Muntjac deer in the back garden, photographed through our kitchen window; 15 Feb 2014.

These small, unobtrusive deer, which were originally introduced to the UK from the Far East, live in the dense scrub – rapidly turning to Ash woodland now – on the other side of our back fence.

The garden is covered in last autumn’s dead Oak leaves, which I leave undisturbed every year, and which will be pulverised when I run our petrol mower –  aka “The Destructor” –  over the ground for this year’s first cut – which will be soon.  The green mosses on the left are covering our paved path, and are a tribute to my policy of laisser faire gardening, aka laziness.   Although I might scrape the moss off the paving stones this year … maybe …

I don’t regard this as an especially good or inspiring image.  For a start, it was taken through double glazing, and it has been muted by that experience.  But it does show our garden’s winter surface and “the beast” – and, maybe needless to say, we value the close and recurring presence of such wild creatures enormously, they mean a vast amount to us. 

Sometime ago, it could be 20 years now, I opened our kitchen curtains very early one morning to see a Roe Deer stag, antlers and all, calmly eating the blooms on our late neighbours’ roses – such encounters with wild things, be they deer, cowslips or dung beetles, are moments that to be treasured, moments that lift the spirit.

Another Muntjac shot, and some context, are here.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 4,000 ISO.


  1. A garden backing onto open countryside is a wonderful and a prized possession. We have a lot of Muntjac deer in our area too – I surprise them in the woods occasionally.


    • Its good to be in the far south of Bristol – this city has immensely sprawling northern suburbs, but the south (south of the river Avon) is relatively compact, and the countryside is never far away. Thanks for your thoughts, Andy! Adrian


  2. How lovely that deer come into your garden! They are special creatures – we always think of it as a wonderful and magical encounter when we see them.

    I came very close to one at the weekend whilst walking through a favourite arboretum. It cheered me very much – along with seeing beautiful trees and plants and many birds – including a jay – butterflies and bees.

    Yes – encounters like these are very much to be treasured.


    • Absolutely! You mention bees and I especially like Bumble Bees – being large and flying haphazardly, they remind me a bit of Africa’s dung beetles – which are great, lumbering lumps flying willynilly all around – and if you get one flying into your ear you know about it! Thanks for your good thoughts my friend! Adrian


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