Posts Tagged ‘whitetailed deer’

deer materials, 7/09

I got soaked to the bone on this day.  A realization I had in the middle of the downpour was that I couldn’t get any wetter than this and so I just relaxed.  I had the whole place to myself, since people smart enough to get out of the rain had done so!  The above image are the materials I laid out for the piece I wanted to make…although I did change this in mid process.

Rain Deer, 7/09

I put the finishing touches on this “Rain Deer” right as the wind picked up and the rain came down in earnest.  All day long I had been dodging small showers and the willow leaves and branches were a good enough umbrella…until then.  Once I located what would become the head, I realized that the Styrofoam “body” I had picked out for it was too small.  I instead used this larger piece of “blue foam”…I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I find enough of it.  It doesn’t seem like polystyrene and has a stiffer texture.  I think I have seen this material used for bow-hunting targets before.  It’s dense enough to stop an arrow.  While I was making this sculpture, a Cooper’s Hawk glided through the trees doing some silent hunting of its own.  I saw the barred-tail fan out as it took a left turn out of view.

Running Rain Deer, 7/09

I guess I have been thinking of deer lately.  More and more, I come across their tracks in the sand and mud.  I haven’t seen a live one within the park’s limits, but over the years, I have found plenty of dead ones.  The most memorable experience occurred early on…really years before I started this project in earnest.  A friend and I were hiking around the willow habitat and we could smell something dead nearby.  Searching around we couldn’t locate the source.  For whatever reason, I remember looking up and seeing a dead deer about 10 or 12 feet up lodged in the tree branches.  A  recent flood had deposited the deer there and receded.  At the time, it was a good ground eyes’ view of how high the river could get.

Rain Deer at water hole, 7/09

The passing shower left lots of opportunities to play with reflections and the idea of wildlife coming down to waterholes…which is a staple shot in nature films.  The way this piece is standing, it appears like it has three front legs or is in motion!  I made the head so that the Rain Deer can either look  forward or over its shoulder.  The nose is a split butternut and the eyes are old buckeyes.

Rain Deer at waterhole, 7/09

Rain Deer looking back, 7/09

Our white-tailed deer population is exploding with dramatic consequences.  The number of human injuries from deer collisions with  motorists is up.  More and more deer are appearing in the outlying neighborhoods were they feast on the various gardens and make nuisances of themselves.  Deer are literally eating themselves out of their habitat and damaging the ecosystems other animals rely upon.  For the first time, I’m coming across ticks and I’m attributing their appearance here with the deer they parasitize.

Rain Deer at Waterhole, 7/09

Deer are a good indicator species for the health of the ecosystem.  As we open up the forests we create the kind of habitat deer thrive in.  Deer have taken advantage of this…deer population is much higher now than when the Pilgrims first arrived here.  Although I couldn’t do it, I can see why hunting  them is necessary to control their populations.  Too many deer in one place degrades the habitat also needed by other ground dwelling animals.  But then again, why should we hold the deer accountable for the conditions we created and promoted? The deer is just being true to its nature…can the same be said of us?

Rain Deer head, 7/09

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