11 December 2010

Mule Deer, Koty Bear & Doe Eyes

Well, goody goody gum drops! We are finally starting to have a respite from the snow and a bit of a thaw. This will be my ninth winter up on this mountain and this is the harshest fall since I moved here. My father used to say that when winter started early the overall winter kinda petered out. We'll see how well that works.

Koty Bear loves winter the more snow and cold the better. He literally whines to be let out when we go subzero. Below is a photo of him dashing through the snow.

Koty Bear Loping Through The Snow

For winter sports Koty and the mule deer like to play a bluff-charge game. Koty, being true to his nature is unreliable off lead so he must always be either on a leash or in an enclosure. He has a tether that allows him to go in and out of the house, go out on the lawn to take care of business and lounge on the deck. When the mule deer return for the winter they soon take up where they left off. The deer know just how close they can get to Koty without him being able to reach them. The deer will approach to just within Koty's reach and dare him to come after them. Koty will try and fake them out by hanging back hoping to draw them into his range. It's really quite the cat and mouse game and a lot of fun to watch.

Koty Bear And Mule Deer Playmates

I have been spending a lot of time with my deer. They are a wonderful diversion. I can sit out in the snow and watch them by the hour. And, of course, I cannot resist taking a few photos. I just love the mule deer. They are so gentle and serene, not at all like the whitetail. They are a life lesson for me. They also have very cute butts.

Mule Deer Behind

You will notice the black tip on her tail. Although, everyone around here calls them mule deer or mulies they are also referred to as blacktail deer.

There is one old doe that has been coming to keep me company for several years now. I call her "Doe Eyes". This doe has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen on a mulie or any dear. For the most part mulie eyes are solid brown and although big and beautiful there is not a lot of texture to them. But, Doe Eyes is in a league of her own.

Doe Eyes

Her eyes are very large and instead of being a solid brown they are more like a horse's eyes that have variation and texture. They are just stunning.

Doe Eyes

There is something elses very unusual about her eyes. They are set quite a bit more forward than is common. I don't know if you know or not but you can tell if an animal is a predator or a prey animal by the set of the eyes. Predators like mountain lions, and wolves have eyes set up front whilst prey animals like deer and elk have eyes set on the sides given them greater peripheral vision. Also note where your own eyes are located.

I'm hoping before this winter is done that I can get a closeup up just of her eye so that you can see how truly beautiful they are.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography


Paula Ann Ford said...

Fabulous photos!!

Walker said...

Thanks Paula Ann!

Do I know you? You look so very familiar.

Christine Noel said...

I have had many a deer friend in my life as well. I lived on a remote ranch above Libby, MT. and grew an enormous garden. On summer nights when my children were in bed and the animals all tucked in, I used to love to weed my garden in the twilight and talk to all the deer that would surround my garden area. The weird thing was, they never bothered my "AREA", though everyone I have ever known who grew gardens in Montana habitually complained about the deer problems. They were my friends and stayed on the ranch their entire lives.
Some evenings we would have intense thunder and lighting storms which are some of my favorite memories. I would be crouching down in my garden "furrows", the she deer all around me, and hope I wasn't about to be struck by lightning!
My Arabian Stallion "NoDoubtAboutIt" grew up on the ranch after being shipped there from Santa Ynez, CA. We had about a 50 acre meadow, full of deer families in the evenings. "NoDoubt" would go out to them and run circles in play with the fawns. It was so cool.
Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pictures.
Have a great week end.
Chris Christmas

Walker said...

Chris: Thanks so much for sharing those wonderful memories. I honestly believe animals (and I hate to use that term) are keenly aware of "intentions". They seemingly are able to recognize kindred spirits and treat them accordingly.