deer running through forest-web-lockwoodSitting with my back against a great oak, surrounded by bleached broken branches that look like bones, I sketch Fallow deer ahead of me in a heat haze that is rising from the grassland. It’s midday and they are gently strolling, gnawing off the new grass tops, whilst some are resting, tucked in like sculpted blocks.  Jets fly above, scraping through broken cloud and a hidden Green woodpecker keeps on calling. Jackdaws annoy everything and don’t shut up, they scour and peck through the land and the deer.

I can smell animal pee against the tree I’m leaning on, or is it the ground I’m sitting on? Wafts of odour rise up and are whipped away by a sudden breeze. The deer move closer to me as children’s screams come from the forest behind them. Is it cat pee maybe? Then the smell of deer musk mingles in. I sketch a young deers head as it rests, its eyes half closed, the heat haze rippling around it as I close in with my telescopic lens. Sunlight reaches me and I feel its warmth. I capture more deer with a few lines as they turn and meander. The deer haven’t acknowledged me yet, they move in closer still, treading quietly and delicately between the great oak trunks and more jets pass over, shaking the air with noise.

The wind finally blows from behind me, pushing my scent right towards the deer and they change their course a little. A young deer looks up directly at me and further away they all slip to hide in the shadows and cover of great sessile oaks.