever danger approaches.

Two hours later, as I made my way back to the car, the fawn was gone; the doe had returned to move her young one.


Екатерина Балагурова said...

Great shots! Yes, it's hard to notice this baby among leaves!

Marcia said...

Mu husband saw an immobile fawn along our driveway some years ago. He thought it was dead because flies were circling. Later it was gone! They do know how to play dead.

The Furry Gnome said...

Phenominal pictures!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, wonderful photos of the momma deer and fawn. The baby is so cute.

Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, have a happy weekend.

Adam Jones said...

Brilliant to see, and what a thrill to be able to photograph too.

Lady Fi said...

Lucky you! Fabulous shots.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh my goodness! My husband and I both enjoyed these photos. I had no idea the Mama would give a gentle kick to get the fawn to stay. How interesting! And it was well matched to the leaves...amazing! Wonderful photos this week!