A Word to Spring

I do not generally use the read more below style when writing blog posts, but in this case, I am going to say: read more about blackthorn and roe deer in my recent articles in BBC Countryfile.

Blackthorn article

Deer article

The deer have been keeping me busy on the trailcam as well as in print. I’ve been seeing this roe doe and her twin fawns for the last eleven months, but they will leave her very soon. There is still time for a spot of mutual grooming, a group hug if you will.

Roe deer stand about 70cm at the shoulder, which is positively a giraffe compared to the Reeves’ muntjac. A pair of those have been exploring my garden in Norfolk lately.

Sometimes I hear their harsh barks at night. It is true that there are more deer in England at present than at any time in living memory, and their numbers continue to rise. It is often claimed that this is because humans exterminated wolves and lynx, but the reality is more complex. They do still have a natural predator: foxes readily consume fawns, but it is questionable whether that offsets the survival-enhancing banquet that we have provided through arable farming and other habitat changes.

Regardless, like all our wildlife, they will be noting Spring – which has now settled on us in a more convincing form.

9 thoughts on “A Word to Spring

  1. Congrats on the print articles, Adele.
    Deer issues are complicated, to say the least. One one hand, they are adapting very well amongst humans. However, I read that over a million deer are road killed in the US alone. That is equivalent to all the wildebeest in the Serengeti! What is to be done?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eliza. As you say, a very complex issue. Road accidents are awful for wildlife and all too often for people as well. There are of course landscape solutions like building green bridges over roads, but only financially viable for major highways. I don’t know if there is an answer, at least not at present. I’m sure the people of the 17th century could not have imagined cars and buses and tarmacked roads, so perhaps there will be other changes to travel in the future which we cannot foresee. But in the here and now, it seems irresolvable 😦


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