The Red deer is Britain's largest land mammal. We enjoy visiting Tatton Park where they have herds of red deer but there is nothing quite like seeing them in the wild as we did last week in the Lake District - although it's pretty difficult to get close to them - they hear you coming a mile off and soon scarper! We are nearing the rutting season or 'the rut' which begins from the end of September. Stags with their annual new set of antlers compete for access to hinds by engaging in displays such as roaring and parallel walking. which allow males to size each other up without violence. However it can escalate into fighting between stags of similar size where dominance is not obvious. The dominant stag then ensures exclusive mating with the hinds. Serious injury and death can result from fighting.
© Gary Jones
The photo above was taken a couple of years ago in Martindale where we went on a walk last week - we saw plenty of hinds in the valley but didn't get as close this time. You can see a photo from last week's walk here.
Along with many other artists who are taking part in the 30 paintings in 30 days , I am now two thirds the way through the challenge! Those of you following will know that I've set myself a theme of painting aspects of our British wildlife - and it certainly is a challenge finding time to keep up I can tell you! But only 10 more days to go!!