Late summer finds the bucks in velvet and traveling in groups – oblivious of the change to come with the surge of testosterone and antlers hardened in readiness for ‘the Rut.’ The fine lines of their necks are muscled and rippling in this time to come and thick with potential for genetic propagation. Then their journey will be a solitary one, when nature goes about her quest for the best, the brightest, and the strongest of the strong. These roving bands of brothers are no more; instinctively fractured apart, they wander and fight for a small patch of territory – a breeding ground. They battle for all they are worth in the overlapping terrain; interlopers into the domain of another and pitted against each other in a great sorting. It’s a bloody violent affair when you’re caught in the thick of it as I can attest to. But zoom out into a broad perspective and you can perhaps begin to notice a current of wondrous brilliance flowing quietly beneath the surface (continued with The Boys Only Thicket Club) .
Nikon D90, 200mm (Nikkor AF 2.8 80-200 ED), 1/800 sec, F/8, Gitzo Tripod, Wemberley Head, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, USA