These are red deer at Knockreer House in Killarney National Park. I made a trip out there specifically to see the deer, and I ended up seeing a lot of them—but only by flagrantly flouting the rules. There was no fencing along the path when I spotted them, so I just stepped off and mushed my way through the bramble to get closer. This particular herd included four or five males, about a dozen females, and a few adolescent types. The females were pretty interested in me, but the males maintained a dignified attitude of not caring about some hairless little mammal with only two legs and no antlers.

Anyway, it turns out I wasn’t supposed to step off the path, but I didn’t know it at the time. I probably would have done it anyway, though. If I was going to be denied a visit with puffins,¹ I was sure as hell at least going to see the red deer. Naturally I really wanted to see them rutting, but no such luck. Maybe that’s a morning activity.

¹We were there at the wrong time. The puffins had all gone home to Iceland by the time we arrived. Boo.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate