The roe deer
Franz Marc, the roe deer
You can spot roe deer grazing as the night starts to fall and when spring starts to give way to summer. They roam the meadows close to the forests and make barely a sound. You can approach them by moving slowly and carefully and avoiding wearing bright colours. Obviously, the aim is not to touch them but to ‘play’ with them from afar. Roe deer are a lively bunch: a cheeky glint in their eyes tempered by softness. If you happen to have a pair of binoculars, place them on a walking stick or atop a rock. That way, your hand will not tremble due to fatigue. Moving gracefully in this natural landscape is the best way to observe animals and to understand that even we, by breathing slower, are part of nature. The mother leaves the forest first, followed by her offspring. The appeal of the first meal is irresistible. To them, it is like being confronted by a mouth-watering green ice cream. The mother has no antlers, and her pelt is the colour of winter, a mellow grey-brown with a heart-shaped white splash across her rear and a heaving stomach. She is expecting. If you are lucky enough, you may glimpse the buck born the previous year: it will be one year old in June, and already sports reddish fur – not long to go now until it receives its birthday present in the shape of a set of antlers. A doe, his twin, walks out of the forest, nimble and graceful. A flash of red as she plays with her brother, jumping in circles around him. Both have an elongated and thin neck. Watch out: something moves in the corner of your vision. The larger roebuck makes an appearance. Two years old and its antlers have recently shed as can be seen by the fact they are starting to branch off. A lively fellow, and yet more cautious than its siblings: it grazes on a couple of crocuses, lifts its gaze, and returns to the safety of the forest.