Wednesday, November 12, 2008

rutting moon

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There have been several whitetail bucks (with nice sized antlers) passing by the riverrim. The photographs in this post only show a young male, there have been others. Yesterday, during the setting of the sun, I witnessed two of them butting their heads together. Their antlers made a loud clicking and clacking sound that disrupted the silence of the twilight. It was not a violent encounter, they were not really engaging full force, nonetheless, it was a stirring sight to see. The sounds of antler on antler echoed off the ledges.

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I watched their confrontation continue as the moon started to rise over the mountain. It reminded me that I had once read about something called the "rutting moon". It was an article by Charles Alsheimer. He refers to the second full moon after the autumnal equinox as the rutting moon. I wonder if there is truth to this theory about the moon... I tried to take a photograph of the fight for dominance, but I didn't have enough available light. Too bad. The battle ended when a third buck came running out of the woods into the clearing. The three of them looked at each other, and then went their separate ways. Interesting.

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This morning, just after sunrise, I was sipping my coffee and noticed out my window, a large 8 point buck in pursuit of a doe. Both of them were running very fast and had their mouths open, panting. The doe jumped over a fallen tree, the buck followed, but got his antlers tangled in a wire that was strung as an anchor to a telephone pole. It whipped him around and his body twisted to try and correct itself before he landed on his haunches. The entire telephone pole shook and swayed from the inpact. The doe stopped running. She turned to look and see what was happening to the buck. He stood up on all fours, shook his head, and went after the doe again. She then jumped across the fallen tree again and went back in the direction that they had come from...he was right behind her.

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I made a mental note to myself....be careful driving...the whitetail are in rut...they have only one thing on their mind for the next couple of days.

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Except for this year's fawns...they, on the other hand, seem quite content to go about life as usual.

6 comments:

elizabeth said...

So pretty. We didn't see any deer when we went backpacking last weekend, but we leapfrogged with a group of scouts all day, so the deer were probably far, far away from all that chatter!

pacalaga said...

They're so adorable!

Joanne said...

This is true--do be careful when driving! On my (long) drive home, I saw 3 or 4 live deer along the sides of the highways and many many (over 10?) ones that didn't make it. It's a very risky time of year to be a deer..or a driver.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OMG, how exciting. I would just be so excited if this happened any place I could see it.

The closeset I have been to seeing something like this is that a buck did some blowing at me once. I was afraid it would attack. It is a very primal sound.

Judy said...

On Friday we almost hit a buck. Then he decided not to cross the road but to run along side the car. He was only a six pointer but his rack was unbelievably wide.

judy said...

You're right about hat! The deer are everywhere and unusually brazen.

What a sight to witness.

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