Last monday Dennis Rademaker and I went west to a Nature Reserve called 'De Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen' (in short AWD). It's rutting season of the Fallow Deer there (one would think I've seen enough rutting deer at the Veluwe to last a life-time by now, but apparently I'm insatiable :-).
The AWD are stunningly beautiful. The shrubs and trees are all in autumn attire and the light is soft and diffuse. Actually we went for foxes, which meant getting up at 5, in the car at 5.30, arriving on location 7.30. (Why on earth I chose this hobby in stead of for instance needle-point is beyond me). Walked 12 km with 20 kg of gear on my back but no foxes. (lots of dens though so we will be back!)
We were ploughing through the bushes when I felt the camera loosen itself from the tripod, so I stopped to fasten it again. When I looked up, my jaw dropped because only 20 meters away this beautiful Stag was lying peacefully. It was amazing; he allowed us to approach him very near! At one point even as close as 15 feet. Apparently rutting is hard work because despite the fact that we were around, he laid down his head and just dozed off :-)