Readers’ wildlife photos and videos

October 6, 2020 • 8:00 am

I can always use more photos, and get nervous when the photo tank is low. If you have some good photos of wildlife (including landscapes and “street photography”), please send them my way.

Today’s contribution comes from Robert Lang, physicist and origami master. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Kent Presents in Connecticut (go here to see photos of his conversation with Harold Varmus and some of Robert’s great origami).  Today he’s sent us both photos and videos.

Robert’s notes and IDs are indented.

Sending some more pix (and videos) of the local Altadena wildlife. Most of these were shot through my office window, which looks out onto the Angeles National Forest. This is the type of terrain you may have been reading about in California fire news these past few weeks: beyond the mowed-to-the-ground meadow is chaparral, dense brush that is pure tinder. Fortunately, the closest fire to here (the Bobcat Fire) was held off by the incredible efforts of the unified fire command to about 4 miles away and it’s now on its way to full containment.

All of these images are of the California Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus californicus).

We’ll start with two images from early summer. First, a fawn, still with its spots:

And then what is likely a yearling male, just starting to show spikes, still in velvet:

Two older bucks are still in velvet:

Although the grasses have been cut down by this time (for fire suppression), the garden still has plenty of big juicy weeds in it, and the locals are only too happy to help with the weeding:

As the season moves on, the deer get bolder and more inventive in their search for tasty tidbits. This one has learned a new trick to reach tender olive shoots:

So they are developing new skills, but I’m not going to start worrying until they develop opposable thumbs.

Back to pictures. The most common visitors are young (~4-point) bucks and does, like these:

But now it’s the fall; the acorns bring multiple visits per day to the trees, and it’s also the time when a young male’s thoughts turn to does in heat. I see a lot of this pose (the does act annoyed and spend a lot of time running away):

Eventually, though, the Big Guy shows up to make clear who’s the Boss of the Meadow:


11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos and videos

  1. What a glorious back garden you have. I’m surprised that you have time to fold paper with the great views from your window. With regards from Australia!

  2. If they develop opposable thumbs,we should consider voting rights (or at least giving a senior representative an opportunity to use his antlers to give tRump a tramp stamp -assuming they’d bridge that gap!)

  3. our deer do the same thing, standing on back legs to reach fruit.

    i love to sneak up on them and scratch their belly when they’re doing this. have to be pretty quick..

    1. I kinda of thought all the mule deer throughout the west was the same. White tails until you get to the Rockies and then Mule deer.

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