White-Tailed Deer

The title of this post is an ode to one of Metro Parks system’s excellent informative signs that they scatter throughout their parks- here’s a look at it.  Click on the image for a closer look.

This phantom referred to is of course the White-Tailed Deer, the largest mammal to be regularly seen in the central Ohio area.  I posted about this handsome creature last spring after encountering two does and a fawn.

Not that I need an excuse to post pictures of such photogenic creatures 😉 but these past few months I’ve encountered them in the woods, where they truly reminded me of phantoms.

It’s quite easy to miss seeing deer.  They stand still when a human is (comparatively) blundering around quite loudly in their area, keeping an eye upon the intruder.  A good thing about winter is that you can spot them more easily since you can see through the trees without masses of leaves obscuring your view.  However, even then it isn’t a sure thing to spot them- their color and texture blend in so well with their surroundings.  This is their greatest defense against predators.

What follows are photos from two almost dreamy encounters with phantoms of the forest in Ohio woodlands.  I never get tired of seeing them.  Notice the antlers on the two bucks, and the two does who were bedded down on the leafy forest floor for an afternoon’s rest.  Also notice how my camera likes to focus on things other than what I’m taking pictures of!  But this reinforces how difficult it can be to spot them, and gives an ethereal quality to the encounter.  The second encounter is clearer, and the does returned to eating while I was still in sight.  Glad I didn’t disturb them too badly.