Wednesday, July 22, 2009

White Buck

Albino buck, or bigfoot... You decide.

Stumbling through the house this morning at much too early an hour, I glanced out a side window and noticed that there was something odd in the woods, some forty yards from the house, behind the compost pile. A quick eye rub and a clearer look revealed that it was only Whitey, settled down for the evening. I'd never seen him bedding this far down the ridge.

Whitey, the name is not particularly creative, or politically correct, is a young albino buck that has been hanging around the ridge since his birth last spring. He's held mostly higher on the ridge but we have seen him more and more often around the house as, I assume, his range increases as he grows older. We have also begun to see him in the company of a larger doe and new fawn, a change from his previously solitary ways. We feared that his "being different" would separate him from the herd, but that does not now seem to be the case. We humans should be as accepting.

The local old timers say that Whitey is but the most recent of a long line of albinos ghosting through the woods in this area. Blanche, Blanchette, and a litany of others have graced these woods over the past couple of decades, leaving many to ponder the significance, or science, of it. Whatever the reason, they are pretty to see.

My apologies for the quality of the picture. The dark dawn woods were too much for my meager zoom and unsteady hand. As much as I'd love a quality telephoto lens, I have to agree with Mary that I have too many hobbies to get all the toys I'd like. Besides, the cost of a good, fast lens would make the expense of a high end fly rod look like chump change.

Instead, here's a better shot taken last fall by my neighbor, friend, and naturalist, Mike, who's home Whitey hangs around the most.

I hope the young buck sticks around for a while. He's interesting to have close by.

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