Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 16th, 2011

A different white

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I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that my Great Hills neighborhood in northwest Austin is an ancestral home to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). These rather small deer thrive in the wooded canyons that are a feature of this eastern edge of the Texas Hill country, but they come out, especially in the evening and at night, to walk through the streets and across people’s front yards in search of plants to eat. When I’m making my way through the woods in search not of things to eat but of things in nature to photograph, it’s not unusual for me to startle a deer and have it snort and run away.

Much less commonly, just once every few years, I’ve come across what you see here, an antler that a deer has shed. So it was on December 7, when I had mostly finished photographing the cold and delicate white of frostweed ice, that I discovered lying on the ground this cold but durable white emblem of a male deer. You are looking at the end that once attached to the deer’s head and that became visible only after the antler had fallen off.  At the bottom of the photograph you see the bifurcation leading into the two branches of the antler, which aren’t included in this abstract view.

If you’d like to read more about deer antlers, here’s an article and another article. And if you’re interested in the craft of photography, points 1, 2 and 4 in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s image.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 16, 2011 at 5:15 AM

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