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Monday, August 29, 2005

the swimming deer

August Bank holiday weekend 2005. We thought the summer had gone, but welcomed it back heartily for the long weekend. Whilst all other Londoners seem to pack up and leave for the country, we stayed behind for an enjoyable time of barbecues, picnics, tennis and cycling in our local environs. In the late afternoon whilst having a well earned rest break from our cycles, we parked ourselves on the bench beside Bishops pond in Richmond park, and saw something we'd never seen before.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving...close, & big. To my surprise it was a Red Deer, male, with very big and sharp antlers, staring at us from about 10 metres away. He was casing us out, along with a couple of other people relaxing by the pond, and decided we were harmless and ambled down to the side of the pond for a drink...or so I thought. Not content with the drink to cool him down, he then plunged into the pond for a dip, waded around for a while, splashed himself with water and then looked for an escape route. By this time quite a crowd had gathered and there were not too many vacant spots where he could escape, though eventually he took his chance in the direction of a father & his two kids (who moved their picnic blanket very rapidly), and stopped to graze, in no hurry to move on.

Of course, none of us had our cameras to capture the moment, so to visualise this, picture a pond with one of the fine specimens on the below web pages bathing in it!