It bounds gracefully through the woods. Nimbly, it sidesteps a towering pine and enters a small, grassy clearing, the lush grass glistening with dew from the morning sun. It reaches down to feast on the succulent new shoots, its life blissful, carefree, perfect. This is a snapshot of the life of a roe deer.
The European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), is quite a small deer, and is reddish and grey-brown in colour. On average a roe deer weighs between 15-35 kg. Even the antlers of a buck, aptly named a roe buck, are relatively small, reaching a length of around 25-30 cm. Roe deer thrive in cold environments. Indeed, the species is widespread in Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, from Scotland to the Caucasus, and east to northern Iran and Iraq. They are not easily confused with the Siberian roe deer, which is somewhat larger.
In 1959, Austria issued a stunning set of four stamps to commemorate the International Hunting Congress in Vienna. The 1.50s value depicts a roe buck. This stamp was engraved by Georg Wimmer. This stamp masterfully captures the grace and vulnerability of these amazing creatures. I adore the way Wimmer has blended light and shadow to give the deer an almost ethereal quality.
Until next time...