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B-044. White Fallow Buck in Velvet - by Greig Clifford
Copr. Copyright © 2021 GREIG CLIFFORD.
closer crop view of the deer

White Fallow Buck in Velvet

Wow, a lucky moment for me to photograph last weekend!

Many will have heard tales of the mythological white stag. The white stag symbolism has appeared in many cultures across Northern Europe, America and Asia, wherever deer have lived in the wild. Each tale has its own significance but there's always a highly spiritual theme. It is said that following this maginificent creature will lead one to a great spiritual discovery. For a knight in medieval England the message was slightly different... indicating time to pursue a 'spiritual quest'. I like the idea that it is representative of one's spiritual journey. A guiding messenger. The mystical symbolism continues in modern culture, being used in The Hobbit, Harry Potter, and Narnia stories too.

It is easy to understand why such an aura of magic has been associated with these white deer... not only are they magnificent creatures but they are quite rare. I was incredibly excited to see this one and utterly mesmerised when he locked eye contact with me, graciously allowing enough time for me to compose this shot, before returning to his grazing with the rest of the group.
I did a little research... the white colour is a result of Leucism, a rare genetic pattern that causes pigmentation loss in the hair and skin, not to be confused with the albino condition. Male deer grow new antlers annually, shedding towards the end of spring, so this buck has antlers just a few weeks old. As the antlers grow they are covered in a soft fur, a time known as being 'in velvet'. This fur is shed in the autumn when the antlers become fully grown.

These deer are used to walkers but even so I kept my distance. I like the resultant space in the image. The deer draws one in for a closer look.

If this image is the first of mine you have seen, or you are relatively new to my work, please know I'm always keen to make new contacts and push my photography to wider horizons. If you like what you see, say hello!

If you are able to help bring my photography to a larger audience, then lets talk! I'd be glad to hear from you!

Finally, prints of this image are available, starting at affordable prices to encourage new collectors. Signed archival quality prints are strictly limited in number. Your support is very much appreciated.

(Published 15/06/2021)

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