By: Blonde Two
The Two Blondes have had an interesting couple of days on Exmoor. It wasn’t the first visit to those (rather mysterious) parts for either of us but we did a lot more exploration, both on foot and by vehicle, than combined Blonde efforts had previously done.
We were hoping to see some red deer while we were out on one of our walks and in the process, discovered an interesting deer spotting phenomenon. Exmoor, it would appear, has been organised specifically to provide deer camouflage.
For a start, most things that grow on Exmoor look like they are pairs of antlers. We saw plenty of trees and sticks in the distance that, had we removed our eyewear, could easily have passed as cervus elaphus (posh Latin name). We were very nearly fooled by some of the hedges which looked like very organised herds standing in rows along the tracks.
Another deer spotting problem is that the Exmoor plant life appears to grow to exactly the same shade of brown as the deer. This raises a fascinating question about cause and effect. It will be interesting, when we go back in the summer, to see if the deer have turned purple to match the flowering heather.
The picture below shows that deer, contrary to popular belief, are actually really, really small. If you can see them at all, I would be very surprised. They are carefully arranged along the edge of the heather. This brings to light a question that has often bothered me, “Is it small or is it far away?” You would have to ask someone with much better spacial awareness than me if you wanted an accurate answer to this particular puzzle.
We Blondes are canny lasses and eventually worked out that looking for something else was by far the best way to spot deer. When this picture was taken, we must have spent at least five minutes looking for a church in the fields below before we noticed what was standing right in front of us.
I wonder if the Exmoor National Park has ever considered this creative Finnish solution to the “I can’t see any deer,” problem.