Not normal, not normal at all

It’s the red deer rut on Rum. The couple of weeks each year where the stags leave their usual same sex groups of males they generally hang out with and spend their time acting like louts on a Saturday night, shouting, fighting, urinating and mating!

For some reason while this behaviour is fairly undesirable in humans it is utterly compelling watching in red deer and so today we headed over to Kilmory for front row seats to catch the action.

It is all too easy here, as it is everywhere to get caught up in every day life and forget to stand and stare. We’re pledging to try and make sure we do our fair share of standing and staring, drinking in and committing to memory. Once a week if we can, but certainly as often as possible we want to head out and reconnect with this amazing island we live on, forget the tough bits and the reality of life here and just stop for a while and become part of the land we walk on.

As you can see from the pictures that follow it was amazing. We watched from the deer hide there and while I already knew from hearing the stags roar on the croft (they have kept us awake for the last few nights) that they are noisy but today they were close enough to smell! I know the smell from working in the larder processing venison that stags have a very distinct smell when you are up close to them but I didn’t expect to be close enough to live beasts to smell it on them.

We were also fortunate enough to have one of the red deer researchers on hand to id the main players, explain some of what was going on and answer some of our questions. We also got to see some of the recording and research data collecting in action.

Another fantastic example of why we are so very fortunate to live where we do…

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