baby critter season

Little spotted Bambi babies, geeky gangly moose calves, impressively fast elk youngsters and wee tiny antelope – I just love animal baby season!!

Last week a momma deer stood below the studio zip line in the rain with the “ready to pop” look about her barrel belly.  I imagine she brought life into the world that very day somewhere.  Each day I expect to see little “Zippy” or “Zippers” peeking from the grass and trees behind the studio.  I did get to see another brand new Bambi last night after plans to climb were thwarted by rain.  The youngster wanted to suckle right there in the middle of the road.

Last Friday I joined my dear friend Joe for a Pronghorn baby watching session.  Joe works with ranchers to modify antelope friendly fencing along Pronghorn migrant corridors.   He wanted to photograph antelope babies for his blog.  I sent Joe a “count me in” text at 4:30 am (being an insomniac has a few advantages).  Thirty minutes later we drove up Paradise Valley as the sun sparkled on the Yellowstone River.  Joe and I really didn’t know how best to go about the whole animal baby-watching mission.  We klutzed and bumbled - but our efforts were rewarded:  two frolicking big-eyed antelope babies were spotted less than 25 minutes into our mission.  Wee teeny tiny big-earred buggers on springs - the brand new babies were enchanting.  Vying for a better vantage point, we may have spooked them into hiding.  Thus we sat and waited.  They are so good at sitting still, they become invisible.  Of course sitting as still as an antelope baby is impossible for me.

We waited for hours while the mother grazed and napped. Joe and I finally gave up, headed back to his car – and right into one of the babies.  The little bugger sprang up just four feet from me and hopped away on delicate twiggy legs.  Not much more than 8 pounds and fairy-like.  We had no idea just how close we had been the whole time.