Sunday, September 28, 2014

Deer Changes Reflect the Coming of Fall

I put out feed blocks for my deer over the spring and summer, but in greatly reduced amounts since they are mostly able to fend for themselves in the food department.  But with the advent of fall, I've stepped up my feeding program and they've returned to more regular visits.  I can't help but see how their appearances reflect the coming of fall.

While they are used to me being in the yard and at the window, they are still watchful of me as I photograph them through the window.  I'm amazed at how big the fawns have grown.

When one of the fawns wanders off on its own, I can't help but notice how its spots have faded to just a few on its rump.  The spots no longer are needed for camouflage as the fawns move toward young adulthood.

When another doe, Grandma Lucy, I think, joins in to share the deer block, I'm struck at how she's well into her gray-brown heavier winter coat.  The other doe shows evidence of molting on her side, but her process of growing a winter coat is slower because she's been lactating to feed her fawns.  I've learned that lactating and molting are both very demanding in energy consumption so the doe must finish one to begin the other.

My first visit at the feed block from a young buck showed that the males were undergoing their own changes.  Sporting his velvety antlers signaled his preparation for the upcoming fall rut.

And this dandy buck turned his head away from me, making sure I saw his antlers from all directions.


  1. I enjoyed your sweet captures and interesting text, Karen. I didn't know about the energy demands of the molting process! Thanks for this useful information, my friend!

  2. Thanks, Jan. I'm glad you enjoyed my images and that you learned something new about our "deer" friends.