December 21st the official start of winter. It is the shortest day and longest night and signals the beginning of the difficult road ahead for the wildlife to survive on Eighty Acres. This beautiful buck managed to avoid the hunter's bullets and arrows, but deep snow, frigid temps and a limited food supply will require the deer to skillfully conserve its strength through the bitter months ahead. The Earth Mother has assisted the deer's survival by providing a dense winter coat. A thick undercoat to keep the cold away from the deer's body and the outer coat consisting of long hollow hairs that trap the escaping body heat. In addition the deer's fur becomes darker in color in order to absorb the warmth of the sun. The winter solstice means challenging days ahead for the deer, but it also signals the sun's rebirth as it begins to march back across the sky and the days slowly begin to grow longer.
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