Rut and roll is a magnificent spectacle . . .
IT was first light, and the wind in my face, as I reached a clearing in the wood, it felt exactly the same as it did when I was twenty.
Refreshing and surprising, a bit like when you breathe out after brushing your teeth with minty toothpaste, heralding bright light and a distant view to some other wild place and holding promise of more wild creatures.
The only thing different is that, I now know not to break cover too quick, it’s the same when you reach a skyline, so I carefully peered in both directions from behind a tree to spot the Edglings.
The creatures only come out of the woods when it is safe to do so, and mine was just emerging with steam pouring from his nostrils and fire in his belly, he, was a red deer stag, and it was time to rut and roll.
The dramatic sparring and bellowing when two stags meet, is an ancient joust, a timeless ceremony enacted each year, and I was eager to watch another bout. The stag’s pose and strut, stamp their feet, side up to each other, assessing their opponent and attempting to assert authority. If neither backs down, fights can follow with the stags aggressively locking antlers to settle the matter. They don’t really want to hurt each other, just to prove a point and maybe even hope that the hinds are watching!
The antlers are a real
A pair of rutting stags
The Laughing Badger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Padfield, Glossop