two dapple and a dark one

April is very slow. it’s been cold, grey and a nasty east wind has been dominating the weather this week, blowing hard and setting my teeth on edge.

there are still blackthorn in blossom, and the primroses are hanging on; the cold weather keeps them going. the wild cherry are out too, a very elegant slender tree in natural woodland, with pale scattered flowers.


some of the shrubs and trees are showing leaves. hawthorn has been green for weeks.


the old coppiced hazel groves are hardly in leaf yet, although their catkins were out before Christmas.


walking along the woodshore today, two pale spotted rear ends became evident to me, and I grabbed Sal who generally is not on the lead. three fallow deer came out of the wood and onto the beet field, two pale dappled, and one really dark. I was a bit puzzled by the colouration, but I found fallow deer come in four colours, the normal brown and dapple, a pale creamy dapple, white, and black. they stopped and looked back at us, keeping their distance. Tilda squealed with frustration, and by the time I got to look up again they had gone. I was expecting to meet up with them again somewhere up Cake’s Lane, but there was no sign. they had melted into the land, maybe hidden in one of the old pits with a fringe of trees.

fallow were introduced by the Normans, for their deer parks, and they really are the prettiest of our native deer. the stags fight savagely in the rut; they have huge palmate antlers like little moose.

I am lighting the kiln for a glaze firing tonight, cone 11. full moon too – or just about.


  1. Thank you. Beautiful. And the deer is safe. Canada is deer country but I have never, ever seen a black deer. Last week on the BBC, I saw that Canadian beavers will be re-introduced to England — they disappeared in the fourteenth century I think (or maybe it was the wild boars that disappeared so long ago). And you will soon have Canadian wolves and bears.

    Good luck! Beavers’ dams are sometimes placed where they flood farms; then they dynamite the dam (that’s the only way) and the industrious beaver family rebuilds the dam in a week. Then, they must be moved…

    Thanks again. I love the wild flowers. Around me, it’s all daffodils and dahlias *sneeze*

    And bears, well bears often “invade” residential areas when their habitat is too small. English forests are tiny, aren’t they?

    One would think that “the authorities” think those things through but you know how, time and again, they just don’t.

  2. yeah, no bears on the horizon. they are introducing beavers to scotland, I think – more wild habitat there. we already have wild boar – they re-introduced themselves.
    and the roedeer were reintroduced by the VIctorians.

    i don’t think you could call anything in England a forest. the New Forest is not very foresty, its very open. the forest of dean maybe. but you know forest meant open country for deer to the Normans who established them.
    wildwood is probably the correct term for the kind of “forest” we don’t have.

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