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This afternoon Jackie and I drove into the forest.
Deep in the shade of trees bordering the parched yellow ochre grounds of Burley Manor rippled the wavelets of what must surely be a mirage on one of the hottest days of the year. Upon closer inspection they metamorphosed into the constantly flickering ears of a family of deer. The animals themselves were not as active as their aural appendages attempting to deter the pestilential flies. I could not clearly identify the parasitic birds picking off morsels from the heads and backs of their cervine hosts, one of which appeared to swing from the branch it was bent on stripping of foliage.
Ponies also sought shade where they could,
although cattle seemed content in the direct sunshine at Frogham.
This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s sublime sausage casserole, mashed and new potatoes, crisp carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank Le Malbec de Balthazar 2017, given to me by Shelly and Ron for my birthday.
Certainly a possibility, John. Thanks very much
My first impression was starlings, certainly from the “Deer and Bird Crop” image. Maybe a trick of the light, but the legs look warm-coloured; aren’t jackdaw legs the same colour as the bird, thus silhouette the same tone? And, I THiNK, they’re too far back on the body for jackdaw. But the [impossible-to-gauge] scale would tell us for certain.
Incidentally, nominative determinism in action? The hosts are “cervine”, not “corvine”, unless Derrick is sure what the birds are, and agrees with John’s suggestion.:
Dammit. That was definitely WP interference. Thanks for pointing out cervine, Paul. They just altered it again in the comment!
It’s so lovely to see deer for a change – not that I don’t appreciate the ponies and cows 🙂 So, the heat continues! This must be some kind of a record breaker……… I hope you are both coping with it okay.
We are managing fine, really, Pauline. Thank you very much. We have at least another week of it.
Wonderful photos, Derrick. I’ve never seen a deer stand up on its back legs like that before. Sorry about the heat and no rain yet. I hope you’re doing alright. I feel sorry for the animals.
Thanks very much, Merril. I’ve never seen that hind legs stunt before, either. The heat is tough for the animals, but they do seem to be finding enough to drink
Good they are finding enough to drink. I marvel at how resourceful wildlife is.
At first glance, I thought the deer on its hind legs was a giraffe! Yes, it’s been a long day. 🙂
Not unlike a giraffe, Jill. Thanks very much
I loved both the shot of the deer doing the circus trick on hind legs as well as the deer folding its legs to lay down. I have never seen either of those moves. My guess is that they tolerate the birds because they don’t want the bugs on them. Nature knows how to cooperate.
You are right about the balance of nature, Jodie. I hadn’t seen those moves before, either. Thanks very much
Beautiful animals. That last pic reminds me of illustrations in a picture book I had as a child.
Thanks very much, Luanne. I’m pleased to have triggered that memory
Oh, the birthday gifts linger on! As for the deer… must be a relief to have the birds remove the insects.
I’m sure the deer appreciate the birds. Thanks very much, Laurie
Love those silhouette shots Derrick.
Thank you very much, Arlene
The lyrical introduction to the family of deer and their invisible winged tormentors is a beauty. You have also managed to capture Lamarckism in action.
Very many thanks, Uma. I had hoped you would like the intro
Beautiful day! Beautiful photos!
There is a whole world of adventures going on every day and often we don’t get a front row seat like you did! 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us!
Thanks very much, Carolyn
Lovely photos, Derrick.
Thanks very much, Anne
You know i enjoy all the wildlife, Derrick – thanks!
Thanks very much, GP; always in my mind when I see them
Much appreciated, we’re so crowded here, I rarely see any wildlife around!!
You will like today’s 🙂
Nice Pics. So many horses in your area!
Many thanks, Gary
I feel the heat shimmering off your pictures. The silhouetted deer with and without their birdie co-dependents are absolutely magical captures.
Many thanks, Osyth. They were perfectly placed
That’s a lovely herd of deer – so many. I don’t know what those birds are, but the deer don’t seem to mind too much. A lovely ride, Derrick. 🙂
Thanks very much, Diana
Lovely photos, Derrick, though I do feel so sorry for the animals. I hope they will have some cooler weather soon.
Thanks very much, Helen. It does look tough for them
Love the deers Derrick
Thanks very much, Drew
parasitic or symbiotic?
That is a certain measure of perfection, Simon. Thank you for that greater accuracy
They call it Mutualism. Both animal and bird benefit from each other.
A good word for it, Inese. Thank you very much