Growing up at the Elk’s Lodge

I live about a mile from the local Elk’s Lodge. The lodge sits across the road from a wide open meadow that ends in thick woods. To the east a subdivision runs almost across the meadow. It’s a spot that local white tail deer like to feed. I started taking snaps of the herd about 3 years ago. The first year there were 3 fawns – triplets. I would drive through the meadow on the way home hoping to see them. I noticed on fawn with a small white band just above her nose – she seemed more laid back than the others. She looked me in the eye, she kept grazing if I started to walk towards her with the camera. I named her Doe.

The next year she was back – all grown up. I could recognize her by her calm demeanor and that fine white line just above the black of her nose. When the other deer would turn and run into the woods, she would stay behind and watch me. I made sure to give her some space. I got a few nice snaps, but the distance was just too great.

This spring I upgraded my camera body and the AF is significantly better. My friend is also more comfortable with me. About a month ago I saw her with her own twins – as usual she was not disturbed by my presence…

I got very close to the three of them and shot for about 20 minutes. I noticed that one twin, the one grazing, takes after mom. No concern for my presence. The other one is more vigilant. It trusts it’s mom, but is not comfortable grazing around me…

Being respectful of the more cautious twin I stepped back a few feet. When I did the clam twin moved towards me…

She gave me a nice pose and I noticed something about her – she has the same white stripe on her nose as her mother…

After a few minutes she licked her chops and turned to leave, not in panic, but to look for a better spot to feed…

Last week I cruised by the meadow and saw some deer over near the housing development. I drove over to an empty cul-de-sac and saw that it was Doe and her family. She was a ways off by the treeline, but the twins were pretty close to the road. Not wanting to block them from crossing the road to join their mother I got out of my Jeep and approached them from the far side. My laid back friend turned to check me out – she’s growing so fast…

Her more cautious twin looks me over, but he seems to have a more worried expression.

The worrywart crossed the road and joined mom. My chill girl shot me a profile shot.

She’s not worried in the least because Daddy’s home!


14 thoughts on “Growing up at the Elk’s Lodge

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  3. Lovely story, lovely shots. I firmly believe animals have a sense about those who mean them no harm. I’ve called you the bird whisperer before, perhaps you are also a deer whisper… 🙂

    • 🙂 thanks. I think the biggest charge for me as a photographer is when an animal or a person trusts me enough to make eye contact. Deer are naturally a bit curious. Doe has a sister that is not so comfortable with me – I just respect her boundaries and we get along fine.

    • Thanks! They can do quite a bit of damage to a garden. There’s a debate locally about hunting them in town. The herd there is really large. I watched a group of more than a dozen cross the street. My small herd grazes about a hundred yards from a preserve boundary.

  4. Lovely shots, Lorri.
    I can’t quite believe the deer wander so close to the houses.
    What a wonderful place you live in.

    • Thanks Vicki – it really is lovely here. Some people see the deer as pests – they get into their gardens. If I did not have dogs they would be right up close to my house too. I think they are so beautiful and delicate – I especially like watching them grow.

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