visitors at dawn

September 07, 2019  •  6 Comments

Odd things happen and new visitors arrive on the mesa when there is a period of dry weather.  Birds bathe in the water dishes almost non-stop, the lapping of coyotes is a frequent sound, and occasionally, we are lucky enough to see mule deer, mostly at dawn or dusk, literally sucking the bird baths dry.  It is truly amazing how much a thirsty deer can consume in one session.

This week, two mule deer with antlers in velvet dropped by to quench their thirst.  One I would call "a buck in training", the other was full grown.   With closed doors, I was able to get my Nikon D800 with 70-200 mm lens and capture some images without startling them.


Here is a shot of the young buck.  I would caption this "take a look at those ears!"

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The more mature buck has more points on its "rack", and his coat is a bit worse for wear.

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Whether they sense it or not, this is a dangerous time for both deer and elk, as the hunting season has begun.  They are a little like the hummingbirds right now, continually searching their surroundings for trouble.

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If I didn't know better, I would have thought this was a decoy, given how still he was standing.  Ready, but still.

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With luck, many of you will be out with your cameras during the week, capturing the subtleties of the changing seasons!

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]



Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
Such beautiful creatures Daryl, strong and dainty. An amazing grouping! Lucky you to be able to capture such beautiful images! You always are able to find soul in your images! In times like these, we need to be reminded what these beautiful creatures signify to this planet.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
They are such beautiful creatures. Majestic and sweet at the same time. What a treasure to be able to photograph them so close to your home on the mesa. I'm taken by the way they look directly at you as if they're taking stock of imminent danger. A lovely grouping, Daryl.
Debrta Harbaugh(non-registered)
I am now a hunter and last year I got a HUGE female elk! I went to Mora on private land with a tour guide and it was thrilling! The first day I could not distinguish between a black cow and an elk! But the second day I was better as I could ID what we were looking for. The last day both Kala (my shooting partner) got a small elk but she shot through a pile of rocks with a 5 inch window! What an eagle eye. The same day I got my elk in late afternoon as they ran around past us to the other side of the mountain. There was a long line of elk and we just waited for them to stop running! I got a HUGE female elk, who was pregnant, and our guides loaded the animals into the truck. My freezer if full and I am going hunting again soon!! Life is good!
Susan A. Sonflieth(non-registered)
Wayne, Love your tobacco story! Daryl, love how your photogs inspire story telling. A curious teen coyote has taken visiting our house. Wish you were here to snap a few of this kid.
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