Thursday, June 04, 2015

The afternoon of a fawn

...with apologies to Stéphane Mallarmé. During our walk on Wednesday afternoon, Callie and I stumbled upon a tiny fawn sitting right out in the open on our path. It couldn't have been much more than half the size of the dog. Callie barked when she saw it and ran by it, but it sat completely still. I approached and it still did not move. I knelt down beside it and its big round eyes watched me intently, but the fawn stayed completely motionless. Then it let me pet its head. Incredible! Callie watched without a sound. It figures that I did not have my camera with me. Drat!

The fawn, now standing, watched as Callie and I approached a second time.

I decided that was as good as it gets and that the poor thing must be terrified, so Callie and I turned and continued on our walk. We looped around the vineyard parcel and I looked back at where the fawn had been when we first passed by; it had moved a few feet to sit in the taller grass, but it was still there, its ears cocked and listening. I decided to go home and get the camera, convinced that once I got back, the fawn would be gone.

Callie gives up the chase. It was fun while it lasted (all of two seconds).

When Callie and I returned with the camera, the fawn was still in the grass, this time standing up. I snapped a couple of photos then moved toward it. But it was on its feet so it quickly turned and disappeared into the woods behind. Callie started to chase it (once something moves, it's fair game for a border collie). I called her to stop and she did. Good dog! Ken had told me that he saw the fawn that morning very near to where we saw it but, as luck would have it, he didn't have his camera with him, either.

10 comments:

  1. Walt, you were very lucky...
    both to see the fawn and not to have been charged at by the mother....
    she would have been close by, feeding in the woods probably.
    This looks like a Roe Deer fawn by the size of the grass...
    a Red Deer could have killed Callie with one blow of a hoof....
    they aim for the head...
    when I was in forestry, a walker had their dog very badly injured by a mother Roe Deer...
    the skin was peeled back from the skull and there was blood everywhere.
    The dog, thank goodness, made a full recovery...
    but was always walked through 'our' woods on a long length of cord...
    the extending leads didn't exist in those days...
    so, be very wary around fawns, the mother is always very protective.
    A lovely thing to see, tho...
    and isn't it always the case that you see the most interesting things when you haven't got the camera with you!!
    Tim

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  2. You were very lucky to find that little fawn and pet it! Quite remarkable really. The poor thing must have been terrified. I wonder if it had lost the mother somehow?

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  3. I've never heard of anything like that. What a magical moment.

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  4. a deer who wandered into our yard (full grown) let me pat her (2 yrs in a row) & it was such a thrill

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  5. Love seeing your local fawna....

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  6. Walt,
    I'm not a wildlife expert but I do believe young fawns hide in the grass and their defense is not to move. Of course this sometimes works against them. I remember some years ago a neighbor (when we lived in Pennsylvania) was weed whacking some tall grass in a culvert on his land and accidentally killed a young fawn. One would think the fawn would have taken off when he/she heard the noise but it didn't and thus was accidentally killed. My neighbor felt so bad about accidentally killing that fawn. He was morose all summer.
    That's a wonderful photo you captured. Always an adventure when you and Callie go for a walk!
    Ron

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  7. Like Craig I wonder whether it had lost his mother. Did it look ill or underfed? Poor little thing. In don't think it stands a chance if the mother is no longer around. If you see it again, you may consider adopting it :)

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    1. Ladybird & Craig...
      the fawn hadn't lost its mother... Ron, above, is correct in his first sentence...
      and as I said in my comment above, she was nearby....
      and that is what made it dangerous for Callie once she started chasing the fawn.
      It is very fortunate that she responded immediately to Walt's command...
      a very well trained dog!!

      Tim

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  8. Yikes, after reading what LaPré DelaForge writes!

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  9. Well......hmmmmm......a fawn eh? You know what I think of that!
    Seriously though, how lucky are you. Poor little thing.
    Sue

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