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      Nature Report: Whitetail Deer

      It's a cold morning in the South Texas ranch country, with temperatures in the low 40's, but this doe and her offspring, a young buck, don't hesitate to wade out in the chilly water.

      Soon, another pair of deer joins them from across the pond. Rather than walk around the water, they wade belly deep. One performs an astonishing series of leaps and bounds as it crosses over the final stretch of shallows to join the other deer.

      At the far end of the oasis, a nilgai antelope slowly crosses. Deer and antelope frequently encounter each other at this remote pond, and while the big bull towers over a much smaller buck, they seem to tolerate one another.

      Meanwhile the frisky does are frolicking in the water, chasing one another back and forth in joyful play. They are quite affectionate and often nuzzle one another between bursts of cavorting.

      They pause occasionally to munch on the leaves of a thorny huisahce growing pond side, which is also a favorite food of the nilgai.

      However, raucous howling from a pack of nearby coyotes rivets the attention of all visitors, and for a few brief moments deer and nilgai pause to absord the haunting calls.

      As the howling fades, another group of does arrives and at first encounter a spat seems about to erupt, but after a little posturing the new arrivals are accepted.

      Throughout the morning, the deer and antelope wander in to quench their thirst and browse, but also to have a little fun splashing in the cool waters.

      With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore.