Copr. Copyright © 2021 GREIG CLIFFORD.
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
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If you are able to help bring my photography to a larger audience, then
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