Today, I went to Richmond Park. I had two reasons for wanting to go there; the possibility of good fall colors, and the famous herds of deer that live there. My first impression of Richmond Park was that it wasn’t what I expected. I thought I’d be more or less out in the wilderness (the park is huge), but that wasn’t the case. There were a TON of people out and about, and there are a few main roads that run right through the place. That was a little disappointing, but the park itself was really pretty. It’s also HUGE; I walked around for a few hours and didn’t even come close to seeing it all!
As you can see from the photo above, I DID find some fall colors. They seem to be coming in a bit more, although there’s still plenty of green out there, too. So, that was item number one off my list…..what about item number two? There are actually two types of deer that live in Richmond Park: fallow deer (about 350 of them) and red deer (300). I walked around for ages, and just as I was getting frustrated, I happened upon these guys:
There was a small group of red deer just hanging out in a meadow, resting in the sunshine. Most of the males were kind of off to the side, by themselves, but there was one who was smack dab in the center of all the ladies. Since it’s their rutting season, when the males fight over the females, I think that guy was the winner! 🙂 I sat and watched them for awhile, and another big male came out of nowhere and very casually approached the group. The “winner” got up, also very casually, and I was SURE I was going to see a fight. Nope; the “winner” just walked away, leaving his womenfolk to the newcomer. Too bad the womenfolk wanted nothing to do with him; it was pretty funny. 🙂
That would have been enough deer encounters for me, but just as I was heading for the exit, I stumbled upon another meadow, and saw these guys:
Those are fallow deer; they’re smaller than the red deer, and (obviously) they have spots. There were a few dozen of them, hanging out and grazing. At least, I thought there were a few dozen. Then, I noticed a whole bunch more of them hiding in the brush; they all came rushing out to join the others eventually, and there were easily more than a hundred then. They were definitely more active than the sleepy red deer! There was also one guy who was definitely the boss; the whole time I was watching the group, he was walking around, bellowing at the other deer. He reminded me of a drill sergeant trying to get his troops in shape:
I love animals. 🙂 I was surprised at how close I was able to safely get to the deer. They were definitely aware of my presence, and the presence of all the other people who were enjoying them, but they didn’t really seem to care what anyone was doing unless we moved around too much. I always made sure to give them a WIDE berth when I was looking for new camera angles. I liked being able to get close to the animals, but there’s such a thing as TOO close… 😀