Saturday, March 10, 2012

Deer me, it was more than 63

It was supposed to be warm today. Fifty-nine the weather geeks were predicting. When all the winnings were counted it actually topped out at 66 here in the Saintly City, beating the all time record for high temperature on March 10 by five degrees. It's just weather, but it has been warm all winter and this is the cherry on the cake. After Saturday morning tennis at Wooddale, I came home and had some lunch. Unky Herb was around, but he had other plans and when I suggested a walk at Pike Island to try to get some deer photos, he demurred. It was too nice a day to miss a walk in the woods and try to track down the large deer herd that infests the island in the Mississippi River below Fort Snelling. So I took my telephoto lens and went for a hike. Unsurprisingly, I was not the only person with the same idea. It was as crowded a day as I've seen in that state park - families and couples, and a few guys with big lenses hunting the deer.

As I walked along one of the hiking trails on Pike Island I encountered two young women headed for the northern tip. They stopped me and asked where Pike Island was, and I had to tell them that were on it and had been for about half a mile. They were pleased and continued north.

The deer herd is pretty numerous in the park. There were two different groups that I encountered, both had as many as fifteen deer walking together and munching on dry vegetation. They were not easily spooked today either. I guess with that many people in the park and none with firearms they weren't frightened for their lives. I was able to get quite close to both groups and snapped off 111 photos. I have edited quite a few into oblivion, but a few turned out pretty well. I liked especially a pair of deer who were staying together - perhaps mates. The buck had only half of his antler rack still on his head, but he still looked reasonably majestic. I stood on a muddy trail and took about 60 photos of their interactions.

As I watched the doe came close to the buck and she nuzzled his neck and his ear. Perhaps it was a grooming move, but it looked like real affection. Here is the best photo of the doe seemingly getting affectionate.

They walked along together and I caught them looking to the left in unison.

It was a nice day and a nice adventure on the island. It was comparable to another day that I blogged about in November when I was nearly run over by a buck in a hurry.


Santini said...

Great pics -- I'm fond of saying that deer are vermin (and they are), but they are attractive animals. Or maybe it's a holdover from the movie Bambi.

When I clicked on your link to your November photos, it took me to strange places.

Jimi said...

Thanks, Santini. I fixed the link. Somehow it got messed up the first time through.

Santini said...

The link is fixed! It was interesting to compare the two sets of photos, March and November. It was greener in November, but otherwise the park looks much the same.