Saturday, 31 October 2015

The advantages of getting lost

Yes, yet again the innate ability of the Roses to get lost didn't fail us, when Mum and I went for a walk in Bentley Wood a couple of weeks' ago.

We had decided to walk from a different car park, along the forestry track and then loop back on ourselves - how hard could it be? Well, we should have known better, for it became obvious that we had perhaps turned left a bit early and missed our connection with the main track back to the car park. Heading off in what we thought was the right direction, we soon ended up in a field full of cows - definitely wrong!

Retracing our steps through the woodland compartments - fiery sweet chestnut and beech leaves contrasting against the conifer plantations - our quiet panic was suddenly disturbed by the very-close rumbling roar of a fallow stag in rut - amazing. We'd seen quite a few herds on our meandering route as well.

The fallow roar is very different to that of a red deer, being more guttural and 'gargly' than it's larger, native compatriot. Whereas red deer rut in open areas, aiming to stake their claim to the large harems of does hanging around, fallows sometimes have fewer females, who choose the successful (strongest) male.

So, if we hadn't got lost (and we did soon manage to find our car!) we would never have heard that amazing autumnal sound.

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